Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum (The Árni Magnússon Insitute For Icelandic Studies) has a very handsome website, mainly in Icelandic as you would expect, but that's good because it immediately starts your brain learning Icelandic just by looking at it. Handrit, for instance, means, pretty obviously, manuscript. The rondel on the left is from this illumination detailing the stages of medieval book publishing. The last step, often forgotten, is to teach the kids to read.
You might think that having a volcano go off in the central business district would be the worst thing that could happen in the history of a town. But no. In 1627 Vestmannaeyjar and surrounding settlements on the south coast of Iceland were attacked by Barbary pirates under a Dutch captain named Murat Reis, and about 400 people were taken captive and sold as slaves in Algeria, and most of them never made it home again. In Vestmannaeyjar the event is remembered as Tyrkjaránið, the Turkish Raid. You can learn about it at the Sagnheimar Folk Museum. Or watch this news report.
Today ÍBV host Keflavík ÍF. Currently ÍBV sit mid-table and are going to miss out on Europe next year if they don't get it together. Keflavík have only three wins so far this season, so it's a timely visit. [1 - 1.]
Round Two of the Scottish Challenge Cup was played this midweek. Queen of the South, Raith Rovers, Annan Athletic, Falkirk, Dundee, Stenhousemuir and Formartine United of the Highland League advance, plus either Rangers or Berwick who play next week.
Morton lost 1 - 2 to Motherwell U20 in a closed door game at Dalziel Park, Carfin, a suburb of Motherwell. Cham was the Morton scorer. Dalziel is pronounced DL.
In Europe this week it was Shakhter Karagandy 2 - 0 Celtic; FH [0 - 2] Genk.
Iceland is opening a museum to volcanism at Vestmannaeyjar which will incorporate some of the buildings buried by ash in the 1973 eruption, including Gerðisbraut 10, where Gerður Sigurðardóttir's used to live.
ÍBV's midweek league game against Keflavík has been postponed to make way for the Europa League second qualifying round second leg match against Crvena Zvezda, also known as Red Star Belgrade. The first leg ended 2 - 0 in Red Star's favour, so ÍBV need to outscore the Serbs by three goals today to advance to the third qualiying round next week. [0 - 0. Red Star win 0 - 2 on aggregate. ÍBV are out.]
Other Europa League matches involving Icelandic or Scottish clubs:
Hibs 0 - 7 Malmö. Hibs are out.
Standard Liège 3 - 1 KR. KR are out.
St. Johnstone 1 - 1 Rosenborg. St Johnstone advance to the third round. Their opponent will be Minsk.
Sturm Graz 0 - 1 Breiðablik. Breiðablik advance to meet Kazakh side Aktobe in the third round.
On Tuesday in the Champions League Celtic beat Cliftonville 2 - 0 (5 - 0 on aggregate) to advance to the third qualifying round where they will face Elfsborg of Sweden.
FH, the 2012 Icelandic champions, beat Slovakian side Ekranas to advance. FH will face Austria Wien.
The SFL First Division has been renamed the Scottish Championship, though of course the winner of the Scottish Championship will not be Scottish champion.
"Icelanders and Faroese are cousins, really!" "Shut up while I stab you!"Picture.
Today is the first day of play in the 2013-14 Europa League, UEFA's second-tier club tournament. While the Champions League features the top clubs of the major European soccer countries, the Europa League pits the top clubs of the smaller European countries along with the runners-up of the big countries, roughly speaking. It's complicated and sprawling and there are coefficients involved. The first qualifying round, which starts today, is contested by clubs from the really small countries, a category that includes Iceland. Scottish clubs don't enter until the second qualifying round. Each match-up is played in two legs, or as we say in Canada, a home and home series.
Three Icelandic clubs play today:
KR host Glentoran FC, the Northern Irish cup winners. Amazingly, considering the nearly infinite number of possible match-ups, these two clubs met in the very same round just three years ago. KR won that time on an aggregate of 5 goals to 2. [0 - 0.]
FC Santa Coloma, the second-place finishers of Andorra, host Breiðablik. Do not confuse FC Santa Coloma with UE Santa Coloma, who also play today. [No, wait, the order of legs was reversed. This game is now in Iceland.] [Breiðablik win 4 - 0.]
And in the match of the day, ÍBV welcome HB Tórshavn, a red and black team from the Faroe Islands. [1 - 1.]
Today ÍBV host Fram. There are football clubs named Fram throughout Scandinavia, especially in Norway. Are they all named after Nansen's ship? Fram means forward, so it encapsulates a sporting ideal and is also the sort of thing a coach might yell at his players. Fram and from would be a good expression to describe the motion perpendicular to to and fro. [ÍBV beat Fram 1 - 0.]
Tuesday ÍBV traveled to Reykjavík to play Valur to a 1 - 1 score.
Are there any Scots in the Icelandic League? Fram have Jordan Halsman, who appeared in ten games for Morton in 2012-13; Alan Lowing, formerly of Rangers, Clyde and East Fife; and Steven Lennon, formerly of Rangers and Partick Thistle. Valur have Iain Williamson, formerly of Dunfermline and Raith.
Football always has been a summer sport in Iceland. The chorus to the ÍBV club song begins "ÍBV, ÍBV, fögnum saman sumarlangt", or in English "IBV, IBV, welcome summer together."
On Monday the membership of the new Lowland League was announced. The founding clubs will be: Spartans, Threave Rovers, Preston Athletic, Gretna 2008,
Whitehill Welfare, Dalbeattie Star, East Kilbride, Selkirk,
Gala Fairydean Rovers, Edinburgh City, University of Stirling
and Vale of Leithen. Map.
