Vestmannaeyjar (Heimaey Island), Iceland, August 7, 2013

Weather: Overcast, windy, high temp in l0w 50s

We took the tender with Ilan and Dahlia in late morning and walked around the village of around 4,000.   Vestmannaeyjar, a fishing village on this island,  is a short ferry ride away from the main island of Iceland.  A volcano erupted here in 1973 and they were able to get the people evacuated.  Some stayed behind in an attempt to save the harbor, as that is the livelihood of these residents.  They turned fire hoses on the lava and were able to prevent a lot of damage.  We walked around the lava and Ilan broke off from us and walked to the top of the volcano.  The 3 of us went to see the Stave church and then had lunch at Subway (yes--a taste of home), where Ilan found us.  We checked in around 2:30 to see about our scheduled tour, which was a circumnavigation of this island, but found it had been cancelled due to strong winds.  We were disappointed, and went in search of the puffins we had hoped to see on the tour.  Ilan spotted some in the cliffs and got some nice pictures with his good camera, while our pictures were very poor.  We bought a postcard of this cute little bird with the short wings who works so hard to fly anywhere (they are actually on the menu at some restaurants).  There are supposedly 8 million of these birds around this island at times, and we didn't get to see one up close.  Keiko, the whale from the Free Willy films, lived here for awhile before being freed.


Vestmannaeyjar1

Vestmannaeyjar


Vestmannaeyjar

Lava from eruption in 1973


Vestmannaeyjar-2

Blooming cactus in lava


Vestmannaeyjar-3

Stave church and our ship


Vestmannaeyjar-4

Cave in outer harbor


Puffins2

Puffins


Puffin2

Puffin (postcard)

© Jay 2013