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Reading and Writing Landscape: Iceland
Travel Dates: April 23-May 10
Instructors: Chris Begley and Meg Upchurch
Number of Students Enrolled: 20
Location: Iceland

Landscape comprises the totality of the natural and cultural environment, including flora, fauna, topography, human features, and other elements such as weather. We focus on the stark landscape of western Iceland, due to the depth of documentation of this landscape (nearly 1000 years), the prominent position of the landscape in this documentation, and because it represents something very different from most of our experience

As we read this epic history, we will explore the physical locations where this saga took place as well as nearby features such as glacial rivers, inactive volcanoes, and seascapes encountered by early Icelandic settlers. Some of the historic places we will visit include Erik the Red's farmstead (the childhood home of Leif Eriksson) and Thingvellir, the site of the original parliament of Iceland, established a thousand years ago.

Itenirary for Iceland Trip

  • April 28: Gather at Transy around 3-3:30 a.m. for bus ride to Louisville. Take United 7833 from Louisville to Chicago, departs 6:15 a.m. Take United 132 from Chicago to Boston, departs 8:00 a.m., arrives Boston 11:14 a.m. Have day in Boston, but be at Logan Airport no later than 6:30 p.m. for 9:30 p.m. Icelandair 630 flight to Keflavik, arrives 6:30 a.m. April 29.
  • April 29: Travel to Reykholt, rest and explore, meet for class.
  • April 30: Take a half-day trip to Borgarnes to see sites related to settlement and to Egilssaga Skallagrimsson. Buy food.
  • May 1: See sites in valley above Reykholt. Bus drops us off at Husafell for hiking, picks us up later.
  • May 2: Day trip to Snaefellsnes to view glacier and visit a Laxdaelasaga site (Helgafell).
  • May 3: Three-quarter day trip to Laxardalur and to Eiriksstadir.
  • May 4: To be decided visit to an archaeological site if we can find one that is open.
  • May 5: Stay in Reykholt, lectures, hiking.
  • May 6: Day trip to Thingvellir, Geysir, and Gullufoss.
  • May 7: Hiking in old volcanic region.
  • May 8: Stay in Reykholt
  • May 9: Travel to Reykjavik for half day, continue to Keflavik for Icelandair 631, departs 5:00 p.m. Arrives Boston 6:35 p.m. Overnight in Boston.
  • May 10: Depart Boston on United 533 10:35 am, arrives Chicago 12:15 p.m., depart Chicago on United 6123 1:10 p.m., arrives Louisville 3:36 p.m.
Dates of activities in Iceland may change depending on weather, but the list of activities is fairly firm.