After a day at sea we arrived at Djupivogur on the morning of August 4. Unfortunately I was unable to see this town because in the evening after touring Shetland I came down with the Dreaded Shipwide Illness. For more than two days I had such a debilitating headache I couldn’t eat anything and could hardly make it from the bed to the bathroom. Those who know me will recognize that not eating for two days means I must be really sick! Fortunately, the first day was a sea day, but I had to spend August 4 in bed as well and bypass Djupivogur. Fortunately, however, Mary did go into town for a few hours & therefore we have the pictures she took there.
Djupivogur is a town of fewer than 400 inhabitants in eastern Iceland. It is most famous in Iceland for having had the highest temperature ever recorded in the country: 87 degrees Fahrenheit in 1939. To our relatives in Texas that would be a cold front! Founded in the 16th Century the town was a trading center and sold fish to the Hanseatic League. The oldest building in town, called Langabud, was first built in 1790. Today it houses a museum & restaurant. After a large part of the town’s population was enslaved by North African raiders in the early 17th Century they built a cairn called Bóndavarða just above the town as a lookout. We don’t know whether the cairn in the picture is that one.
The village is surrounded by mountains and interesting rock formations. The most famous is Bulandstindur, a mountain more than 3,000 feet high that is shaped like a perfect pyramid. It has a longstanding reputation as a source of spiritual energy, but those who have seen Stargate will recognize it as a landing dock for space ships.
Just outside of town is Eggin í Gleðivík (Eggs of Merry Bay). This is an artistic installation created in 2009. It is a long row of 34 sculptures of eggs of the variety of birds that inhabit the area. Each one is different from the others but they form a unified artistic whole. Pretty unusual.
The small Djupivogur church, built in 1894, is no longer used for religious services, but it appears to have some community functions. It is undergoing restoration that is expected to be complete by 2016.
Other interesting things in town included a sculpture of a reindeer made of reindeer antlers, a monument to Eysteinn Jonsson, a local guy who was a minister in the Icelandic government from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, a house with a collection of trolls in front, and the 1922 Æðarstein lighthouse. There was also what appears to be some kind of monument featuring a ship’s propeller above the Langabud building, but we don’t know what it signifies.
Well, that’s pretty much all we have on this little village in a spectacular setting. But before we go, we can’t forget the flowers. We have included a couple of pictures of trees, not only because they are so rare in Iceland but because they show the effects of living where ocean winds are common.
So Mary came back to tend to her sick spouse, who still couldn’t get out of bed or eat. Tomorrow would be another port day & it was not at all clear whether I would be able to make it ashore. Tune in to the next episode to find out!