“Heimaey - Vestmannaeyjar Islands”

The Westman Islands in the South of Iceland. In 1973 there was a sudden eruption of the Eldfell volcano (Eldfell = Mountain of fire) which is the left one of the reddish cones in the picture. The lava flow would have blocked the harbour if the residents hadn’t stopped it in time by pumping tons of sea water on it which cooled the lava down before it could reach the harbour. The volcano to the right is the Helgafell volcano which recently erupted about 6.000 years ago. 


The Face of an Elephant Emerges from a Cliff in Iceland

Located on the coast of Iceland on the island Heimaey, the face of an elephant mysteriously appears. Created from natural rock formations, the mountainous shape is composed mainly of basalt rock, which oddly resemble the texture of an elephant’s skin. View more photographs of the stunning natural phenomenon on Flickr.

Heimaey: Blick am Abend über die Westmännerinsel Heimaey, der größten von etwa 15 bis 18 Inseln der Westmännerinsel-Gruppe.

Evening view over Heimaey Island, the biggest of about 15 to 18 islands of the Westman Islands group.

There’s this really interesting 80s documentary called “The Volcano Watchers” featuring the French Volcanologists Maurice and Kaita Krafft on their first research trips to Eldfell on Heimaey, Iceland, the Hawaiian Islands, Africa, Indonesia and Japan. It’s a fascinating watch with some beautiful imagery!


Herjólfsbærinn (Herjólfur´s farmhouse), Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland.

via Jack and Petra Clayton on Flickr

Description provided on Flickr:

“The farmhouse in Herjólfsdalur is a prototype of what might have been the oldest human habitation signs in Iceland.

The remains of the farm was discovered in 1924, when the first director of the National Museum was doing excavation work in Herjólfsdalur valley. He discovered 3 ruins; one long-house and two smaller houses. It seems like it was the long-house of Herjólfur Bárðarson, the first settler of Vestmannaeyjar islands. So the old remains might date back to the early 9th century.”

Segment of the Grœnlendinga saga, Chp. 2:


  1. Description from Flickr (see link above)
  2. Old Norse and English text from Grœnlendinga saga in Jesse Byock’s Viking Language 1: Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas, Lesson 1, pg. 46.

On January 23, 1973, a fissure ripped the island of Heimaey open, releasing a fountain of lava on the tiny Icelandic town of Vestmannaeyjar, known as the “Pompeii of the North.” The fissure that opened followed several tremors, and the resulting eruption lasted five months and left a 660-foot volcano, called Eldfell, in its wake.

Peter Holliday’s gorgeous photos in Where The Land Rises are remote and ethereal, and feel a bit melancholy even if you don’t know the story of what happened there. They convey the vast desolation of a tiny island in a vast sea, and the quiet of the snowy landscape. 

Read more about Holliday’s project and check out more photos.