Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7

Some thoughts on Place and Name in Iceland:

Every place has a name and a story in Iceland. I really mean everyplace. Sometimes two names. Above the town of Skagastrond (originally named Hofoakaupstaour, meaning Cape Borough but it was too hard for the Danes to pronounce so it was changed to the current name which means Foreland Shore) is a high ridge overlooking the sea. There is a network of walking routes with named places:

Holsnef (Hills Nose) or Hofoata (Cape’s Toe)
Trollamey (Troll Maiden)
Vaekilvik (Vaekil’s Creek)
Vaelugil (Wailing Canyon, my personal favorite)
Reioingsflot (Tackle Flat)
Sauoasker (Sheep Skerry)
Musasund (Mouse Straight)
Arnarstapi (Eagle Mesa)
Leynidalur (Secret Valley)
Rettarholtshaeo (Rettarholts Hill)
Spanske dys (Spanish Cairn where a Spanish sailor is said to be buried)
Landsendi – needs no translation.

All this within a forty minute walk. Perhaps all the names make the isolation and harsh climate a bit more welcoming.  

There are also an abundance of helpful road signs. Here are a few of my favorites - 

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