Abbot Nicholas the pilgrim
"Next to Denmark is Lesser Sweden; then is Oeland, then Gottland, then Helsingeland, then Vermeland, and the two Kvendlands, which lie north of Biarmeland. From Biarmeland stretches desert [the Norse is actually "óbygð", "uninhabited"] land towards the north, until Greenland begins [or, perhaps better "until it joins with Greenland"]. South of Greenland is Helluland; next is Markland, from thence it is not far to Vinland the Good, which some think goes to Africa; and if this is so, the sea must extend between Vinland and Markland. It is told that Thorfinn Karlsefne cut wood here to ornament his house, and went afterwards to seek out Vinland the Good. He came there where they thought the land was, but did not reach it, and got none of the wealth of the land. Leif the Lucky first discovered Vinland, and then he met some merchants in distress at sea, and by God's grace, saved their lives. He introduced Christianity into Greenland, and it flourished so much that an Episcopal seat was set up in the place called Gardar. England and Scotland are an island, and yet each is a separate kingdom. Ireland is a great island. These countries are all in that part of the world called Europe."
The oldest surviving version, from manuscript AM 736 I 4to in the Arnamagnaean collection at Copenhagen University (dated c1290-1310):
"North of Germany is Denmark. The ocean runs into the Baltic Sea, near Denmark. Sweden lies east of Demark, and Norway at the north. North of Norway is Finnmark. The coast bends thence to the north-east, and then towards the east, until it reaches Permia,which is tributary to Russia. From Permia, desert tracts extend to the north, reaching as far as Greenland. Beyond Greenland, southward, is Helluland; beyond that is Markland; from thence it is not far to Vinland, which some men are of the opinion extends to Africa. England and Scotland are one island; but each is a separate kingdom. Ireland is a great island. Iceland is also a great island north of Ireland. All these countries are situated in that part of the world called Europe."
NB: Two entries referring to Abbot Nicholas in medieval Icelandic annals caused some confusion to historians which, due to the Internet republishing of old academic works now in the public domain, has been revived in recent years (the substance of this correction is taken from an Internet discussion with two Scandinavian scholars who independently worked out the solution by checking the source documents).
First, though he became an abbot in 1155, when the Thveraa monastery was founded, annalists reported his return from pilgrimage in 1154 as "Utkvama Nikulass abota"- because they were writing retrospectively, after he had become abbot. The apparent date discrepancy led historian Finnur Jonsson to claim in his "Historia Ecclesiastica Islandiae" in 1778 that there were two Abbots Nicholas, one at Thveraa (who died in 1160) and a near-contemporary at Thingeyre, Iceland's oldest monastery (who died in 1158). That last piece of information was taken from an entry in the later compilation called the Flatey Annals, referring to the deaths of: "Nikulas aboti ok Eyjolfur prestr Sæmundarson". Most annalists referred simply to the death of Abbot Nicholas, in a separate entry, and placed the event in 1159- given the changes in the date of New Year since the Middle Ages, this could easily be misconstrued as either 1158 or 1160.
Another historian, Eric Werlauff (in his 1821 book "Symbolas ad geographiam medii ævi ex monumentis Islandicis edendo") reasoned that the Flatey entry, referring literally to "Nicholas the abbot and Eyolf the priest Sæmundarson" reported the deaths of two members of the same family. So now the second Abbot Nicholas had a family, and he became, for a century or more "Nicholas Sæmundarson, abbot of Thingeyre".
Only later did the uncertainty about the dates and phrasing of the annal entries (try translating the end of the second one in the proper Icelandic way as "...son of Sæmund") and the lack of other references to such an abbot at Thingeyre, cause scholars to check the evidence and banish the imaginary abbot into the realms of fiction.