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Tálknafjörður

Tálknafjörður is one of the three communities in the southwest area of the Westfjords. The town has approximately 300 residents, about 50 of whom are immigrants (many from Poland) who work in the fish processing plant, ÞórsBerg, and provide a reliable source of labor during the fishing season. The plant runs at full operation for about 9 months of the year, September through July, which is the primary fishing season.

As you drive into town and look down to your left you will see several trout farms, much of the product of which is used for smoking at the smoking plant in town. The road enters town along the south side of the fjord: First a few houses and then down hill to the left, the large ThorsBerg fish processing factory, and the docks. Here is the industrial section of the town. In addition to ÞórsBerg, there is a company that smokes trout, a fish drying company, a marine paint facility, and the office of Andres Angelreissen, a tourist fishing company which provides sport fishing tours to, mostly, German tourists.

 

Across the main road is the local convenience store, owned by Elisabet Johannesdottir and her husband who moved to Tálknafjörður and opened the store two years earlier from the south of Iceland. Tálknafjörður also has a post office, a bank, a restaurant, a couple of guesthouses, a mechanic and repair shop, and Villimey Cosmetics, a company which produces organic cremes and ointments from local plants and herbs.

 

Behind these, spreading up the hillside to the south, is the town's primary neighborhood, which consists of about 60 or so well-kept houses. Many residents in Talknafjörður take considerable interest in decorating their lawns and gardens with little statues and boating/fishing paraphernalia, such as nets and the like. Many of the house windows are decorated as well, and a common item is blue glassware.

 

Farther down the main road, heading out the fjord, you pass beneath the main church and come the Grunnskólinn, the Icelandic equivalent of an American elementary and middle school, which children attend until they are 16. The school has a playground, and ball field, and is adjacent to the town pool and gym facility. This facility also administrates the adjacent campground, which may be in the nicest campground facility in the country, in part because of the access it provides to the pool and facilities. It costs 800 ISK to camp here, and for that one gets access to electricity, bathrooms, cleaning and cooking facilities (during the season). For an additional 300 ISK one can use the pool and showers. The pool is geothermally heated, and there are two very nice hot tubs there which themselves are worth the visit.

 

For those with a more natural bend, there is a natural hot pot, Pollurinn several kilometers further out the fjord. This is a very popular spot for many people in town, many of whom go nearly every day. I imagine that some visitors might find it a little on the slimy side, as the water comes directly out of the ground, unfiltered, and there is consequently some algae floating around in the water. The setting is great, however.


Vefumsjón