To the Centre of the Earth,
Horse Trekking Snefellsnes in
"The pleasure of riding on horseback through unknown country put me in good mood for the start of our journey. I gave myself up to the happiness of the tourist, compounded of desires and freedom, and began to make the best of the expedition.
…Our horses instinctively chose the best way without ever slackening their pace.…a centaur with six legs. 'Good horse! Good horse! he kept saying. 'You will see, Axel, that there is no animal more intelligent than the Icelandic horse. Snow, storms, impassable roads, rocks, glaciers- nothing can stop him. He is brave, steady, and reliable. He never stumbles, never shies. If there's a river or a fjord to cross - and there'll be plenty, I can tell you that - you will see him plunge straight into the water as if he were amphibious and swim across to the opposite bank. But we mustn't hurry him; just let him alone and we shall do our thirty miles a day.' "
-Jules Verne, horse trekking in
Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864)
Doug writing: I took nearly the same tour in 2000, http://www.eldhestar.is/English/index2.html This route is a crossroads of history more than just the way to the Centre of the Earth. The Sneffels trek on horses I took crosses over the highlands and mountains at the head of the Sneffels peninsula similar to the route Verne took in the 19th Century prior to writing his book, Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
area adjoins the areas of several of the old sagas of
Some reading for this neighborhood could include: Snorri Sturluson's Snora Edda: http://www.fva.is/~harpa/forn/english/e_snorra/e_snorra.html
Then also about the man Snorri Sturlson himself: http://www.fva.is/~harpa/forn/english/e_snorri/e_snorri.html
A terrific museum to this Icelandic Saga era is nearby the way in Reykholt,
A study of Icelandic character and this region also comes in Halldor Laxness' book, Under the Glacier. This book makes a fun read prior to visiting the Sneffels area.
This all is with Snefels and the journey to the Centre of
the Earth. In our modern times I found
the horse riding tour that I took to be really well provided. The guide is a farmer horseman of the area,
Sigurdur Oddur Ragnarsson firstname.lastname@example.org a third generation farmer of sheep and horses
on a centuries old farm estate Oddsstadir www.oddsstadir.is in the
Lundareykjadalur valley. They graze in
mountain pastures their sheep and a herd of horses for their family
livelihood. (see article about this
family and farm life in
A feature of this riding Sneffels tour is that part of the
lodging for several of the days is from their comfortable farm in the glacial
river valley of the Grimsa river. In
living on the farm and riding the valley you get to see inside 10 or more
centuries of culture and farm lifestyle in
(See this link for the Snefellsnes riding tour description: http://www.eldhestar.is/English/menu4_longertours/tur15.html
Other reading to prepare for a tour of the area:
Penguin Classics has recently published a compilation of Icelandic Sagas, The Sagas of Icelanders putting the major and several lesser of them under one cover.
ISBN: 0 486 43710 8
Naming names for Icelandic horses, there are lots of good names to be gleaned from this
book, the Poetic Edda translated by Bellows.
The footnotes hold many names that Bellows includes which become helpful in following the stories of the Edda. Derivative names of Men and women, dwarfs, giants, elves, immortals, places and such. We're having fun drawing a short list of names we should like to use. Also finding/learning fun revelations about some of the names that have come along with some of the horses coming from
reading the 'Eddas' you can see where Tolkin originally
wet his own teeth for the saga telling of his Lord of the Rings. In
small deference towards the realm of saga telling authenticity, it
is too bad they could not have filmed some of the 'Rings' in
and thereby also have included the horses.)