The Schnedlers’ penultimate visions of Iceland

May 26, 2014

The landscapes just about anywhere in Iceland make it crystal clear that you’re not in Kansas — or in Arkansas. The myriad images on the memory cards of Marcia and Jack Schnedler’s pocket-size Canon cameras verify the spectacular scenery all across this island nation that covers less territory than the Natural State.

As the Schnedlers near the end of 24 days circumnavigating Iceland, here is a potpourri of photographs (taken mostly by Marcia). They showcase a land sculpted by repeated volcanic activity stemming from the island’s location astride the American and Eurasian continental plates.

These tectonic plates are drifting ever so slowly apart, helping fuel Iceland’s 30 volcanic systems rated as active. Over the past 500 years, it is estimated that the eruption of volcanoes here have produced a third of the planet’s total lava output. Imagine Arkansas with more than 30 active volcanoes, and you get some idea of the geological architecture here.

Thingvellir, where the Icelandic General Assembly met yearly beginning in A.D. 930, sits on the divide between the American and Eurasian continental plates.

Thingvellir, where the Icelandic General Assembly met yearly beginning in A.D. 930, sits on the divide between the American and Eurasian continental plates.

Godafoss, in northern Iceland, translates as "God's Falls." Pagan idols were supposedly thrown into the falls here after the island's conversion to Christianity in A.D. 1000.

Godafoss, in northern Iceland, translates as “God’s Falls.” Pagan idols were supposedly thrown into the falls here after the island’s conversion to Christianity in A.D. 1000.

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Some historic sites in Iceland, such as the 18th century cathedral at Holar, are set in May below snow-fringed mountains.

Some historic sites in Iceland, such as the 18th century cathedral at Holar, are set in May below snow-fringed mountains.

The glacial lagoon Jokulsarlon on Iceland's southern coast is packed with icebergs of assorted shapes and sizes.

The glacial lagoon Jokulsarlon on Iceland’s southern coast is packed with icebergs of assorted shapes and sizes.

Getting to Dettifoss in mid-May required a snowy hike of more than a mile.

Getting to Dettifoss in mid-May required a snowy hike of more than a mile.

 Dettifoss, said to be Europe's most powerful waterfall, plunges some 160 feet in Jokulsargljufur National Park. (Icelandair place names can defy the English-speaking tongue).


Dettifoss, said to be Europe’s most powerful waterfall, plunges some 160 feet in Jokulsargljufur National Park. (Icelandair place names can defy the English-speaking tongue).


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