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Bolungarvík | by hó
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Bolungarvík

Bolungarvík is a fishing village in the Westfjords of Iceland, with a little less than 1,000 inhabitants. It is located in a sheltered bay below Mt. Bolafjall (Bull mountain), close to rich fishing grounds. According to The Book of Settlements, Þuríður sundafyllir (Thurid the fjord-filler, her nickname coming from supposed magic powers to lure fish into coastal waters) settled in Bolungarvík aroung 940 along with her brother Þjóðólfur. They came from northern Norway, and had supposedly more knowledge about fishing than most other settlers of Iceland. Þuríður established a fishing outpost in Bolungarvík, allowing anyone who wished to fish from her lands, but demanding one sheep a year for rent. It has been claimed that she thereby became the first tax authority in Iceland, as well as the establisher of the oldest notable fishing outpost on the island.

 

Folklore says Þuríður and Þjóðólfur had a disagreement and put a spell on each other, as they were both skilled sorcerers. Þuríður laid on her brother that he would spend eternity as a monolith on which all birds would shit. Þjóðólfur in turn hexed his sister that she would turn to stone and forever stand where the wind blows most. The pillar that was said to be Þuríður collapsed in half in 1836. The legend says that the same night "Þjóðólfur" sank in the sea.

 

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Taken on July 20, 2009