Friday, November 2, 2012

Bridges of Iceland

Photographs of F. Howell, Cornell University Library.

In their native country, Icelandic horses are known as the “Bridges of Iceland.”  Because of the island’s division by numerous, glacier-fed rivers, Icelanders relied on horses to carry them across the more remote areas of the country.  It was not until the 1960s that enough bridges and roads were built in Iceland to enable a motorist to drive from one end of Iceland to another.   Icelandic is crisscrossed with rushing glacier streams.  Any sort of travel in Iceland until modern times required a rock steady, sensible horse capable of navigating these tricky crossings.  Above, Icelandic riders cross the Brúará river around 1900.

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