Saturday, 2 August 2014

Day 89: Blonduos to Akureyri - Sat 2 Aug

Day 89: Blonduos to Akureyri - Sat 2 Aug
Another day of glorious weather. Off to Siglufjordur's Herring Festival and Herring Era museum at the old salting station and re-creation of fish beheading and salting of the "silver of sea" by the herring girls. Gorgeous drive along fjord. 



Through one way tunnel (Iceland's first) with its passing bays and massive steel doors, noting avalanche deflection system. 

Imbibed atmosphere of Herring Festival, excellent set of buildings in museum, boarded oak fishing boat, peered down hold, stepped up into captains cabin and down steep staircase to impossibly narrow scullery, and pirouette to take in coal stove and berths. Tools, media, meal and oil factory and packing warehouses - was 33% of Iceland's income until the Norwegian-Icelandic herring stock dried up in 1970. 


Excellent demonstration/show of herring girls coming out of their dorms riding and singing on back of truck to work, then slicing, salting, barreling, singing, dancing - all to glorious snow mountain backdrop and sparkly blue harbour full of modern day fishing vessels. 


Even seafood-avoider GirlRob enjoyed herring smorgasbord lunch, with tastings cooked in wine or garlic or coconut or mustard...with sliced boiled egg, dark bread and fish mash (latter definitely not so yummy).

Finally departed towards Akureyri, long tunnels the only way to get out of this narrow fjord. People were stopped on side of mountain roads picking what looked like blueberries. Passed horses for rent. Dalvik had big red boats in harbour. Pulled in for fuel at Akureyri and got a huge tub of ice cream when ordered a thickshake - on top of the herring smorgasbord it became dinner!

Final stop for day was the Arctic Botanic Gardens, which obligingly stayed open late during Summer. Could not believe the masses and varieties of flowers - would love to have found a guide to explain whether they all died in winter and were replanted, or survived dormantly.... 



Too much agricultural land for free camping, so chose Hamrar campgrounds in hills over the one in town - both crowded, but it was nicer up high with a view. Brief showers in evening - always glad we are not tenting like many Europeans choose.

No comments:

Post a Comment