Monday, August 8, 2011

Icelandic History

My next posts before my trip to Iceland are going to be about that country, as I share some of the history of my ancestor who immigrated to Utah from there: Vilborg Thordardottir. Here's the introduction of the history I wrote about her. (See map below from Iceland is in upper left corner, next to Greenland and way north.)

Iceland, Land of Fire and Ice

Just the name of the country where my 2nd great grandmother Vilborg Thordardottir emigrated from sounds exciting. ICELAND! Is it really a land of fire and ice? Where is Iceland? Why would anyone want to live there? To answer these and other questions, let’s look first at the location of the country. Iceland is a large island about the size of England located in the north Atlantic sea between North America and Europe. One eighth of the island is covered by snow and ice in the form of glaciers located in the interior. It rains a lot, 85 inches in some areas of Iceland, so there are many lakes and waterfalls. The northern border of Iceland is on the Arctic Circle, so only the coastal areas of Iceland are livable. Summers are cool and winters are relatively warm, with some snow, because of the Gulf Stream of Mexico that flows past the southern end of Iceland. The average altitude of Iceland is 2000 ft above sea level. (Source:
Ashby, David A., Iceland Mission History, Spanish Fork, Utah: Icelandic Association of Utah, 2001, p. 2.)
Now for the fire part, Iceland has 107 volcanoes and was formed as an island by volcanoes like Hawaii was. This process is still continuing today in Iceland. Frequent volcanoes can be very destructive but also supply hot thermal springs which are used to heat the homes and buildings in Iceland nowadays. There are very few trees in Iceland but lots of green grasslands. (Stay tuned for more photos when I tour Iceland soon: Aug 17th-31st.)


kavita said...

Remember reading about it being one of the largest island of the world .I am looking forward to your travelogue :)

Rambling Woods said...

problems leaving comments on blogger today...I too am looking forward...