Between the election of East Kilbride FC to the Lowland League and Clyde FC's coming relocation to EK, there now looms the prospect of an East Kilbride derby.
Heart of Midlothian FC are in administration and will play 2013-14 with a 15-point penalty, and without as many players as they can sell, which is good news for Partick.
Yesterday Consadole Sapporo hosted FC Gifu who currently sit 21st in their 22-team division, and won 4 - 0.
Hjorleif put in at Hjorleifshofdi, where in those days there was a fjord stretching right up to the headland. Hjorleif had two houses built there; the ruins of one of them measures eighteen fathoms across, and the other nineteen. Hjorleif spent the winter there. In the spring he wanted to sow. He had only one ox and told his slaves to pull the plough. One day when Hjorleif and his men were at the houses, Dufthak put it to his fellow-slaves that they should slaughter the ox and say a brown bear had killed it, then they could attack Hjorleif and his men, should they go looking for the bear. So they went along and told Hjorleif, and when he and his men spread out in the woods looking for the bear, the slaves set on them, and murdered them all, one after another, just as many men as there were slaves. Then the slaves ran away with the dead men's boat and their wives and goods. They rowed over to the islands they'd seen to the south-west and prepared themselves for a longish stay.
Ingolf had two slaves called Vifil and Karli, and he sent them west along the shore to look for his highseat pillars. When they came to Hjorleifshofdi, they found Hjorleif dead there, so they turned back to tell Ingolf what had happened. He took the death of Hjorleif and his men badly. He set out west to Hjorleifshofdi, and when he saw Hjorleif he said, "It's a sad end for a warrior, to be killed by slaves; but in my experience, this is what always happens to people who won't hold sacrifices."
Ingolf had Hjorleif and his men buried, and took over his ship and various other things of his. Then he climbed to the top of the headland and saw some islands lying to the southwest, and it occurred to him that since the boat was missing, the slaves might have fled there. They set out in search of the slaves and found them in the islands at a place called Eid. They were eating a meal when Ingolf and his men surprised them, and the slaves were so frightened they scattered in all directions. Ingolf killed every one of them. The place where Dufthak met his death is called Dufthaksskor. Many of the slaves jumped over a cliff that's been called after them ever since, as have the islands where the slaves were killed, which were named Westmanna Islands since the men came from the west. Ingolf and his men took the widows of the murdered men back with them to Hjorleifshofdi, and there he spent the following winter.
Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards (translators), The Book of Settlements Landnámabók, pages 20-21.
Heimaey is only 6.3 square miles, but it has five soccer pitches: Þórsvöllur, Hásteinsvöllur and Týsvöllur are the three green ones by the golf course; Battavöllur is the grey one and Helgafellsvöllur the yellow one. Þórsvöllur and Týsvöllur are named for the two historic island clubs Þór and Týs, which were themselves named after Norse gods. Hásteinsvöllur seems to take its name from the nearby hill instead of any Viking named Hástein. Large portions of Heimaey are under the control of puffins.
ÍBV host Fylkir who are currently eleventh with no wins and two draws. [ ÍBV win 3 - 1.]
What do the Icelandic speakers call association football? Fótbolti. But also knattspyrna.
Montreal Impact won the Canadian championship Wednesday.
Today is the final of the Scottish Junior Cup, featuring junior powerhouses Auchinleck Talbot and Linlithgow Rose. Each club has won this trophy three times in the 21st Century alone. [Auchinleck Talbot win 1 - 0.]
Consadole Sapporo visited Yokohama yesterday and won 0 - 2. Sapporo's Yasuaki Okamoto is tied for eighth place with eight other scorers who have five goals.
ÍBV play in the top Icelandic men's soccer league, the Úrvalsdeild (known this year as the Pepsideild owing to a deal with Pepsi). The sports club was founded in 1903, and they have been Icelandic football champions three times, in 1979, 1997 and 1998, and have won the Icelandic Cup four times, in 1968, 1972, 1981 and 1998. Last season they finished third, qualifying them for entry into the earliest round of the 2013-14 Europa Cup. They wear white at home, and red and black away. Their home field is Hásteinsvöllur, which accommodates 2,834, mostly standing. The Icelandic soccer season being so brief, ÍBV play only 22 league games.
The team is managed by Hermann Hreiðarsson, a local boy who made it big in English football, playing for Crystal Palace, Brentford, Wimbledon, Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth and lastly Coventry City, in addition to 89 appearances for the Icelandic national team. While at Pompey he won the 2008 FA Cup, along with legendary English keeper David James. This season he has recruited James to play for ÍBV.
Today Vestmannaeyjar host Breiðablik, who take their club name from Baldur's house. Breiðablik are fresh off their 2013 League Cup victory. The Dieldebikar, or League Cup, is played before the season begins, and if I'd been more on the ball I would have covered it here. It takes the 24 Úrvalsdeild and 1. deild karla teams and divides them into three groups of eight. Each club plays seven games and the top eight overall move on to a knockout stage, with quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final which was played on April 27. ÍBV didn't get beyond the group stage. [ÍBV win 4 - 1.]
Vestmannaeyjar is a fishing town on the island of Heimaey off the south coast of Iceland. Readers of the National Geographic magazine will recall that a volcano nearly wiped out the place in 1973. The name means Westman Islands and refers to the first people to set foot on it, a boatload of escaped Irish slaves. The Norse called the Irish Westmen.
Manager Allan Moore has signed on for another year at Cappielow. Motherwell's Micheal Higdon was charged with assault less than 24 hours after he was named Player of the Year. Yesterday in the Scottish Football League First Division playoff
semifinals Forfar and Brechin were eliminated, setting up a Dunfermline/Alloa final.