On Viðey island, which is a small island just a 7 minute's boat ride away from the mainland of Iceland's capital city Reykjavík, stands the Imagine Peace Tower. It was erected by Yoko Ono in remembrance of John Lennon's birthday.
The Imagine Peace Tower was first lit in 2007 by Yoko Ono on John Lennon's birthday on the 9th of October - and it is lit until the day John was killed on the 8th of December. It serves as a beacon to world peace, which I think is ever so lovely.
Here below you can watch Yoko Ono's video on the Imagine Peace Tower.
Yoko Ono got the idea of the Imagine Peace Tower in 1967 and when she met John Lennon he wanted to put up such a tower in their garden - but it ended up being lit here in Reykjavík :)
On the 9th of October Yoko also hands out the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace Award at Harpa, Reykjavík's opera house. She presents this award to those who continue to campaign for world peace.
Yoko Ono has presented this award to the former Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr, Pussy Riot and Lady Gaga, who came to Iceland on this occasion.
Yoko Ono visits Iceland every year to light the tower, which emits a beautiful blue light far into the sky. Yoko invites everybody wishing for peace to join her on the 9th of October on Viðey island. And she offers free ferry rides to the island (and from it) on the night she lights the tower.
The lighting takes places at 8 pm and the free ferry rides run from 5 pm until 7:30 pm. The first ferry departs from Viðey island at 9 pm.
Reykjavík city offers free transport from Hlemmur bus terminal to Skarfabakki harbour, from where the Viðey ferry departs.
I have noticed that more and more foreign guests are joining in now. You just have to show up, no booking needed, but be prepared to stand in line.
From October 10th until December 8th the Viðey ferry departs at 8 pm from Ægisgarður harbour. There is also a departure on February 18th at 8 pm.
The Imagine Peace Tower will also be lit from the 20th until the 26th of March and the Viðey ferry departs at 8 pm.
Check the Imagine Peace Tower website for a more information.
From October until May there are several ferry trips on weekends.
Also have a look at the Dinner and Imagine Peace Tower tour, which run from the 10th of October until the day John Lennon died on the 8th of December.
In the year 2010 John Lennon would have turned 70 years old and Yoko Ono came here with her family and Ringo Starr and the widow of George Harrison. Yoko then held a concert in Reykjavík.
On the column of the Imagine Peace Tower "IMAGINE PEACE" is written in 24 languages. It warms my heart to read this message in so many languages - because I believe that all of us want peace in the world.
Once at the island you will also see Yoko Ono's Wish Tree where people can leave their wishes for peace on the tree.
In 2013 I attended the ceremony in Viðey. We took the boat at 6 pm and never had so many people attended, ca 1,800 people were ferried over to the island on boats with the capacity of carrying 200 people.
We were invited to an inside concert, which started at 7 pm at Viðeyjarnaust café next to the Imagine Peace Tower.
We then sat outside on the grass on a beautiful cold night and listened to Icelandic music and Yoko Ono's speech. It was heavenly.
I have followed the Beatles and and Yoko Ono on the news for decades and listened to their music so I was quite starstruck being so close to Yoko Ono ;)
The ceremony started at 8 pm. It was out of this world when the tower was lit up and the beautiful blue light lit up the sky, one by one the blue rays lit up - while John Lennon's "Imagine peace" was being played. A truly magical moment.
For those of you who haven't heard the song then you can listen to it on Youtube. It is one of the most beautiful songs I have listened to.
Yoko Ono turned 80 in 2013 and on that occasion our Mayor awarded her with the title of Honorary Citizen of Reykjavík. I agree with this nomination and applaud her work.
Don't miss this event if you are visiting Reykjavík around the 9th of October. It is such a beautiful moment when the Imagine Peace Tower is lit under the wishes of so many people praying for peace in the world