Reykjavik Iceland seen from Faxafloi bay on a winters day. This supposedly is much the same view the original settler in Iceland saw before he decided Reykjavik was the place to be. Without the buildings naturally. PIC Awfulknitter

A ccording to rather dubious legends two men from Norway sailed their ships here after a row with the King of Norway in the year 874. They first happened upon the south of the country where one of those men decided to go no further and make hay. The other one, Ingolfur Arnarson, decided to let the gods decide where to lay his hat. He ended up in Reykjavik.

How Ingolfur finally made landfall in Reykjavik has everthing to do with two large wooden pillars Ingolfur and his crew threw overboard according to legends. This was supposedly a common thing among Vikings back then and by letting the „gods“ decide one would get ashore at the very best place available to make a home.

In the Book of Settlement it is said the pillars came ashore where Reykjavik now stands and true to his word, Ingolfur Arnarson, made the place his home.

In light of things his choice, or the gods, was pretty damn good. The Faxafloi bay by which Reykjavik sits is one of few places in the country where you´ll find vast open spaces and easy access from the sea. In fact, it is hard to imagine anyone finding Iceland today not picking the very same place. A great bonus also was the fact that in many places steam rose from the earth here when mr. Arnarson came ashore due to hot water springs. He could thus boil his eggs without difficulty right away.

No one knows if the story is true but it has more holes than the very best Swiss cheese. Quite a lot of weird ocean currents would have to come together for wooden logs to end up in what is now Reykjavik. Then again, it is not at all certain Ingolfur and company were the first to make home in Iceland.

In any case, a nice story to tell your friends.

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