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Iceland 2015 - Day 2 - part ii

Helga then shared some more of her country's history with us while we were on the bus.  The country was first settled in 874 with the first inhabitants coming from Norway - about 400 settlers, mostly men and some women.  They claimed their land by lighting bonfires (or dragging a cow) across an area within a 24 hour period.  Chieftains (we get the irony here) controlled land areas along the coast.  There were about 40 of them.  In 930, they decided they needed one law and they studied Norwegian governance to develop their own rules of law.

Two weeks each summer, all Chieftains with two advisors each, attended a summit to review, discuss, change and add laws.  This meeting point was selected with intent - and we got to enjoy a great visit to this area.  Spectacular photos!

In 1262, the area became part of Norway, and then, years later, part of Denmark, until becoming an independent country in 1944.  The former old meeting point of the Chieftains is a UNESCO Heritage site.

We saw the 'black line' cut the landscape - which actually is the point where the two continental plates met to form Iceland- the EUR-Asian plate and the North American plate.  Very cool to hear and see.

Earlier in the day, Professor Tyrrell took the bus microphone and shared with the group for a few minutes.  She had attended Stonehill for a year in the 1960s before transferring.  Only to return to teach Biology in 1973.  She credits remaining in touch with Fr. Francis Hurley, CSC (who taught so many Biology students over the years) as instrumental in her return to Stonehill.  Prof. Tyrrell spent the majority of her teaching career in the original science building but loves the new Shields Science Center on campus.  She has taught many courses over the years - many in Botany, Ecology and Marine Biology.  She also mentioned a few of the plants/flowers she has spied in Iceland so far.

We returned to the hotel in time for Happy Hour at the Beer Garden.  Some plan to attend Mass at Christ the King parish downtown. Emily and Robyn just departed for a horseback riding excursion - with promises of some amazing photos!

And, as we prepare for 'dinner on our own,' we are crossing our fingers for a successful Northern Lights excursion tonight!


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