After traveling from the Faroes over open sea to Iceland, we found ourselves in Djúpivogur, a small and charming town of about 500 inhabitants. The community has made a commitment to living a mindfully slow lifestyle, as part of the Cittaslow Network. The movement embraces slow travel and slow food, and it encourages people to calm down their hectic modern lives.
This day had a little for everyone. Culture lovers walked past the Eggs in Gleðivík, an art installation by Sigurður Guðmundsson with sculptures portraying the eggs of all birds that nest in and near the town. Charming old buildings reminded us that Djúpivogur has been a trading center for half a century. We were amazed by the town’s rock collection of jasper in all colors and sparkling zeolites and amygdulae found in the mountains above town. We enjoyed a surprise concert by a local singer.
Nature lovers walked out of town to a beach area that was once distinct offshore islands. We enjoyed breathing in the crisp ocean air while walking through delicate arctic flora on our way down to the black basalt sand that now connects the islands. We watched red-necked phalaropes and whooper swans rear their young ones, and we even saw some puffins – a rare sight away from high ocean cliffs.
A little more exciting was the chance to hop on a so-called super jeep and drive over the muddy roads across several small rivers after deflating the huge truck tires. We enjoyed picturesque waterfalls cascading from one ledge to another.
Last but not least, some of us went on a tour to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where icebergs from the Breiðamerkurjökull outlet float, and seals and birds catch fish, where the shortest river in Iceland flows out towards the ocean. As we sailed on an amphibian vessel around the lagoon – a safe distance from the ice blocks, of course – we learned that this lagoon is growing incredibly fast as the glacier melts, and the effects of global warming are uncovering what might eventually become the longest fjord in the country.