Saturday, August 20: As we continue down the Ring Road to the southeastern coast of Iceland, we make one stop at Teigarhorn before going into the town of Djúpivogur.
Teigarhorn is a world-famous site for zeolites. There, as in many other places, zeolites are found in hollows and crevices in the rock, coming to light as a result of erosion, particularly when wave action breaks rock out of cliff faces. In many places these cavity fillings are found in clay-like material and are easily destroyed. They are often covered with an external layer of blue-green celadonite. In geological terms, the zeolite formations at Teigarhorn are connected to dikes extending from the main volcano that was active more than 10 million years ago.
Local merchants and others used to gather rocks indiscriminately here and sell samples around the world. In 1976, the Environment Agency, in consultation with the landowners, declared Teigarhorn a natural monument. No natural formations may be disturbed here, and protected areas can only be visited after obtaining authorization from the supervisor who lives on the farm.
Teigarhorn holds great attraction for people with an interest in rocks and minerals, and there are also several historical relics there. It was considered quite poor land and suffered a great deal from blowing sand in the 19th century. In the year 1869, Niels Weywadt, the manager of the general store in Djúpivogur, bought Teigarhorn and began farming there. In 1880-81, he had a house built on the farm, which still stands and is maintained by the National Museum. Bulandsdalur, one of the most beautifully shaped mountains in Iceland, towers over the site. The same family has lived in Teigarhorn for the entire century.
We drive 4km more to Djúpivogur, a charming village located on the fjord Berufjörður. It has a long history of trading since 1589. Today the main industry is fishing with tourism increasing rapidly in recent years (Visit East Iceland: Djúpivogur).
It is still cold and windy, so we want to warm up a while over a cup of hot chocolate. We stop at the Hotel Framtíð.
We sit in the cozy lobby and order some hot chocolate, which sadly is actually lukewarm chocolate.
Djúpivogur is a fishing village that’s been around since the 16th century when German merchants brought goods to trade. It’s the oldest port in the Eastfjords. In 1627, pirates from North Africa rowed ashore, plundered the village and took away dozens of slaves (Lonely Planet Iceland). Roman coins which were found by a local farm and which date back to about AD300 indicate that Roman ships came north to Iceland.
We drive to the western end of the waterfront to see an outdoor sculpture, Eggin í Gleðivík, or ‘The Eggs of Merry Bay.’ Created by the Icelandic artist Sigurður Guðmundsson, the exhibition contains 34 huge granite eggs, one for each of the species of birds that breed locally. The largest egg belongs to the colorful Red-Throated Diver, which was chosen as the official bird of Djúpivogur. (Icelandic Times: Hotel Framtíð of Djúpivogur)
We drive by Bones Sticks & Stones, a quirky sculpture garden full of bones, mineral rocks and other stuff, but we don’t stop in because we’re anxious to be on our way.
We enjoy our brief stop in Djúpivogur, but we’re anxious to be on our way along the southeast coast so we can reach Höfn, today’s destination.