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Stokkseyri – the Museum Village in South-Iceland


UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Stokkseyri village is a beautiful little village in South-Iceland subsequent to Eyrarbakki village, which I’ve informed you about in one other travel-blog. These 2 little villages are sometimes neglected by travellers, who do not find out about their existence and stick with ring-road one on their travels in South-Iceland.

However this detour from ring-road 1 is nicely value it, as in each these villages, that are proper by the ocean, you will note stunning outdated homes and several other museums.

One in every of these museums is the distinctive museum known as Veiðisafnið – Wildlife Museum (Searching Museum) – the most important museum of its sort within the Nordic international locations. The museum is a non-profit organisation and the one museum in my nation devoted to wildlife and moral searching.  

On the Wildlife Museum, you may see the animals, the weapons with which they had been hunted, and get a guided tour by the hunter himself!  On the museum, you will note all types of animals, f.ex. a giraffe, ostrich, full mount lions and a full mount polar bear, buffaloes, a zebra, a musk ox, a crocodile, seals, and all types of mammals and birds from 3 continents. 

The guests at this museum are primarily Icelanders, however I’ve for the longest time wished to introduce this distinctive museum to our overseas guests as nicely. Driving right down to the ocean to go to the villages of Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki is a beautiful detour from ring-road 1.

Páll Reynisson, the founding father of the Wildlife Museum, is the one Icelander who’s well-known for searching with a handgun overseas. He hunts virtually each sort of animal with a handgun: lions, giraffes, antelopes, and even crocodiles!

Páll is a perfectionist and his assortment is superbly mounted on the partitions and on the ground – with birds flying above one’s head. The Wildlife Museum is the biggest museum in Iceland with birds of their flying place.

This museum is extraordinary and a lot multiple expects. It’s wonderful actually that within the small village of Stokkseyri such a museum could be discovered.  The museum is additionally the house of the hunter Páll, who opened his museum to the general public in 2004. 

Páll began searching when he was an adolescent and began out with 2 stuffed birds. His assortment ultimately grew a lot that he had stuffed 3 homes in Reykjavíok. He then moved together with his assortment in 1999 to Stokkseyri village proper by the ocean in South-Iceland.

An increasing number of folks had been knocking on his door to have a peek at his animals and when 1,000 folks had visited him for that function over a interval of 6 months – getting into by way of his kitchen and saying that it was egocentric of him not opening up a museum to point out the animals, he selected opening up a museum to point out folks his big assortment.

Páll informed me that one night time a bus with 42 folks had arrived at 11 pm on the museum. This group had been having dinner at Fjöruborðið restaurant in Stokkseyri. Páll opened the door in his pajamas and confirmed them his museum, proving that this distinctive museum has received the private contact 🙂

​For the following 2 years, there was an explosion within the variety of guests at the museum and Páll expanded the museum in 2005 and 2006, including a second showroom on the ninth of June 2007 – so now 2 teams could be welcomed on the similar time. Each day guests fluctuate from 2-424, however on common round 7,000 friends go to the Wildlife Museum yearly.


In 2009, within the first yr after the monetary collapse in Iceland, a whopping 9,000 friends paid the Wildlife Museum a go to. Icelanders weren’t travelling overseas in that yr as our króna collapsed within the disaster.

 

There are 2 huge showrooms – one with an enormous giraffe in a single half of the room plus quite a few different animals, which Páll has hunted in 3 continents – Europe (Iceland and Sweden) Greenland, North-America, and South-Africa. Sadly, I haven’t got a photograph of the giraffe, however it’s big!

Páll shot the giraffe in 2000 in South-Africa with a cal. 44 Magnum, single shot with Ruger Tremendous Redhawk. The giraffe was 35 years outdated, 5.03 meters excessive, and 1,250 kilos.

​Within the newer showroom, there’s a lion and a lioness, a polar bear, a crocodile, and quite a few birds and different animals. On show is additionally numerous hunting-gear, like rifles, searching knives and so forth. It’s fairly wonderful and so value a go to.

The polar bear was shot in Greenland, not by Páll himself although. The museum purchased the polar bear from a taxidermist in Akureyri in North-Iceland. It has been jokingly mentioned that this polar bear is the one polar bear, which has travelled underneath the ocean by way of the Hvalfjarðargöng tunnel.

Subsequent to the polar bear, there are 2 white Arctic foxes, however Arctic foxes are amongst the few wild mammals in Iceland. They avoid people and I’ve solely twice seen foxes within the wilderness of Iceland on my travels.

The most important prey in Iceland is the reindeer bull. The reindeer had been imported within the yr 1771 from Norway and run wild in East-Iceland solely. On the museum, you can find 2 life-size reindeer.

