The Mysterious Elliðaey Island: Bjork’s Retreat Or Hermit’s Paradise?

If you’re a fan of looking at travel stuff online then you’ve probably seen this picture at one time or another:

Ellidaey Island Famous Internet Picture

It’s often posted without much context or even a name to associate the island with, so looking at the picture ends up being a mysterious experience.

You can’t help but wonder, where is this place? and who the heck lives in such an isolated house?

Depending on who you are, you might think it a fabulous location to live (hey, no one to bother you with __anything__). Or it might seem like a nightmare (so lonely, not even a tree for company!).

Bjork Rumored Owner Of Elliðaey IslandThe picture is so widespread and intriguing that an urban legend has sprung up about the island and the house on it. The story goes that this island was given to Icelandic singer Bjork by the prime minister of Iceland in 2000, so that she could have a secluded place to vacation.

Well it turns out that this is an island in Iceland called Elliðaey (pronounced et-li-die) Island.
Sadly the image of Bjork experimenting with new song ideas by belting them out in the remote cliffs of Elliðaey Island is only a work of fiction. The single building is actually a hunting lodge used as a shelter for puffin hunters. No one has lived on the island since the 1930’s, when believe it or not five families lived on the island and survived by hunting puffins, fishing, and raising cattle.

What a life that must have been. I want to find out more about these families that existed on such a tiny and remote island. But for now I’ll settle for gazing at the grassy and windswept island called Elliðaey.

Full Picture Of Ellidaey Island Iceland

So whenever life starts to stress you out, just look at a picture of Elliðaey Island. Imagine yourself kicking back and listening to a Bjork album, with no one around to even think about bothering you with their Human Behavior.

November 6, 2016

It’s Not A Bloodbath… It’s La Tomatina

Picture of the La Tomatina festival with a man taking cover from the onslaught of tomatoes.
When I first saw this picture out of the corner of my eye I was a bit shocked.

In the split second I had before taking a deeper look, it appeared to be a picture of a scene from a horrific war zone, with a guy crouching low to avoid flying bullets and the red blood of other more unlucky people splattered all over the place.

A gruesome scene! Or so I thought lol.

On closer inspection I saw that the picture was unlikely to be a scene from a war zone and that the red stuff looked suspiciously like…ketchup.

That’s when I realized what it really was. Well, actually I couldn’t remember the name of the event but I thought to myself “Hey it’s that weird tomato festival they have in Spain every year.”

La Tomatina is the name, and a massive snowball fight with tomatoes is the game.

You might recognize La Tomatina from seeing footage shown on the news around the time of year La Tomatina is held. The footage always shows mobs of wild-eyed and grinning people slipping and sliding around in lumpy tomato soup and, most importantly, having a fantastic time pummeling each other with an infinite supply of tomatoes.

Picture of a group of tourists posing in tomatoes during the La Tomatina festival in Bunol, Spain.
The awesome pictures of La Tomatina shown in this post were taken by Flydime, who attended the festival in 2010 and kindly agreed to let them be posted here in all their tomato covered glory.

But what’s with the whole throwing tomatoes around thing? And where do they even get all those tomatoes from anyway?

Apparently there are a few differing stories out there as to how La Tomatina started, but most of them say that the spark for La Tomatina happened when some young people staged a food fight during a parade in a town called Buñol, using veggies from a nearby vegetable stand.

The police weren’t happy about this and broke things up, forcing the people to pay for damages done by crossfire from the food fight.

The next year people showed up again to stage a food fight, but this time they brought tomatoes from home to use. Once again the police weren’t happy and broke up the food fight. But each year more and more people kept showing up for a tomato fight during the parade and it started to snowball into a tradition.

Authorities tried to resist, and even jailed many of the food fight participants, but the townspeople of Buñol demanded that the young people be released from jail.

Picture of a woman throwing a tomato at the camera during the La Tomatina festival which is held in Bunol Spain.
Eventually authorities figured it was easier to just make the tomato fight official so that they could at least try to keep it contained through rules and restrictions.

But from the looks of things the rules haven’t put a damper on the crazy food fight that is La Tomatina.

And where do all those tomatoes come from? La Tomatina uses about 150,000 tomatoes each time and they are trucked in rom another part of Spain. Big trucks full of tomatoes roll in through the streets of the town and the tomatoes are…let’s just say not so tasty to eat, but they are perfect as weapons for an hour long food fight frenzy.

So, about that picture I’d seen out of the corner of my eye. Turns out the guy wasn’t crouching to avoid bullets in a war zone, just trying to find cover for a momentary respite of the tomato drenched chaos that is… La Tomatina.

p.s. all pictures (c)Flydime :).

July 1, 2013