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Drangey Island

Region: North Iceland
Coordinates: 65.9464363° N 19.6974189° W

About Drangey Island

The island Drangey is a cliff, approximately 7 hundreds thousands of years old, but still protruding from the sea and surviving. Its highest point rises about 180 m above the mean sea level and its area is about 0,2 km². With the modern equipment of cliff climbing, it is not too difficult to conquer, but there is only one way to get to its top without venture. In the past, it was the larder of the communities around the Skagafjordur Bay. People used it as grazings, for the collection of eggs, for the catch of different kinds of birds to prepare for the winter months.

The egg collectors were roped down the cliffs as they still do nowadays, and sometimes accidents happen. In the past such accidents were considered to be the doings of evil spirits and one of the bishops of the northern see, Gudmundur the good, was convinced to consecrate the island to at least minimize the accidents there. He was roped down the cliffs all around the island, where he kept blessing and throwing holy water around, until he came to a certain spot. It must be mentioned, that he had already blessed one of the threads of his rope, when it came to that. At that point, when he was consecrating the cliffs, a huge and a hairy hand with a sharp knife came out to cut his rope, only managing to cut two of the threads. The hairy hand was followed by a deep voice, telling him to leave a part of the cliffs to the spirits of the other world or the old faith. He stopped on the spot, understanding, that there had to be a place for other beings.

Since then this part of the island, which has not yet been consecrated, is called The Heathen Cliff. When you climb the island, which is necessary for everyone, who travels through the area, you are supposed to recite The Lords Prayer at the altar of the bishop before you attempt the climb to the plateau of the island. One should read the Saga of Grettir the strong, which is tightly connected to the island.

Photo Credit: Bromr

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