August 08, Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Seyðisfjörður is a town and municipality in the Eastfjords of Iceland at the innermost point of the fjord of the same name. As of January 2011, the town has 668 inhabitants.

A road over Fjarðarheiði mountain pass connects Seyðisfjörður to the rest of Iceland; 27 km to the ring road and Egilsstaðir. Seyðisfjörður is surrounded by mountains on all sides with most prominent Mt. Bjólfur to the West (1085m) and Strandartindur (1010m) to the East. The fjord itself is accessible on each side from the town, by following the main road that leads through the town. Further out the fjord is fairly remote but rich with natural interests including puffin colonies and ruins of former activity such as nearby Vestdalseyri, from where the local church was transported.

Town settlement in the Seyðisfjörður area started in 1848. The town was settled by Norwegian fishermen. These settlers also built some of the existing wooden buildings in the village. Another now deserted settlement nearby in the fjord, Vestddalseyri was the site for the world’s first modern industrialized whaling station. It was established in 1864 by renowned American whaler Thomas Welcome Roys and run by him and his workforce until 1866. Both settlements served primarily as fishing and trading posts. The first telegraph cable connecting Iceland to Europe was shored in Seyðisfjörður in 1906, making it a hub for international telecommunications well past the middle of last century. In 1913 a dam was made in the main river, harnessing power for the country’s first high voltage AC power plant together with a distribution network for street lighting and home use, also the first of its kind in Iceland. Seyðisfjörður was used as a base for British/American forces during World War II and remnants of this activity is visible through the fjord, including a landing strip no longer in use and an oil ship El Grillo that was bombed and sunk. It remains a divers wreck at the bottom of the fjord.

 

With the recent demise of the local fish-processing plant the village has shifted its economy to tourism. It still remains a significant fishing port on the east coast of Iceland with harbors, ship construction facilities and a slip.

 

In this beautiful small village we did not do any paid excursions. We decided to just walk thru the village and then do some hiking in the countryside. This is a land of glacier cut valleys and waterfalls. It was a great place to get some exercise and fresh air. We hiked about 8 miles today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We even found a 9 hole golf course. We visited the clubhouse but no one was home. We did talk with a couple of ladies who were about to play.

 

 

 

 

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