Hrafna-FLóki

  • Hrafna Flóki headed into Vatnsfjörður where he at last found something remotely akin to the tales he had been told. Mild weather, fertile land,

 

Hrafna-Flóki  (Raven-Flóki) was the first known Norseman to move deliberately lock, stock and barrel to Iceland in the 9th century. He had heard tales about the lovely island in the far west. It was believed to be extremely fertile and awash in green pastures. No tales of glaciers, snowstorms or volcanoes. Surely, those telling the tales must have made a mere stopover on a particularly nice summer's day. The island went by the name of Garðarshólmi and Flóki wanted a piece of it. He sailed from Western Norway, via the Shetlands where he lost one daughter due to drowning. He headed off to the Faeroe Islands where he lost another daughter due to marriage. Undaunted he kept sailing westwards with not much happening. Until, one day he released three ravens to help him find this arctic Shangrila.

The first raven flew back to the Faeroes. The second raven flew up into the air before returning to Flóki's boat. The third raven flew northwest and did not return. With a logic that defies modern reason, Flóki deduced it to mean he was close to land. So he followed the third Raven. From then on Flóki was known as Hrafna-Flóki.

Hrafna-Flóki sailed his boat along Iceland’s south-coast and circled the Reykjanes Peninsula. He kept going towards the north, passing the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and sailing into the picturesque Breiðafjörður. He headed into Vatnsfjörður where he at last found something remotely akin to the tales he had been told. Mild weather, fertile land, i.e. Alas, that didn't last. Winter was upon him, and Flóki was ill equipped for the reality of the Icelandic winter. He set up camp at Brjánslækur and commenced on waiting for spring. When it at last arrived, Flóki hiked to the top of Nónfell Mountain to try to figure out what in deuce name was going on. The sight was not reassuring. The sea was covered with drift ice as far as they eye could reach. He promptly renamed the island Iceland and left.

Upon returning to Norway, Hrafna-Flóki told everyone Iceland was worthless. Still, it didn't prevent him from sailing back there a few years later. This time, he settled in Brjánslækur and lived there for the rest of his life. 

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Below is the location of Vatnsfjörður home of Hrafna Flóki on the map of Iceland