Djupivogur to Hornafjordur

Iomramh 2011.


16th June 2011

View Photos - Djupivogur to Hornafjordur

A bit later getting up this morning. Everyone getting, slowly into better humour. Ken has decided to get a bus to Reykjavik, having got all the local travel information from Frank who has been hill-walking here for two weeks. A small problem, repairing the bilge pump on the boat turned out to be a lengthier job than anticipated, but was completed successfully. Then we did another clean up so that everything would be ready to depart after we return from the conference.

About 1.30pm Gunnthor and Thorbjorg arrived to drive us to Thorbergur Cultural Centre. (Thorbjorg being the proprietoress of the Centre) Along the road we stopped at various interesting sites and monuments.

First, Bragdavellur Farm,  the site of the discovery, a hundred years ago, of Roman coins. No one can account for the presence of these in Iceland – perhaps Irish monks had them as souvenirs and lost them – or Vikings?

The next site was a monument to celebrate 1000 years of Christianity in Iceland ? There is a political issue amongst historians – some deny totally, the existence of Irish monks and believe that Christianity came via Norway about 1000AD. We would argue that this was the Re-introduction of Christianity - the first Christians being the Irish monks who had previously been expelled.

At a Papar site - Papos, further along the road, there was information boards about a nineteenth century trading post, But there was no evidence on the ground, of either the Papar or the trading post. Sic transit...!

We also saw reindeer at this site. Every year the Government sells lottery tickets, the prize for which, is the right to cull one reindeer. A novel tax!

In the town of Hofn(pronounced Hup) where we stopped for coffee and saw on the teletext, running in the restaurant, the picture of the Ar Seachrán crew in Dingle!

At Hofn, also we met the crew of the Blue Heron, Alex, Ken and ? They have come here from East England, on a route much the same as ours but in a much smaller boat.

It was nice to be sight-seeing by road, for a change and the scenery all along the road the scenery was very dramatic - in the region of Hofn, were many glaciers . I had hoped to get an adapter for the laptop plug, but my Credit card wouldn’t work in the cash machine! hope this is not going to be a problem.

Along this road there are 2 further Papar locations - Papafjordur and Papataettur, but apparently, nothing survives of these, except the names. This is good farming country, cattle, sheep and (Icelandc) ponies. A little tillage also.

The Thorberg Cultural Centre is an interpretive centre, in Hornafjordur, for Thorbergur Thordarson, a local folklorist, poet, author etc. It is built in his home place, a large farm, by his grandson’s family, who are deeply involved in local history and the Papar story. It consists of about a dozen self-catering houses  around the farm and also a cultural centre – museum, interpretive centre and gallery and restaurant, where they serve food grown on the farm, as much as possible.

We arrived about 7.00pm and were given double bedrooms and then an excellent dinner - Irish stew for the soup. and then salmon from their own fish farm.

The conference programme for tomorrow is something like:

Chairman – Gunnthor.
Introduction by Padraig
Lecture on the Papar by Jonathon
Talk about St Brendan in Kerry by Danny
Music by Breanndán

After dinner the music started, Gunnthor produced a large selection of harmonicas and demanded to know what key Padraig was playing in and getting no satisfactory answer was disappointed. He didn’t do much better with Breanndán whose box is in C/C#.

Some French people including, I think the French Ambassador to Iceland, nearby were roped in to sing, as were an English couple.

A great night had by all, but our hostess wanted to close at 10.00pm and we were in fact out by 11.30! and asked not to make noise in the house as there was a baby in the room next to us.

We sat outside, under the stars though barely dark, talking and (Breanndán) singing.

The baby didn’t have the same consideration for us, next morning, crying at 6.00am.