Photography · Travel

Shipwrecks and Thor on Videy Island

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We’ve finally returned from a long series of trips that took us to the east coast, Iceland, and on a cross country trip with stops in Pittsburgh, PA, St. Louis, MO, Salina, KS, Denver, CO, Vernal, UT, Salt Lake City, UT, Boise, ID, and Hood River, OR, with lots of great stops in between. I have yet to work through the photographs from our road trip, but do have some to share from Videy Island.

Although many folks rent a car when they visit Iceland, we decided against it. Maybe it’s thriftiness, more likely it’s learning to travel when we were college students relying on late night bus connections and regional trains, but we thought it would force us to slow down and enjoy smaller bits of Iceland at a time. As a compromise of sorts, we instead purchased a Reykjavik City Card, which gave us access to public buses and national museums, as well as a nifty little ferry (read: small passenger boat) to Videy Island.

Classic rock and peace activism enthusiasts alike are most likely to recognize Videy for Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower. The tower itself is close to the small dock, and a short five minute walk upon arrival on the uninhabited island.

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Unfortunately (depending on how you think of it), the sun only kind of sets in Iceland in summer. While the sun technically falls below the horizon, the country is still well lit right up until dawn. Because of that, we saw Imagine Peace Tower’s base, but not its towering light.

The tourism folks in Iceland have really figured out how to make something like an uninhabited island extremely interesting. Videy Island, as it turns out, is historically significant, once important for worship and small industry. Before boarding our little passenger boat across the bay, we picked up a map that indicated dozens of interesting points, including public art by Yoko Ono (above) and Richard Serra (below); the site of a shipwreck; Thor’s headland, thought once to have been a worship site of the Norse god; and a now abandoned village.

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Serra framed beautiful views of Iceland with his stones.

Richard Serra’s Afangar (“Standing Stones”) features sets of two tall stones throughout Videy Island, each framing separate – and beautiful – views of Iceland.

The island isn’t all public art and peace, however, as this monument (below) to a shipwreck attests.

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We loved our visit to Videy Island, and spent many hours exploring there – including an attack by a horde of Arctic tern (small beautiful defensive birds that dive-bomb trespassing heads).

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