Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flying to Westman Isles

I next headed to the Westman Islands to see where my ancestors had lived. My tour wasn't going that way so I had to fly there on a free day. The Snorri Plus director Asta Sol made arrangements for me to be met at the airport there by a new cousin who would show me around. What an adventure all by myself! I left early at 7:30 am by taxi for my 8 am 20 minute flight to the Westman Isles by Eagle Air-a small two engine prop plane with room for 18 passengers-there were only 5 of us on board. I chose to fly since it takes 2 hours to drive to the ferry if I wanted to rent a car, then another 20 minutes to ferry which is a total of 3 hours or more which would leave only a few hours to explore the island before returning.

I was met at the airport by not one but three gentlemen-cousins who gallantly escorted me to their car for a tour around the small island. Ollie the driver (on the left above) was the policeman in town, the other two Borgbor and ? worked in the fishing industry if I remember correctly. They all spoke some English, but the driver Ollie spoke fluent English. They were excited to meet me their American cousin. We first toured the Mormon monument near the island golf course and the Mormon pool nearby in the ocean where many early converts were baptized. It was raining a little, so I took out my umbrella for the first time.

Sign to Mormon pool where many were baptized in the ocean,
it's on a golf course now. No trees anywhere near.

Mormon pool in center behind me circled by volcanic rocks

Closeup of Mormon pool center-small circular area,
my ancestors weren't baptized here but in Utah
when they arrived because of persecution at that time.

Monument to Mormon emigrants to Utah

Sheep are grazing on the hillsides and on islands nearby.

A nearby restoration of early primitive homes.

There were little trees so rocks and sod would have to do.

Timber structure within only.

For more photos of this trip, click below for two slide shows with captions from Picasa. Included in the show is a tour of the new Bggdasafm Folk Museum which has an excellent exhibit on the Mormon emigrants to America from the Westman Islands.
Westman Islands-part I
Westman Islands-part II


  1. What rugged country. Hardy people come from here, certainly. What a meaningful adventure you had.

  2. Well... I'm all caught up on your trip. what a great time you had!! Omagosh, so many new people to correspond with and share new information with as it comes to you. I have the feeling these precious memoreies may be building blocks for more to come. I certainly hope so.

    Can't wait to see you... I have three months to go.

  3. What a day filled with history and geology on that island! A starkly beautiful place.

  4. I won't say "WOW" again - but that is what I am feeling!! I can't explain how much these photos and stories touch my heart. Thank you for introducing me to our Icelandic heritage so many years ago - and double thank you for sharing this dream trip. Can't wait to see more!!

  5. What an interesting place, Lin. I am amazed.

  6. what a great adventure. how fun to be hosted by cousins youve never met

  7. I like this. You have me thinking about listening.

  8. It's nice to have those photos connect to the other photos. The scenery is breathtaking, but I think I would have been afraid to get on that little plane...you are very brave..