Möðrudalur is a small settlement in the northeast of Iceland. It used to lie along the ring road, but modern efficiency has bypassed it.
Too bad, because that alternative to the ring road, called Möðrudalsleið, is much more exciting. There are dramatic views of the Herðubreið (which was, unfortunately, not yet accessible when we visited).
In contrast to the ring road, it is just a simple dirt road, but not too bad.
It climbs up the mountains and offers views of otherworldly beauty.
Heinrich von Kleist, when confronted with the landscape paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, wrote famously that it felt like one’s eyelids had been cut away. This landscape feels like this, too.
That this is so vast and still so simple creates confidence in its permanence. There is nothing to destroy here, and even if major earthquakes or volcanic eruptions take place, it will still look pretty much the same. Human souls should be like this.