The Light and the Herring

When friends became aware that I was spending March in the north of Iceland one of the first responses usually was ‘But won’t it be really dark there?’ In reality when the light returns it returns with great speed even here in Siglufjordur which is surrounded by mountains. The snow-reflected light does add to the luminosity of the environment but sunrise is around 8am and sunset around 7.30pm.

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One of the stand-out features of the town is the brightly painted Herring Era Museum which has three buildings dedicated to the story of the boom years in Siglufjordur. At its peak the town exported 200,000 barrels of herring all gutted and packed by hand and it is thought the resulting economic benefits played a role in enabling the country to achieve independence in 1944……

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This fascinating collection of artefacts including several full size boats has won many awards including the European Micheletti Museum Award 2004. I could spend months in there and still find new items. Below is a trademark stamp which says Nord Licht ( any printmakers will be able to read this easily as we are all back to front anyway!) notice ‘licht’ as in ‘a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht the nicht’ fame.

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