Iceland Travelogue: Day 5 August 12, 2016

So far the accommodations at Ísafjörður are the worst. They weren’t terrible, but it’s obvious the place is still a boarding school in the off-season. There were no pictures on the wall and no small amenities like in-room coffee or tea. After breakfast, we packed up and headed toward Súðavík.

Arctic fox pelts on the second floor of the Arctic Fox Center in Súðavík, Iceland. Photo by Jamie Simo.

The Arctic Fox Center is smaller than either of us were expecting and the upstairs more heartbreaking. I didn’t realize Icelanders still hunted the fox or that such a small creature is a threat to sheep. They have 2 kits at the center, though I should say young adults. They’re full-grown foxes whose parents were hunted. They’ll be released in Hornstrandir, a nature preserve where no hunting is allowed.

In Iceland, the arctic fox lives off birds, fish, and berries and 80% of them are “blue” meaning they don’t turn white in winter. That’s different from other arctic fox populations which live off of lemmings.

Arctic Fox at the Arctic Fox Center. Photo by Jamie Simo.

After we left, we drove on toward Hólmavík, but stopped along the way for a crowd of basking seals. In the U.S., this is a “jam” so, in this case, I suppose this was a “seal jam.” They were a mix of grey and harbor seals.

Our only other stop today was the Witchcraft and Sorcery Museum in Hólmavík. What strange magics Icelanders perform. Flaying a deadman and wearing his skin for pants to gain money? It seems a little elaborate!

Basking harbor seal. Photo by Jamie Simo.

Our hotel in Drangsnes is a little guesthouse with a glassed-in porch and a spectacular view of the ocean. Definitely the best view by far. There are gulls and fulmars and eiders aplenty on the rocky shore. Dinner was first class. I had fresh halibut and Ian a filet of lamb. We’re close to Grimsey, so we’ll see tomorrow if we can get a boat ride there to see more birds.

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