Iceland 20 September: Laugarvatn - Skálholtsafleggjari

A special day and a special village

By car we drove to the starting point of todays run. Actually, a little past where we finished yesterday. Suren and some local Peace Runners had covered that distance last Sunday to save some time today. In front of the youth hostel of Laugarvatn we fueled our torches while the guests waved at us from inside

We ran the last few hundred meters to the sports field behind the sport school that was beautifully situated at a lake, geothermal steam coming up from small pools around the lake. The wind was fortunately not as strong as yesterday and the sun pleasantly warm. Suren’s presentation totally captured the attention of the small crowd of kids.

It is always such a thrill when we invite the children try to feel peace in their hearts and they are really into it. Sunlit little faces keeping their right hands on their heart and delving inside to find the treasure of peace.

The World Harmony Run song is a great tool on a cool day like this to get everyone warmed up - apart from, of course, promoting interconnectedness and friendship.

The joy of running is contagious.

We presented Kjartan Lárusson, sports teacher of the school with the Torch Bearer award for his tireless and selfless work in the field of traditional Icelandic wrestling, especially among kids. He was a very great wrestler in his prime and continues to inspire others to be healthy and get together through sports.

Does this not look like a bird rising from the flames?

We continued running past the lakeside and slowly made our way to Kerhólsskóli í Borg where we were expected at 12.30. When we arrived, the children were already assembled behind the school around the fireplace.

We had an easy flowing presentation. When we sang the Peace Run theme song and world Harmony song the children enthusiastically joined with acting out the various parts.

Afterwards we moved to the sports field at other side of the school to play the game with the stamps

Sometimes the children literally scream with joy during the Peace Run ceremony.

Some children take it very seriously and run like anything to collect the stamps as fast as possible.

Fourteen children holding the Torch simultaneously. Is this a new world record?

Thank you, Kerhólsskóli, for a wonderful ceremony.

Leaving the school, we ran a short distance to Sólheimar, a local community that has been very famous in Iceland for many years.

Originally inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy this community is a self-sustaining village where they grow everything they need to sustain their livelihood.

Apart from that the community provides a home to physically and or mentally ‘differently-abled’ people to create a life for them that is sheltered and yet fulfilling.

Meeting the caretakers, volunteers and members of the community was extremely sweet and heartfelt

It was one of the most moving exercises of feeling peace in the heart and then passing the Torch on the Peace Run. Some people were literally moved to tears.

After the ceremony was over, we were invited to refreshments in the organic café of the village. One of the villagers came up to us as we were leaving and said: "I can still feel the peace!”

We presented Reynir Pétur Steinunnarson, one of the members of the community with the Torch Bearer Award. In 1985 he had walked around Iceland (yes, the whole island!) to collect money for this community.

Along the way he inspired everybody with his warm-natured spirit, effulgent cheerfulness and beaming smile. Joining him for the photo is his wife, Hanný.

Together we planted a peace tree afterwards, dedicating it to the Peace Run.

May this little tree continue to inspire people to keep the peace dream alive!

Leaving Sólheimar we ran the last kilometers to the finishing point of today just 7km before Reykholt. At one point, we even sent out two torches running in opposite directions to finish quicker! After that, we returned home to the Garðurinn after yet another wonderful day for yet another delicious meal.