Skálanes & Seyðisfjörður
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 27 Jun 2022

Skálanes & Seyðisfjörður, 6/27/2022, National Geographic Resolution

  • Aboard the National Geographic Resolution
  • Arctic

One of the easternmost points of Iceland, Skálanes is an old farmstead at the mouth of Seyðisfjörður Fjord. Today it is a nature and heritage research center. We had the good fortune of being able to pay the reserve a visit and hear how the center’s archaeological research has already revealed rich findings from earlier times. We also learned about the intricacies of living in a country with a long history of soil erosion and how authorities and local people fight it. We had the chance to pause the walk, take a deep breath, and hear the mild drizzle drumming softly on our jacket hoods. We listened to the calls of puffins, kittiwakes, fulmars, gannets, oystercatchers, Arctic terns, redshanks, redwings, and black-tailed godwits while breathing in the sweet smell of heather, crowberry, bog bilberry, and nootka lupine. Standing in the fog, far away from the hustle and bustle of the world, it felt for a moment like we were the only people in the world.

After a delicious dinner, we docked in Seyðisfjörður. In 2020, this town suffered the biggest landslide that has fallen on a town in Iceland, due to catastrophic rain in a season that usually has frost (570 mm precipitation in only five days). Although there was serious damage to historic buildings, museums, and other property, fortunately no lives were lost. The recent work on slide and avalanche protection for the town has revealed very rich and exciting archaeological findings that date back to the 11th century. The town is the charming home to around 700 people. This evening gave the impression that it might be a very small and peaceful fishing town, but when the ferries from Denmark and the Faroes arrive, it turns into quite a busy place of import, export, and tourist traffic. Seyðisfjörður is also a cultural center with arts centers and various art festivals all year round. After dinner, we took a stroll around the small lake with eider and harlequin ducks. We walked past the beautiful church in a pedestrian zone nicknamed Rainbow Street before heading back to National Geographic Resolution.

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