The Eagle on Tindhólmur

Many mountains around the world get their names from local folklore, myth and legend. This is the story of how one of the spires on Tindhólmur got its name. 

Go slow in Bøur

This week we have been fortunate enough to rent a house in Bøur on Vagar. We rented the house on Airbnb. Bøur is a wonderful village full of life, with the best views on all of the Faroe Islands. You can see right out the sound, all the way to the open sea. All that stands in your way is the sea-stack Drangarnir and the majestic Tindhólmur. In the distance behind the two giants lay an island covered in couds called: Mykines (you can read more about Mykines in our post Puffin surprise). The best way to experience Bøur is to stay there a few days or even a week. We rented the house for two weeks (and have since been back for another week). The key to experiencing Bøur is to take it slow, talk to the locals, enjoy nature and relax. 


Learning local legends 

After talking to a few locals we thought to share one of our favourite local legends from Bøur; a story about Tindholmur’s spires, which was told to us by a man who grew up in Bøur - Gutti Petterson.

The five spires on the top of Tindhólmur each have a name. They're called:

Ysti - This is the spire furthest away from land, the west-most spire.
Arni - The Eagle.
Lítli - The little spire.
Breiði - The wide, broad spire
Bogni - The spire who is bent, because it bends over like an old man.

Have a look at the Let's Go Slow photo series of Tindhólmur 


The story we were told about Arni goes as follows:

Once upon a time there was a young man living on Tindhólmur. He was a farmer and had sheep grazing there. With time he got a wife and one day, to their great joy they got a lovely daughter. They rejoiced, just like all young people, who receive a child. Their daughter grew up and life was good. One day when the young man was out at sea fishing, the weather was so good that the mother decided to put their young daughter on the grass outside their little cottage. She had many duties to tend to, and after checking that their daughter was fine, she went back in to the house.

Suddenly she heard a swooping sound of wind, and a large shadow swept past the kitchen window. Fear strikes her and as she runs out the door, she can see the massive shadow transform itself into a large eagle sweeping down and lifting their young daughter up in the air with strong yellow talons. The eagle circles around and around to get higher. Upwards to the top of the mountain.

When the eagle finally got to the right height, it aimed for one of the five spears on top of the mountain, where she has her nest and small chicks waiting for food. The first thing an eagle destroys on its preys is the eyes and the young girl had lost her sight and was badly injured, but still alive, confused, petrified and alone. 

The mother who is terrified, runs, and climbs as fast as her legs can carry her, straight up the mountain. They say no man or woman had been up that high before. Luckily she reaches up to where the nest lies just in time to save her daughter's life.

This was the story of how Arni got its name.