Tag Archives: Peace

Maria of the Elves

Women were put to death for visiting elves here on Viðey in Reykjavik Old Harbour. Now there is a shrine to Maria made out of cut glass in their honour and in honour of birth and motherhood in general.

On the other side of the island is the John Lennon Peace Tower, which beams light up into the winter darkness.

Iceland. Giving Peace and Light a chance since 870.

Plus picnics.

Iceland at War and Peace

The Battle of Örlygsstaðir was fought in a sheepfold on August  21, 1238. A terrible business. It was fought here.


It was a rout. It’s hard to defend yourself behind a three-foot-high loose stone wall. Little is left.p1190503

There’s a bench, for when the grimness of battle and waste overcomes you.


But, look: sheep!p1190507-2

Battles come and go, but sheep remain.

Forget the cruise missiles. Take the long view. Go with the sheep.



So, You Want to Start a War, Eh?

Think again. This is a nature preserve in the Whale Fjord in West iceland.p1400403 It is also one of the runways of the fighter base that protected the Allied Fleet during the Battle of the Atlantic during the early 1940s. Here’s another view. Back then, this fjord would have been filled with ships, protected by fighter cover and a submarine net across the mouth of the fjord.p1400402 This is the naval base today.p1400400

Iceland has, wisely, left this history almost unacknowledged, and has given this land to the birds. We can honour that forever. We don’t have to stop honouring that wisdom any time soon.