Leg Breaker by Kaspars Dzenis
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Leg Breaker

April 15, 2021

There are many ancient roads and passages in Iceland that played key roles in the lives of early settlers. One such route is Leggjabrjótur and it runs from the bottom of Hvalfjörður all the way to þingvellir. It's about 17 kilometers long with an elevation of up to 500 meters. It offers magnificent views of the surroundings, with many deep gullies, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and majestic mountain peaks. In this image you can see one of the views right along this route. Here, a series of waterfalls of Hvalðskarðsá river can be seen with Háasula peak in their background.

From the early settlement up until late middle ages merchants that placed their ships in Maríuhöfn in Hvalfjörður traveled along this route to offer the goods at the gathering of Alþingi in þinvellir. This has been recorded in Kjalnesinga saga.

The name of this route, Leggjabrjótur or leg breaker, can be explained with a few verses that were written down by Reverend Jón þórláksson. There he describes how difficult it was to navigate as well as how his horse got stuck while walking it.

Hvalfjöður, Iceland
Nikon D810, Irix 11mm

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