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October 28, 2015


Stunning images -- and I love the link between landscape and language -- and knitting as well.

These images take my breath away. Very much the same as when I first laid eyes on Crater Lake in Oregon. Just awe-struck at these images of nature.

I wish I knew why these beautiful landscapes feel se spooky to me.

You'd have to say Iceland - speaking aesthetically - is an acquired taste. The two people in the centre of the car park obviously believe they're in some other small country, Andorra, say, or Lichtenstein at a pinch. Their anoraks are so brightly coloured they hurt Iceland-habituated eyes.

The map brings back visual memories. Occasionally such maps, made of plastic and rendered three-dimensionally, are stuck up in public places for the benefit of people who can't handle the two-dimensional concept of contours. Fingers driven by a long-standing and deep-seated impulse, feel it necessary to rest on the map's bulges, confirming that the finger's owner "is there". Quite quickly such contact wears away the paint, symbolically suggesting that those who come later with unemployed fingers "aren't there".

There is a suggestion, in the car-park pic, that such a three-dimensional map is available. If so, I find that consonant with the Iceland you have depicted.

Thank you, Frances and Mary - I'm so glad you're enjoying the travelogue!

Ellena,I wonder if it's because the person feels exposed in a landscape that's so open, and yet there are weird formations that look like places something could hide, or be watching!

Roderick, yes, in the few places that had visitor centers, there were three-dimensional maps (usually in a horizontal format, not on the wall.) I found them really helpful, actually, even though I have no trouble with 2-dimensional maps. But Iceland, in general, is very lightly "curated" -- and I like that.

How wonderful, and I too appreciate the knitting references. And there is also Staffa in the Hebrides, the inspiration for Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture (and the very best place to see puffins) though I don'r remember the pillars being so massive.

I rather like those kind of warning signs; there used to be a Flickr group that collected photos of them, it was called 'stick figures in peril'. There was a subsequent group formed called 'stick figures that have the situation under control'!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.