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The two Stone-men within the Westfjords – Kleifabúi on Kleifaheiði and the Stone-man by Penna

I’ve been displaying you the northern a part of the Westfjords in my final travel-blogs collection. And in my final travel-blog, I confirmed you the view-dials I’ve visited within the Westfjords.

Now I wish to present you the 2 stone males, who do not go unnoticed on Kleifaheiði heath and by Penna river on the south aspect of the Westfjords. We are able to say that they act because the guardians of the roads and bridges, though they weren’t erected for that objective.

Prime picture: The top of Kleifabúi

The Stoneman Kleifabúi on Kleifaheiði heath

Kleifabúi on Kleifaheiði heath

Whereas driving on Highway 62 (Barðastrandarvegur street) within the Westfjords in direction of Patreksfjörður village, you’ll discover the landmark of the Kleifaheiði heath. It’s a enormous stone man, and also you is likely to be questioning why it’s there and what it represents.

The stone man known as Kleifabú and was erected in 1947 by the street building staff. It is among the greatest cairns erected in Iceland if you happen to can name it a cairn as it’s extra of a statue than a cairn.

Kleifabúi, who is approx. 5 meters tall, stands tall above the best slope of Kleifar on the west aspect of Kleifaheiði heath in Vestur-Barðastrandarsýsla.

Standing by Kleifabúi on Kleifaheiði heath to indicate you ways tall it’s

The boys erected Kleifabúi of their spare time after an extended day at work – working with stones and rocks whereas constructing the roads of the Westfjords with handtools. And once more they erected Kleifabúi with the identical materials at night time, however that kind of labor should have been extra enjoyable for positive than the laborious labour in the course of the day.

To me, Kleifabúi represents the playfulness of those street building staff and I all the time cease by it and pay my tribute to the massive stone man. Kleifabúi has received a stretched-out hand so you possibly can greet him.

Kleifabúi has received a concrete head and the physique is manufactured from rocks glued along with cement. Einar Einarsson and Guðjón Jóhannesson erected the cairn (the physique) and Kristján Jóhannesson sculpted the top, however the road-construction staff collected the rocks for Kleifabúi’s physique.

Kleifabúi’s head

The best way it began is that Kristleifur Jónsson, the street works group chief, had erected a pillar of rock straight from the scree. Curious travellers wished to see the lads at work and stopped by the pillar of rock.

A shawl was put round its head and it received nicknamed Kleifagudda, which is a feminine identify (you possibly can see her picture in Morgunblaðið 13.01.1965).

And the street building staff received the thought of erecting a stone-man since only a plain pillar of rock caught a lot consideration from passers-by.

The unique contract from 1947, which Björn, Kristleifur’s son, was sort sufficient to ship to us

Earlier than they began erecting Kleifabúi Kristleifur made a signed contract together with his group, concerning the potential price of creating the cement head, and so forth. The contract was made on the twenty second of August 1947 and 21 males signed it, together with Kristleifur.

Said within the contract is (translated into English): “We the undersigned street building staff by Barðastrandarvegur street are keen to participate within the building of a stone statue by Kleifaá river above the best slope Kleif on Kleifaheiði heath this fall, with work and cash as wanted. In order that it may be of credit score to us and pleasure for passers-by”.

My father-in-law, Jakob, phoned Björn, Kristleifur’s son, and requested him if he may ship us a photograph of the unique contract, which I may then use for my travel-blog.

Björn was sort sufficient to comply with ship us the picture and gave me permission to submit it. A lot obliged, Björn 🙂 

Kleifabúi has received blue eyes 🙂

Kleifabúi, although it’s got robust facial options, was not created to resemble anyone particularly. So it was not made to mock or honour anyone, simply pure people artwork and playfulness on behalf of the street constructors.

Some folks have talked about that it bears a resemblance to Hákon Kristófersson at Hagi although. Hákon Kristófersson was my husband’s relative’s great-grandfather. His identify is Kristófer, the son of my husband´s cousin, who lives at Hagi.

Kleifabúi used to be repaired in 1990. And Vegagerðin – the Highway Administration of Iceland as soon as gave Kleifabúi a facelift, so to talk, as this 74-year-old stone man has stood tall and proud on the Kleifaheiði heath in all varieties of Westfjord climate circumstances, so he understandably wanted a little bit of maintenance.

Kleifabúi on Kleifaheiði heath – the half that’s protruding is a hand so you possibly can greet it

In 2001 throughout street constructions of a brand new street over Kleifaheiði heath, Kleifabúi used to be wrapped in plastique to guard it in the course of the explosions. And as this article on Mbl. says then the plastique was imagined to hug Kleifabúi so it would not collapse 🙂 Within the article, you possibly can see a photograph of Kleifabúi wrapped in plastique.

