2 September 2019:
Seyðisfjörður, Iceland:
The Pearl in a Shell

By Corey Sandler

About 36 hours after sailing from Scotland, we arrived at the east coast of Iceland and the port of Seyðisfjörður, which–if you can get past a few extra Icelandic characters–is pronounced just the way it looks. SAY-dis-fuhr-dir.

This is one of Iceland’s most picturesque towns with a collection of 19th century wooden homes, surrounded by beautiful nature. Poet Matthías Johannessen called Seyðisfjörður a ‘pearl enclosed in a shell’.

Like many remote places, it exists because of its protected harbor, established by foreign merchants, mostly from Denmark, and fishermen from Norway. It’s a small town of about 665 people, spread across 82 square miles or 213 square kilometers.

Settlement traces back to the early period of habitation in Iceland. The ruin of a stave church nearby has been carbon-dated to the 10th century, with earlier graves from the 8th century.

On this visit, I went with guests on an adventurous hike up the side of the mountains to visit a valley of waterfalls. It was a treat for the eyes, and an ache to my knees. Here is some of what we saw today:

The Valley of Waterfalls
An abandoned whaling station and village near the mouth of the fjord. All photos by Corey Sandler, 2019. All rights reserved

Seyðisfjörður was home to British and American forces during World War II  and some of the elements of the bases can be seen around the fjord, including a disused landing strip. And this was one of the few places that saw actual combat, or at least an attack, during World War 2.

You can read more about this place by clicking on the Seyðisfjörður tag at the bottom of this blog.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com


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