Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Just finished reading Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Decided to pick it up for the second time and it will be read again as a treasured classic.

Professor Lidenbrock and Axel encounter the Ichthyosaurus and the Plesiosaurus in their travels. Verne’s classic was published in 1864, only a few decades after fossils of both creatures were discovered by Mary Anning of Dorset, England. Anning’s fossil discoveries included the first ichthyosaurus skeleton; the first two plesiosaurus skeletons; the first pterosaurus skeleton found out of Germany; and other fish fossils.

Mary_Anning_painting.jpg
Mary Anning and her dog Tray, credited to “Mr Grey” in Crispin Tickell’s book Mary Anning of Lyme Regis, (1996), Wikipedia

I also have a suspicion that my first reading of Verne’s classic years ago would have contributed to my love for Iceland. Professor Lidenbrock purchases a copy of an Icelandic saga by Snorri Sturluson and they also travel to Reykjavik to climb Snæfells.

I was super fortunate enough to visit Borgarnes on my trip in 2008, including a visit to The Settlement Centre which recreates early Iceland and the Saga of Egill Skalla-Grimsson. Egill was the son Skalla-Grimur Kveldulfsson, who was one of the very first Viking settlers, and who claimed the land around Borgarnes.

In 2016, my sister and I will climb three of the tallest peaks in Australia. We will climb Mt Bogong in VIC, Mt Kosciusko in NSW and Mt Tennent in ACT and we’ll do this in just 33 hours over 3 days. I’m taking this up as a mental and physical challenge, and look forward to continuing climbing in the future, with my sights set on the peaks of Iceland.

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