port city tannery

Margo_mountainsCar.JPGMountains along Boreal Forest south of Sauðárkrókur

We head north to the fjords again after a site-intensive day around Myvatn. Each day I ask how could there be more? And always the answer simply is so much more. It’s midnight and we fumble around the town of Sauðárkrókur to find Mikligarður Guesthouse. GPS can be a challenge and names of streets and guesthouses are not always evident as we wander around town and eventually are pointed in the right direction. A sturdy white 3-story clapboard guesthouse is located a block from the main road that is lined with restaurants and a bakery.

MilkaGset2Church and businesses lining Aðalgata

We enjoy a lovely dinner of fish soup, followed by deep sleep at the guesthouse. Morning takes us directly to the local bakery to sample the best of Icelandic pastries as we refuel on many levels. The guesthouse has a brochure of farms to the south and we decide to go south for my first opportunity to ride Icelandic horses. Another handy guesthouse brochure informs us a traditional turf house village along the road to the farms.

MilkaGset3bakerySauðárkróks Bakari – the best in town

On the way out of Sauðárkrókur we look for a pharmacy to pick up throat lozenges and happen upon Sútarinn, the last remaining Icelandic tannery and now econo-museum. We walk through the main room of Icelandic crafts and into the display rooms of skins: goat, sheep, horse, Arctic fox, and fox. The most interesting skins are fish dyed in a rainbow of colors. Exquisite shades and tints highlighting the pattern of scales. This experimentation with fish skins and the development of Atlantic leather in 1989 allowed Sútarinn to stay in business as other tanneries closed their doors. They created a fish leather with the softness of high quality cowhide. They are readily supplied with fish skins processed at a factory nearby in Dalvik. One of my regrets will be that I did not buy a few of those visually delicious fish skins, especially the ones in the subtle and luscious hues of turquoise, mauve, and butterscotch. We wave goodbye to the northern fjords.

MilkaGset1Sauðárkrókur Harbor and the surrounding mountains that carve out the fjord

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