“The weird, fire-blasted, and flood-scourged wilderness on all sides was as silent as death, save when we approached some dark lagoon and startled up the flocks of water-fowl that dwelt in its sedgy borders.” (Chapter XLVI: The Road to Thingvalla, 450.)
“The only stone building in Reykjavik of any importance is the “Cathedral;” so called, perhaps, more in honor of its great antiquity than anything imposing about its style or dimensions. At present it shows no indications of age, having been patched, plastered, and painted into quite a neat little church of modern appearance.” (Chapter XLIII: Reykjavik, The Capital of Iceland, 466.)
“In the course of our journey, we frequently overtook pack-trains laden with dried fish from the sea-shore. The main dependence of the people throughout the country, during the winter, is the fish caught during the summer. When dried it is done up in packs and fastened on each side of the horse… ” (Chapter XLVI: The Road to Thingvalla, 450.)
“It would be difficult to conceive anything more impressive than this first view of the land of snow and fire. A low stretch of black boggy coast to the right; dark cliffs of lava in front; far in the background, range after range of bleak, snow-capped mountains, the fiery Jokuls dimly visible through drifting masses of fog; to the left a broken wall of red, black, and blue rocks, weird and surf-beaten, stretching as far as the eye could reach—this was Iceland!” (Chapter XLII: First Impressions of Iceland, 433.)
“It seemed very strange to be traveling in Iceland, actually plodding my way over deserts of lava, and breathing blasts of air fresh from the summit of Mount Hecla! I was at last in the land of the Sagas—the land of fire, and brimstone, and boiling fountains!—the land which, as a child, I had been accustomed to look upon as the ultima Thule, where men, and fish, and fire, and water were pitted against each other in everlasting strife.” (Chapter XLVI: The Road to Thingvalla, 450.)
Sources: J. Ross Browne, The Land of Thor, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1867.