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Sabin’s on the Sea 2023 - Day # 24 - Djúpivogur, Iceland

by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog

It’s hard to believe we are back in Iceland. Who knew six years ago when we went on our Icelandic cruise from Dundee, Scotland on Cruise Maritime, that we would not only come back to Akureyri or Reykjavik, but also visit two other Icelandic ports, Isafjordur and Djúpivogur.

Djúpivogur is a small town on the south east part of Iceland with approximately 400 inhabitants. The captain announced that there are more staff on the Zuiderdam than the Icelanders that live in Djúpivogur.

It is a quaint little town and takes about two

to three hours to walk the entire town from end to end.

My tour guide (that I travel with), mapped out the best sites to visit, the best path to follow, and planned a lovely excursion. John was able to put two of the walking tours that the ship excursions offered and set it up for us at no cost, except for his precious time, which I truly appreciate.

Once again the port is too small and shallow to host such a large ship so we had to tender in. By 8:50 am we were off the tender and ready to go on our adventure.

Iceland’s scenery is unlike any place else. The small village of Djúpivogur is surrounded by mountains, glaciers, lava formations, and moss-covered cliffs and deep valleys.

In the Old Harbor area, there is unusual outdoor granite artwork placed around the waterfront. It's hard to say whether Djúpivogur is more famous for its real bird life or for its Eggs of Merry Bay (Eggin i Gledivik) sculpture, which has quite possibly stolen the show. The sculpture consists of 34 to-scale, oversized eggs dotted along the water's edge, each representing a local bird species. The largest egg represents the throat diver -- a bird commonly seen in and around Djúpivogur.

From the end of the harbor where the eggs are located we had fabulous views of the ship and surrounding mountains.

There is a trail from the eggs to the small lighthouse at the village. One again, we were able to take in such breathtaking and serene views. At first we couldn’t see the entrance to the trail and we made our own that was a bit dangerous. On the way back, we saw where the trail led to our next place on our excursion, the oil tanks.

The tank, once used as a storage facility for fish-liver oil, the round tank gracing the harbor, has been thoroughly cleaned and restored and is now a venue for performing musicians and exhibiting artists.

It was officially opened in 2016 and has been very successful. Artists and musicians are drawn to the idyllic, serene surroundings and to the pleasing acoustics inside the tank. As we entered the tank there was a local singing a beautiful Icelandic song. It was a treat to have been abke to listen to her voice vibrate through the oil tank. Definitely an experience we won’t forget.

On the other end of the Djúpivogur is Bondavarda Cache. There are easy to walk trails up to the Bondavarda cache. This is an age-old pile of rocks, similar to a cairn that people carefully assembled to guide others during the cold, dark winters. Bondavarda offers a fantastic view of the village and surrounding area.

Before heading back to the Zuiderdam, we took a walk into town. In town there are art and handicrafts you can purchase. Local artists make interesting items from wood and bones found in the vicinity. There is also a hotel with a cafe to enjoy a meal or cup of coffee. Since it was still early, we decided to skip eating in Djúpivogur.

One of the houses had a bird sitting on the roof. Many people took a picture of the bird thinking it was real. We wonder if the house owner was watching people be fooled by the very realistic looking bird statue and having a good laugh.

Lastly, not to far from the harbor is the only gas station and market. Definitely a small but beautiful village.

Our estimation about the locals in this village is that the Vikings came, settled in Djúpivogur and many generations have grown up there. John and I both agree small towns are not for us, but interesting to visit.

Tonight was the Orange Party and the Bar Hop. Every Holland American cruise has an Orange Evening where passengers dress up in orange, the National color of Holland. Then they have fun activities like a dance party and bar hop. There were four speciality drinks at four different bars on the ship. Each bar had a fun activity for the participants to do. Our favorite event was at the Ocean Bar where they did a domino shot display. It was really something to see.

Tomorrow we will arrive at Reykjavik, the Capital of Iceland. We have two days to enjoy and explore. The only challenge is there will be five other cruise ships there at the same time, so we have to tender every time we go on and off the ship. However, how can we complain when we realize where we are and treasure the breathtaking beauty of Iceland.

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