Did you know that the Lord of the Rings author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was inspired by Iceland? With stories of trolls and Icelandic folk tales, Tolkien studied and translated many stories from the Old Norse during his education. He drew upon Echoes of William Morris’s Icelandic Journals. With a land enveloped and steeped in magic, how could it not be part of one of the greatest series ever written?
A small detour off Ring Road will lead you to Bakkagerdi in East Iceland where you can find the Dyrfjöll hike (Door Mountains), or better known as, The Black Gates of Mordor (or so they appear to be!).
And as you know,
One does not simply walk into Mordor.
Unless you’re M. And you’re nuts. After eyeing the snowcapped mountains, a 10km hike just didn’t seem in the cards for me that day.
So we went on to Bakkagerdi, Iceland and went on our own little “expedition”. I can totally see how Tolkien became inspired. This whole area is just so otherworldly with tales and monuments dedicated to the history of elves and trolls.
The colors of the landscape is nothing like I’ve ever seen.
…and did you know the old churches contained grass roofs? Reminds you a bit of hobbit houses.
And there is art depicting legends of old.
We decided to hike up to the top of where the Queen of Elves holds court. A quick 5 minute jaunt to the top is exactly what I was thinking in regards to hikes. The only warning given is to “not disturb the residents” – otherwise known as the trolls which resemble rocks. Good luck looking for them.
But the top is what was so incredibly surprising. Giggling I said to Shaun, “You know what would be funny? If the hill was hollow.”
…and it was. I hope I didn’t disturb the court.
And to add to the creepiness? A rune left on the floor of quartz crystal.
I have no idea where it came from and nobody has bothered it. I was starting to believe in elves more and more every day as we made our way through Iceland.
And M? He ended up taking the wrong turn at some point and as traveler luck may have it, we did run into him again.
In a tizzy he told us of the hike – including a quick snowstorm, glorious greens and lakes… and the possibility of seeing a troll. Something moved behind a rock while he was hiking at the top and he was VERY convinced of that.
After our experience at Court, I couldn’t argue.
In the land of fire and ice, just know that you are being watched by elves and trolls. And one you stop looking for them, they show up in the weirdest places.
Just you wait.
The last 3 photos were taken by M. Thank you so much for letting us use them!