Today we woke up to a delightful morning in Siglufjördur. The town is home to Iceland’s once thriving herring industry, which was Iceland’s first real industry. According to the historians of Iceland, “Without herring it is questionable whether the modern society that now exists in Iceland could ever have developed.” The first processing plant of this important industry was built in Siglufjördur in 1911. Today we visited the Herring Museum where it all started.
After a delicious breakfast on board, we took a short walk to the museum. We were greeted by locals who put on a wonderful salting demonstration and a local dance show for us. To our delight, a local guide informed us that some of the “herring ladies” once worked in the actual factory in their teen years. The tour of the Herring Museum lasted a couple of hours. We enjoyed excellent presentations by local guides about every detail of this intriguing industry and the influence it once had on local people’s everyday lives.
We reluctantly left Siglufjördur midday and headed towards Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest urban area after the capital area of Reykjavik. Akureyri has a population of about 18,500. We enjoyed exploring the town on our own. Plant enthusiasts made a worthwhile visit to the world’s northernmost botanical garden while others enjoyed looking at the handmade wool sweaters sold in local shops. After our free time in town, we met on board to enjoy a wonderful dinner prepared for us by Executive Chef Magnus and his team. The day was not over! After dinner, we were invited to the lounge to listen to local singer songwriter Svavar Knutur, who delighted us with his joyful characters and wonderful Icelandic songs.