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Herdubreid, Iceland

Herdubreid Reviews

sandraljoska sandralj…
31 reviews
Jan 13, 2008
The crownlike formation of Herðubreið has earned it the nickname "Queen of the Icelandic Mountains" and I think that is a good nickname because I think Herdubreid is the most beautyful mountain in Iceland.

the height of 1682m, it towers over the surrounding Ódáðahraun (Desert of Misdeeds), a featureless lavafield north of Vatnajökull.

Herðubreið is a tuya in the north-east of Iceland. It is situated in the Highlands of Iceland in the midst of the desert Ódáðahraun and not far from Askja, another famous volcano. The desert is a very big lava field originating from eruptions of the volcano Trölladyngja. Herðubreið originally sat beneath Vatnajökull, which was much larger during the last ice age.

Herdubreid is a famous target for painters, and there are alot of paintings with Herdubreid, the queen on it.

one artist called Storval painted many hundreds of paintings with Herdubreid on. He really loved Herdubreid.

The mountain has very steep and unstable sides. So it was only in 1908 that hikers climbed for the first time up to its top.

Near the mountain lies an oasis called Herðubreiðarlindir with a camp ground and famous hiking trails. In former times, outcasts lived there who had been excluded from Icelandic society because of crimes they had committed.

Iceland’s most famous outlaws since saga times were the seventeenth-century Eyvindur and his harsh-tempered wife, Halla. They are the only Icelandic outlaws to have managed twenty years on the run, thus earning themselves a pardon; many places around Iceland are named after Eyvindur, showing just how much he had to keep moving.

Abandoning their farm in the West Fjords, they set up at Hveravellir, now on the Kjölur route, robbing travellers and stealing sheep from nearby properties. Eventually chased on by a vengeful posse, they shifted south to the Þjórsá west of Hekla for a few years – the easiest time of his outlawry, so Eyvindur later said – then to remoter pastures on the Sprengisandur, which hadn’t been crossed for many years at this point. Caught after stealing a horse, Eyvindur and Halla were held at Mývatn’s church, from where Eyvindur managed to escape by asking to be untied so that he could pray. As luck would have it, a thick fog came down and he was able to hide nearby until people had given up looking for him, thinking him far away. He then stole another horse and rode it south to Herðubreiðarlindir (see above), where he somehow survived an appalling winter in a "cave" he built into the lava here. Later on, he met up with Halla again and they drifted around the country, always just managing to evade capture but forced by hunger or pursuit to kill their infant children. Tradition has it that after being pardoned they returned to their farm, where they died in the late seventeenth century.
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