Matt Willen | Thursday 4. February 2010
The first Saturday I was in Iceland, Águst and I went for a hike along the shore of Talknafjörður with Jon Þórdarson from Bíldudalur, Níels A. Ársælsson (Nilli) from Talknafjörður, and Sofie Gustafsdottir from Patreksfjörður. A beautiful hike along the coastline, the hike leads ultimately to a pair of standing rocks (stappi) situated just off shore in a small, isolated cove.
On the way out, we passed by the original site of the fishing village in the fjord, which is identified by the ruins of several small fishing huts and the site of a very large farm. Although the place is deserted now, in its heyday during the late 1800s and early 1900s, the site was a bustling center of activity, especially during the main fishing season.
From the ruins, one can still see the landing sites for the boats where the rocks were cleared away allowing easy access to the sandy beach. Just up hill from the ruins and beneath a small waterfall is the site of the old farm, which has a small forested area of red birch and spruce trees. Here at the farm site extends a stone wall just above the fresh water creek. When the town site was active, the fish were washed in the creek and then placed on the wall to dry. Interestingly, Jón´s mother grew up at the farm site, and he was born across the fjord at Suðureyri, the site of the old whaling station in the harbor. He is currently developing a heritage museum at Suðureyri.
The next morning, Jón and Nilli took us for a short visit to see the church at Stori Laugadalur, and then to hike out to see ´the monster rocks´ (skrimsla stappi) along Talknafjörður. The monster rocks are big chunks of basalt that have been worn by the pounding of the sea into shapes that resemble animals and other strange creatures of the imagination.