Páll says that the principle sights on the museum are the lions and the giraffe. Páll shot the lions on his fiftieth birthday (nineteenth of Could) in South-Africa. He swore on his twenty fifth birthday that he would shoot a lion on his fiftieth birthday – and he stored his promise. 

Páll and his pal, Jónas Geir Sigurðsson, shot two American Buffaloes (Bos Bison) with a handgun in Minnesota USA. Their shoulder mounts have been mounted on the wall within the first showroom. The Buffaloes had been totally grown males – one weighing 950 kilos and the opposite one 1,100 kilos – they’re huge!

Standing in entrance of them trying them into their glass eyes is surreal, I by no means realized how huge this animal is till I noticed it on the Wildlife Museum! The gun they used was a T/C Contender cal. 45-70 and the load of the bullet was 400 grain. Taxidermist Ted Pilgrim within the USA mounted the buffaloes. I want I had a photograph of the buffaloes to point out you the way huge they are surely.

Usually school-groups go to the museum – from Iceland, the Faroe Islands and college students learning pure historical past have visited from Copenhagen. The museum additionally has lectures for youths as they’re particularly captivated with seeing all these animals and listening to tales about searching.

There is not one other museum of this nature in Iceland and the Wildlife Museum is considered one of its sort within the Northern international locations. Simply think about, this big museum – established and run by Páll – is considered one of its sort within the Northern international locations!

Páll has carried out all the pieces on the museum himself from A-Z – other than the taxidermy.  95% of the animals on the museum have been haunted by Páll. A lot of the animals are the work of taxidermists in South-Africa and are shipped to Iceland. In keeping with Páll, the perfect taxidermists are in South-Africa. The standard of the taxidermy is the central subject to the perfectionist Páll and is of course firstclass. 

All of the ammunition for the weapons are custom-made by Páll himself, he hunts the animals, he created the lighting and design of the museum, he’s a photographer and he mops the flooring. He imports the products straight and organises the searching excursions himself and not using a intermediary, which retains the costs low.

In 2009 Páll went on a searching safari to South-Africa and on that journey, he acquired an ostrich and a crocodile. The life-size ostrich is on show, it’s a 2-meters-high male ostrich. It’s big, a lot larger than I’m and virtually scary trying, I’d not need that animal working after me, nor every other animal for that matter! The crocodile, a Nile crocodile, is mounted complete on one of many partitions of the museum.

Páll additionally hunted 4 various kinds of antelopes and you’ll see their shoulder mount on one of many museum’s partitions.

On the identical journey in 2009, Páll took half in a rescue hunt the place he shot a rhino with a dart from a specifically made rifle. The rhino was darted and its horns eliminated – then the rhino was launched. Not having any horns the rhino is of no worth to poachers – and thus its life was saved. Poachers kill the rhinos for his or her horns, which they will get a superb value for in Asia, as there the powdered horns of a rhino are believed to be medicinal.  

Mounted on the wall in one of many showrooms on the Wildlife Museum is a forged of the shoulder mount of that vast rhino. It’s the solely duplicate on the museum.

No photographs are allowed contained in the museum for safety causes, so I needed to borrow some from the photographer and former TV-cameraman – the hunter Páll. They’re in black and white, as the Wildlife Museum makes use of black and white photographs on its web site.

Páll allowed me to take a few photographs within the museum reception, f.ex. of the puffins, which for my part should be proven in color as they’ve such vibrant beaks. So the color photographs are mine. I’ve been stalking Páll for a few years now – begging him for permission to take some photographs as I wished to jot down about his museum.

Despite the fact that he’s my brother-in-law I by no means received his permission. He ultimately caved in although and allowed me to make use of a number of the photographs belonging to the museum. Thanks, Páll ðŸ˜‰

250 animals (birds and mammals) are on show on the Wildlife Museum and 55 weapons! Páll often strikes issues round and modifications the show and improves – being the perfectionist he’s. A gray wolf hunted in December 2012 in Estonia was added to the museum in 2016. The gray wolf, the polar bear and the moose are animals which have been purchased for the museum.

The most recent additions to the Wildlife Museum are 8 animals from South-Africa, which had been hunted in 2016 and placed on show in the summertime of 2017.

A number of the animals are on mortgage from the Icelandic Institute of Pure Historical past, just like the dusky leaf monkey, the gorgeous huge owl, and the lion’s head. This stuff are outdated and had been a donation to the Icelandic Institute of Pure Historical past in Iceland. 

Seeing that the Icelandic Institute of Pure Historical past hasn’t received any museum (which to me is meaningless) they’ve an settlement with Páll and the Wildlife Museum for him to exhibit a few of their gadgets.

