sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Siren's Song

Are there really Seal People in the Faroe Islands?

Over the years, strong men from the small village of Mikladalur slowly disappeared. Killed at sea amongst the swirling waves of the North Atlantic, they tragically fell from fog-shrouded cliffs, drowned whilst fishing, or simply found themselves overpowered by the powerful storms that so often batter this region.

Kópakonan
Their deaths are no accident. Instead, they are the result of a curse cast by Kópakonan: the notorious ‘seal woman’ of the Faroe Islands. 

The story goes that after years of being held captive on land, Kópakonan escaped and returned to sea, reunited with her husband and children. Years later, when the villagers murdered her family, she returned to land – angry and distraught. Here, in front of the village, she declared that the men of Mikladalur would meet unexpected, watery deaths, until so many had died that they could link hands around the shores of the island of Kalsoy.

With a thunderous clap, she vanished without a trace.

It's Lake Leitisvatn, not a photoshop job.
Today, all that stands in her place is a statue: the bereft Kópakonan, clutching her seal clothing. Windswept and alone, she is a reminder to the men of the village of the dangers of the ocean and the mythical magic of the Faroe Islands.

There is something wild and wonderful that happens when you go to distant lands if you are able to take the time and explore. Exploration requires patience that takes time to develop in some people. It's best to mute the cell phone and to walk, look, listen and try to connect with the place - and occasionally with the ghosts of the place.

There are lots of Ghosts in the Faroe Islands: Vikings, ice giants, witches, Scottish sailors, Irish monks and even a few remnants of the Cold War. 

The islands, located between Scotland and Iceland have strategic value when tracking Russian ships and submarines that are headed West from Murmansk and the Kola Peninsula. 

The water is cold but the hospitality of the place is warm and inviting.


12 comments:

  1. Thanks for that, it makes me want to explore the Faroe Islands and meet Kopokonan.

    Mind you, this part of Texas has turned into a series of islands thanks to torrential rain.

    I don't know how many unfortunates have fallen victim to the Seal Woman on the way to Karen's bean and brisket burrito shop.

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    1. That cemetery's shocking, Kopokonan's obviously been busy in Itasca...

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    2. I am hungry for a Karen's brisket burrito. The cemetery in Itasca is depressing though - all of those war dead from that little town. It's as if Kopakonan had a franchise there.

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  2. Tough people live at the ends of the Earth.

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  3. That lake looks one earthquake away from draining into the sea!

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    Replies
    1. Or a volcanic eruption from turning into steam.

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  4. One of these days, I'm gonna disappear from my normal life and appear suddenly in Torshavn.

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    Replies
    1. It's one of those things that needs to be on the bucket list.

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  5. Very tough people. A cold and stark beauty can be found in the Faroes though.

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    Replies
    1. Did you ever land your P-3 there?

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  6. Beautiful place and a very interesting story.

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