Friday, June 14, 2013

The big and the small in Iceland

May 14, 2013. Day 7 in Iceland. We drive from Akureyri north to Dalvik for whale watching and then northward to latitude 66.08 North to visit the herring fishery era museum in Siglufjordur

The setting sun at midnight!


Scenery along the way

This reminded us of Glory Bowl on Teton Pass

Whale watching in Dalvik

Wooden boat!

The captain and first mate

The day was sunny and the seas light. There was wind and the temperature was cool. The whale watching company provided one-piece lined suits, similar to snow mobile suits. They were perfect, no one was cold, or for that matter, too hot.

The crew 

Our duties were whale spotting and providing lunch by fishing! 

Whale spotting

We did spot humpback whales--these large whales are 25-30 tons

Catching  our lunch appetizer

Cod fishing success! Now we can eat! About 10 fish were caught, grilled by the captain/chef on shore and we had a pre-lunch appetizer! Fresh fish, 20 minutes old.

The seal gulls knew we were catching fish.

Driving to Sliglufjordur

Iceland has constructed three tunnels, for a total of about 10 miles through the mountains, between Akureyri and Siglufjordur thereby cutting down the driving time greatly and at the same time providing more protection from avalanches.

This older tunnel is "single track" with passing areas; the newer ones are two-lane roads.

The tunnel entrance/exit is dwarfed by the surroundings


Herring often move in large schools around fishing banks and near the coast. The most abundant and commercially important species are found particularly in shallow, temperate waters of the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea...
The Altantic herring is about 1.5 pounds 
Photo from Wikipedia

 Three species provide about 90% of all herrings captured in fisheries. Most abundant of all is the Atlantic herring, providing over half of all herring capture.
 These oily fish have a long history as an important food fish, and are often salted, smoked or pickled. Wikipedia

Siglufjordur Herring Era Museum

 The Herring Era Museum is Iceland’s largest maritime museum. 
The oldest museum building is Róaldsbrakki, built as a Norwegian herring station in 1907, it now includes an exhibition on herring salting in Iceland. The old building has largely been left as it was when it housed dozens of girls working in the herring fishery.

Company name stencils used for labeling barrels of salted herring 

Women salted the herring while packing it in barrels

Dormitory for workers

Cook three things on one burner!

More stencils

The oldest museum building, Róaldsbrakki

The Grána building, a herring meal and oil factory 

This building from the 1930s shows how men and machines processed herring into meal and oil.  (building not shown)
This is the laboratory within the building.

Oil from herring was used in soaps, cosmetic, etc

Akureyri Botanical Gardens

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