In 2002 on the ceremony for the opening of the brand new street, the celebration was held by Kleifabúi, who received surrounded by flags, each the Icelandic flag and the flag of Vegagerðin. You possibly can see a photograph on web page 4 in Framkvæmdafréttir Vegagerðarinnar.

Zooming in on the top of Kleifabúi on one among my visits to greet him

An indication was erected by Kleifabúi so folks would know its identify, Kleifabúi, which is the identify he was given. On the signal is written the second verse of a poem, which Kristleifur composed about Kleifabúi. 

The poem goes like this:

“Hátt á bergi Búi stendur,
býður sína traustu mund;
horfir yfir heiðarlendur
hár og þögull alla stund.

The Kleifabúi signal on Kleifaheiði heath

Búinn varstu úr bergi hörðu,
blóði vana kempan treg;
minnir helst á heiðarvörðu
hér við Barðastrandarveg.

Stattu lengi heill á húfi,
hetjan prúð, í fjallasal,
þó að váleg veður rjúfi
varman frið um strönd og dal”

(This beautiful poem was composed by Kristleifur Jónsson

Greeting Kleifabúi on a gray and wet day on the Kleifaheiði heath again in 2013

Kleifabúi is the right identify for this stone-man, however it’s typically referred to as Kleifakarlinn and it’s got its personal Fb like-page beneath the identify Kleifarkarlinn. I assume that folks confer with him as the person “karl” on Kleifaheiði heath and thus they confer with him as Kleifakarlinn – the Man on Kleifaheiði heath. Kleifabúi however means the Dweller on the Kleifaheiði heath.

I scrolled down the entire web page on Fb and noticed a remark that Kleifabúi used to be wearing a sailor go well with again in 2011 and wasn’t too pleased about that 😉 I have not seen a photograph of him in a sailor go well with although however wish to see one.

Now, as an instance farewell to Kleifabúi

To me, Kleifabúi serves as a monument, a tribute to the courageous males who surveyed and constructed the roads within the Westfjords.

I’ve already written about the outdated custom of erecting cairns in Iceland. Kleifabúi is a sort of that outdated custom, however however, Kleifabúi would not serve a objective per se just like the cairns do, however is people artwork. And beautiful as such, in my view.

Kleifaheiði heath is 12 km lengthy and 410 m at its highest level.


Morgunblaðið – Lesbóokay 1997

Fb: Jakob Hálfdanarson

Barðaströnd – Kleifabúi

Hár og þögull alla stund

Roads within the Westfjords

The street by Skútabjörg cliffs

The street building occasion, which Kristleifur managed, constructed the street from Patreksfjörður throughout Miklidalur valley and Hálfdán to Bíldudalur, Raknadalsskriður screes, and all the way in which to Rauðasandur. And Kleifaheiði heath (Ref. Kleifabúi 50 ára).

This was no small activity again then because the roads have been made by hand instruments over very troublesome rocky terrain. And Kleifaheiði heath was no exception. The boys have been younger and energetic and street building was a sought-after summer time job.

The steep windy street resulting in Rauðasandur

The street resulting in Rauðasandur is steep and winding and reaches a peak of 350 m. Fairly a couple of persons are scared driving on it. A street was initially constructed over Mt. Skersfjall to Rauðasandur again in 1933. 

See additionally: 

Rauðasandur Seaside & Sjöundá within the Westfjords of Iceland – Crimson Sands & a Crime Scene 

Even now in 2021, this street is troublesome to drive for the milk-truck driver, who collects milk twice every week from the farmers at Rauðasandur. And typically it’s not possible to gather the milk from the farmers within the wintertime.

Karansbraut street by Hrafnholur is carved into the mountain-side

Nonetheless, it isn’t the scariest trying street within the Westfjords. A number of the roads within the Westfjords are excessive up within the mountains and a few of them are steep and winding. So they don’t seem to be for people who find themselves afraid of heights. 

Essentially the most harmful street building within the Westfjords is Kjaransbraut, when a  street was carved into the steep and craggy cliff by a really brave native, Elís Kjaran Friðfinnsson (1928-2008), with a small bulldozer, which was also known as Teskeiðin – the Teaspoon.

Kjaransbraut avenue and Svalvogar with Westfjords Adventures

I drove on this street, by Svalvogar and the street by Skútabjörg cliffs on a guided tour and wrote a travel-blog about it if you wish to see extra images and a few superb surroundings the place I’ve taken a few of my greatest images.

A Tour of Svalvogar & Kjaransbraut within the Westfjords of Iceland – essentially the most harmful street building in Iceland

On the identical day I took the images of the stone man by Penna – see the subsequent chapter on this travel-blog.

