Day in Drangsness starts with an amazing weather, blue skies, dip in hot tub at the edge of the Steingrímsfjörður fjord opening to the wider Húnaflói. As we take a soak in very hot water I joke that the view, with the weather is so perfect the only thing missing is the whales. Guess what – minutes later there is a puff in the distance, followed by more – there must be at least three of them playing in the distance.
Would be amazing to spend there the whole day but road, and adventure, await. So off along the rough gravel route, skirting mountains and fjords we drive to Djúpavík known fish processing factory which was at the time of construction in 1935 the largest concrete building in Iceland and one of the largest in Europe. There were no roads to Djúpavík so all supplies arrived by ship. Despite the harsh conditions, the construction was completed within the span of just one year. Djúpavík factory was unique as it was the first fully automated fish factory in Europe, with conveyor belts running from dock to basement storage rooms, then to coal-fired steam cookers, oil-extraction presses, coal-fired dryers, and meal grinders. Living in Djúpavík was unlike other villages in the region. The streets were not named. There were no police, churches, liquor stores or bars. Men slept in the former freight and passenger ship Suðurland which was docked next to the factory for that purpose and is rusting away at the spot. Today – within the old factory building – there is an art gallery… who’d guess that.
Returning we stop at Kotbýli kuklarans – the Sorcerer’s Cottage – consists of three connected turf houses made of turf, rocks, and driftwood according to age-old methods. Driftwood is one of the main resources in this remote area of the Westfjords Region and was used here as a building material for the turf houses to a much greater extent than in other parts of Iceland.