Saturday, July 28, 2012

Places to visit in Iceland: Ósvör Maritime Museum

Coming from Ísafjörður just after you spot the town of Bolungarvík you can't help but notice a handful of grass-roofed houses below the road, down by the sea. This is the Ósvör Maritime Museum, a restored 19th century fishing station. The houses there include a drying shed, salting hut, and the hut where the fishermen ate and slept, and there is also an authentic open boat of the kind used for fishing before the advent of trawlers and freezing plants.

You would usually be greeted by a man clad in a traditional fisherman's outfit and given a guided tour, but he wasn't on duty the day my mother and I visited the museum, although there was a guide, and boy did he love to talk!

If you are at all interested in fishing and its history and in how people used to live and work, this museum is well worth a visit.

The approach to the museum, with the drying shed on the right and the fishermen's hut and salting shed up ahead.

The drying shed in close-up. It would have been used to dry fish and possibly for the drying stage of shark-curing.

The fishermen's hut, salting hut and boat. 
The boat would be rowed by six men, but there might be more aboard.

The boat with the mountainside looming above it.

The view out the front door of the fishermen's hut:

The guide displaying some equipment. He loves to talk and knows a lot about his subject. 
When the fishermen stayed here, the room he is standing in would have been used to store fishing gear, food and clothes and they would have slept in the attic. 

A stack of salt cod on display in the salting shed gives a pale idea of what it would have looked and smelled like back in the old days.

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