prophetess of numbers

Eyes as Big as Plates a project by Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen website:

With a population of only 300,000 people, Icelanders are on linguistic alert.  Everywhere else in the world one can say computer and it is universally understood. Iceland is different. A computer is a fusion of tala the word for number and volva the word for (prophetess). The Icelandic word for computer means prophetess of numbers.

Another example is the word video which in Icelandic is mynband:  translates to picture band.  The word helicopter which is universally understood as copter in most parts of the world, but not in Iceland.  Helicopter (pyrla) comes from the verb meaning to twirl and pjota meaning rush.

The House at Eyrarbakki and is one Iceland’s oldest buildings. It was transported to Iceland in kit from Denmark in 1765 . The house is a timber structure comprising two stories and an attic. I would have loved to be at the house raising.

One can walk along the coast between the two villages of Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri.  It’s a great view of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Library Box at Eyrarbakki.

My favorite mailbox.

Most Icelandic place names have meanings and most of the meanings come from Old Norse.  For example, Laugarvatn where the Gullikstan Artist in Residency is located means Hot Spring Lake which makes sense because the lake and area around the lake are geothermal.

The pallet chair at Eyrarbakkii.

The pallet bench at Eyrarbakkii.

The Soup Co sits on a wood platform with drift wood seats. It is housed in a container brought over from East Germany that was used to sterilize medical instruments. The Soup Co. is the best fish soup I’ve ever tasted. It’s next to the parking area for the black beach at Vik.

Reykjavik means Smoky Bay and refers to the hot springs that are all over Reykjavik.  Vik means harbor.  

The original schoolhouse, currently a hotel.

The first thing you see when entering Heradsskolinn Hostel in Laugarvatn Iceland.

The Hostel was built as a school in 1928. It was designed by one of the most famous architects in Iceland, Guojon Samuelsson. The current owners have re-cycled as much of the school furniture as possible and used it throughout the hostel. The dining room pictured above.

This is a replica of the original fisherman’s hut in Stokkseyri.

Iceland is full of stories.  The fisherman’s hut was built in memory of Thuridur Einarsdottir, the female boat foreman or helmsman of Gata in Stokkseyri.  Thuridur was born in 1777.  She started going to sea with her father as early as 11 years old and was a fisherman at age 17. Thuridur remained a fisherman for more than 50 years. She was foreman on a boat for 25 years.

No other women in Iceland is known to have had a career as a fisherman.  Thuridur was considered a good foreman and excellent fisherman.  Because of her position, Thuridur dressed as a man, for which she needed a special permit from the district sheriff.  She died at Eyrarbakki in 1863 at age 86.

Lupines cover entire mountainsides in this part of Iceland. The purple blooms line the roads: they will guide your car just like the white line along the road.

The color chart of Icelandic horses.

What will I miss most about Iceland? The Icelandic horses, every color, in every field, playful, friendly.

Home Sweet Home.



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