Iceland is one of those countries that no matter how meticulously you have explored, it will always maintain its mysterious beauty. To find one single country with an abundance of natural wonders is an extreme rarity and it is as difficult as finding a girl without make-up. This place on Earth is filled with vast green valleys woven with springs and rivers. Such is Selfoss. It is a place where your eyes can witness the spectacular waterfall near which there is a spot that have stopped in time. It is a place where you can make no difference between the houses and the mountains, because it seems that both are glued together. If you observe these turf houses from far, then they look like they are really built in the mountain.
Turf Houses – Greener Than Any Other House!
I do not refer to the color. It is true; the houses are green, which is logical since they are surrounded by turf. However, my sense of “greener” was more referring to ecologically friendly. We all know how much money and resources we spend every month or at least every winter to warm our houses so that we do not freeze to death. I know that today it is very in vogue to build environmentally friendly houses, but not only is that expensive, but it is not happening on a scale that I should be.
On the contrary, these houses, which are rather numerous are far more resource-efficient that ours will ever be. And smaller, for the matter of fact. Why? Because their walls and roofs are covered with turf and not with wires through which electricity runs through. Long time ago, the people who lived in these houses was cold as well. Or, in the case of Ireland, it was freezing. They had to find a solution. So, they built small, warm, turf houses.
Between Now and Then
This turf houses are not recently built so that they make some kind of point. They are built on the basis of Viking houses from the 9th century. The winters in these regions were severe and glacial. So, they had to think of something so that they are not forced to cut the entire forest down. And, they covered their houses with turf. Saying this it makes me question a lot about the evolution of humanity. Nevertheless, in Iceland there is a turf house museum you can visit. It is an open museum where you can walk through a village which is almost entirely made of turf houses. It has a church, cemetery and the houses standing one right next to the other and looking more or less the same.
Back in the time this was the way middle class lived. The houses are small with very nice interior. As previously said they have turf on the roofs and the external walls are also covered with turfs so that the houses are kept warm. In this medieval village there are some biiiig tunnel-like buildings, probably a place where meetings were held or dances organized. On the inside, the house takes you back in the time with old wooden tables and chairs, all wooden everything. The windows are small and sometimes there are windows up on the roofs so you get to see or touch the turf, while the view in winter is absolutely magical. Strolling down the paths for a moment makes you feel like you are strolling back in history. But, you know what? You can call these people medieval, but I still admire their advanced heating scheme.
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