Is not this simply fantastic – see all of the troll formations within the rock – picture taken on the guided tour of Kjaransbraut and Svalvogar

My father suffered from vertigo and that’s the reason we by no means visited the Westfjords once I was rising up, although my maternal grandmother was born within the Westfjords and we might have cherished to see her valley Ingjaldssandur.

So it wasn’t till we had a household reunion at Ingjaldssandur again in 2010 after my father had handed away, that my mom first noticed the birthplace of her mom.

The distant Ingjaldssandur within the Westfjords

To achieve this valley you’ll have to drive over a heath and the primary day we visited it my mom and I, it was foggy so we have been fairly scared not realizing the street and when to descend into the valley.

The next day it was sunny and wonderful and this stunning sight appeared (see my picture above).

My travel-blog about Ingjaldssandur: Ingjaldssandur within the Westfjords of Iceland – my Grandmother’s Birthplace

The street on Hrafnseyrarheiði heath – now a brand new tunnel, Dýrafjarðargöng, is another choice as an alternative of the heath

The roads on the northern a part of the Westfjords are a breeze although as I’ve proven you in my travel-blog collection concerning the northern a part of the Westfjords, they’re paved and several other tunnels have been constructed.

As I informed you in my earlier travel-blog about view-dials within the Westfjords, then Jón J. Víðis surveyed roads within the Westfjords and from 1956-1965 his nephew and my father-in-law, Jakob Hálfdanarson, was his assistant. And Jakob was an important supply of knowledge for me once I was penning this travel-blog 🙂

The Stone-man by the River Penna

The stone man by the river Penna within the Westfjords

Now let’s nice the opposite stone man within the Westfjords, the stone man by the river Penna. He stands by Highway 60 (Vestfjarðarvegur).

This stone man would not have a reputation however is usually referred to as Pennukarlinn or the Man by the river Penna in Peningsdalur valley. I do not use that identify for him although. Penna is brief for Peningsdalsá – or the River of the Cash valley.

This stone man was constructed by the bridge builders, who constructed the 10-meter lengthy bridge over the river Penna in 1958, and so they used their spare time to create this stone man, very like the street building staff did with Kleifabúi.

The stone man by the river Penna

Written on the knowledge signal by the stone man is that the stone man had a putting resemblance to a sure street building employee by the identify of Gísli Gíslason from Hvammur farm on Barðaströnd.

However I do not assume that these 2 stone-men have been made to the liking of anyone, however that the liking of a sure native was one thing that was mentioned after the heads had been sculpted. Magnús Ólafsson from Vestur-Botn in Patreksfjörður made the stable cement-head of the stone man by Penna.

The stone man by the river Penna within the Westfjords – picture taken in 2013

My father-in-law informed me that when he was working within the Westfjords then the street building staff referred to this man at Penna as Óþekkti vegavinnumaðurinn or the Unknown road-construction employee.

You possibly can see images of the stone man at Penna and the bridge building on web page 4 in Framkvæmdafréttir Vegagerðarinnar.

The stone man at Penna is a bust reasonably than an entire stone man like Kleifabúi, and the small hut beneath it was meant for the guest-book in order that guests may write their names and possibly depart a remark for the stone man at Penna.I like one of these people artwork and assume that these 2 stone males add life and character to the Westfjords. Others thank God that they did not erect extra stone males on this space.

The signal by Penna

The signal by the bridge says:

“Vestfjarðavegur street throughout Dynjandisheiði heath. The street throughout Dynjandisheiði heath was opened to visitors in 1959 opening up a street connection between Barðastrandasýsla county and Ísafjarðarsýsla county, thus opening up the primary street for automobiles to Ísafjörður.

The street throughout Dynjandiheiði heath is at a peak of 468 meters above sea degree by Helluskarð and 500 meters above sea degree on the Dynjandisheiði heath itself. The space is 30 km from Flókalundur to Dynjandisvogur cove”.

The bridge over Penna river

From Flókalundur street 60 will take you to the stone man – it is just a few minutes away from Flókalundur.

And from Penna, after visiting the stone man, you begin driving in direction of Dynjandisheiði heath. And you’ll have a tremendous view on the way in which.

A brand new street is being constructed now 2020-2021

You possibly can see the placement of the stone man at Penna in Google maps. It has been marked as Stone guardian in German.

While you attain Dynjandisvogur cove you will notice the Jewel of the Westfjords of Iceland, the gorgeous Dynjandi waterfall.

I’ve written a travel-blog about Dynjandi: 

The magnificent Dynjandi Waterfall – the Jewel of the Westfjords of Iceland

Have a stunning time within the Westfjords, and I hope that my travel-blog has shed some gentle on what these stone males symbolize 🙂



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