We continued north, taking in the vast waterfall of Gullfoss, a massive torrent that could compete with Niagara Falls. We stopped at Thingvellier National Park, which encompasses the great Atlantic rift between North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. We strolled below the sheer stone cliff that has been forced upward a hundred feet, stared into a great dark crack in the earth where the man made path had ruptured and split. Further north, following the road as it tunneled under the Hvalfjörður Fjord – the first actual darkness that we had seen since we’d arrived. Northward, the roads becoming quieter still, and we turned north yet again off the Ring Road, past the town of Blönduós, further north, until all there was were green fields and rocks and the Greenland Sea. Even on this beautiful June day we imagined what the winters would be like on this windswept shore.
We waited for horses. We were assured that they were just over the rise, beyond the empty field. There were flocks of terns, and Eider ducks, and sandpipers, and grebes, amidst the rocks and indigo water.
And then there were horses of many colors. They came over the hill toward us, chestnuts and paints and bays and duns, mostly mares, a few with foals, picking their way over the broken lumpy ground and through streams, pausing before a textured old barn, then pushing past a rocking shoreline. As they circled us, they were in turns illuminated and outlined by the heavenly morning light, filtered through high clouds.