|Westman Islands from the seashore in Iceland|
Before the end of summer, Hjörleifr's foster brother, Ingólfur Arnarson, famous as Iceland's first settler, learned of the deaths. Seeing the boat was missing, he gathered a party and sailed after them. The Norsemen surprised the escaped slaves and they fled. The settlers hunted down and killed all of them. The saga reports "the islands where these thralls were killed have been known ever since as the Vestmannaeyjar, becaue they were Vestmenn, Irishmen." The saga also notes that landmarks on the Westmen Islands carry the names of thralls who died there, but none of the maps available to me confirm that.
The story emphasizes the rich history of Iceland and importance of the Icelandic sagas even today.
Before breakfast we had a chance to take small boats around the bay (port). The cliffs were spectacular. As usual I photographed nature and not buildings or ships.
|Bay at Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland|
|Birds nesting on the cliffs, Westman Islands, Iceland|
|Houses on Heimaey|
|Westman Islands, Iceland|
|Chain of new islands running southwest, Westman Islands|
|Sheep on Westman Islands|
|Bay on Heimayr, Westman Islands|
|Lava flow from 1973 Eldfell eruption, Westman Islands|
(with Alaskan lupine)
The volcano, now taller, now better protects the harbor from storms and shelters the residents from the worst winds as well.
|House mostly buried by Eldfell eruption, Westman Islands|
|Icelandic horses, Westman Islands|
The Vestmannaeyjar were terrifically interesting and, upon closer inspection, not bleak at all!
Jones, G. The Norse Atlantic Sagas. 2nd ed. Oxford U. Press, 1986.
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Questions and comments welcome.