Páll runs the Wildlife Museum and lives at the museum with my sister. They’ve a panoramic ocean view from their condominium – and so they typically see whales swimming by! Fancy that! Yearly they invite my complete household for a barbecue and a sleep-over on the museum.

Then my husband and I sleep on mattresses within the showroom with the polar bear and the lions, and after I open my eyes within the morning I’ve 2 reindeer looking at me – plus a few swans flying over my head. It’s fairly a novel expertise!

Páll is a trophy hunter with a superb coronary heart – the Indian in him tells him to comply with the animals to the tip and he’s positive that he’ll meet their souls once more. Till then the animals get an everlasting life at the museum.

In Africa, they make use of the entire animal and eat the offals.  Páll eats the meat of the animals he hunts and it’s bought, so nothing goes to waste. Solely the pelt of the animal is used for taxidermy. I can not see that that is something completely different than slaughtering sheep, pigs, horses and cattle on a big scale for his or her meat like some folks want to argue for. The inventory wants combing out and infrequently the older animals get haunted. 

Páll informed me that lion meat is dangerously good! He tries the meat of all of the animals he hunts and has tasted the polar bear meat, the meat of giraffe, antelopes and so forth. Páll claims that searching animals is intrinsic and I have to agree with him, though I selected to be vegan for 26 years. Páll is a preservationist and says that the majority hunters are preservationists. The hunters pay a towering price for searching the animals in Africa and this price goes to the preservation of the inventory. 

In Iceland, the hunters additionally pay for the analysis on wild animals with the price they pay for the annual searching license. 

Páll has received a number of acknowledgments from the Safari Membership Worldwide – SCI hanging on the partitions of the museum. He’s a critical trophy hunter and trophy searching is an enormous business in South-Africa. 

The Wildlife Museum invitations blind and visually impaired folks for one weekend of a free contact safari on the museum, in collaboration with the Icelandic organisation of the visually impaired. The animals are then dismounted and the blind guests are given gloves to allow them to contact the animals.

As much as 50 blind or visually impaired folks can go to the museum on the similar time. A number of blind folks have travelled from England to go to the museum throughout this weekend.

There’s an annual gun exhibition for one weekend on the Wildlife Museum. It’s the twelfth time (2017) this exhibition has been held and several other hundred folks go to the exhibition throughout these 2 days – it is rather well-liked. On show is a diverse collection of all form of firearms; shotguns, machine weapons, military rifles, handguns and so forth. Firearms from privately owned collections are on exhibition on the museum during this weekend solely.

Watch an interview which the TV-station Stöð 2 made with Páll on the gun exhibition.  It’s in Icelandic solely because it was on our information, however it offers you a uncommon glimpse into the museum and of the weapons.

On the museum, you will note two handmade shotguns made by the late Jón Björnsson from Dalvíok, who was round 70 years outdated when he began making weapons.  All in all, he made 120 handmade shotguns, which he known as Drífa. They grew to become very talked-about as Jón Björnsson was extraordinarily expert on this artwork and his weapons are masterpieces and collector’s gadgets. Páll and the descendants of Jón Björnsson managed to hint all 120 Drífa weapons, which was an enormous activity. The places of those weapons was a analysis venture of the Wildlife Museum.

Páll has paid homage to a number of the nice hunters of Iceland, f.ex. to 2 well-known fox hunters with an exhibition on their life and weapons. They’re Sigurður Ásgeirsson (Siggi tófa) from Gunnarsholt and Einar Guðlaugsson from Þverá. 

Páll has held a seminar for brand new gun homeowners on the native gun membership SFS for the Icelandic police, instructing them the best way to use firearms.

Páll is such a perfectionist that it’s a delight visiting the museum, all the pieces is completely organized in a phenomenal method. A guided tour is on the market by appointment, make use of that as Páll may be very educated and an amazing character. 

The museum is open: April-September: each day from 11:00-18:00. October-March: weekends solely. December and January: closed.

The Wildlife Museum is the second constructing to the appropriate as you enter the stunning village of Stokkseyri, so that is the place you can begin, by visiting the Wildlife Museum earlier than you go to the village itself. If you’re serious about searching and wildlife, or simply wildlife and to take a look on the animals, then visiting this distinctive museum shouldn’t be missed.

Þuríðarbúð cottage

In Stokkseyri village you can find the hypothetical Þuríðarbúð. Þuríðarbúð is a tiny turf hut; a well-made duplicate of what the outdated seasonal fishermen’s hut regarded like.

Þuríðarbúð was erected again in 1949 within the reminiscence of Þuríður Einarsdóttir (1777-1863) “formaður” and the outdated methods of the seasonal fishermen on this a part of Iceland.

Þuríður was a rare girl; on the age of solely 11, she began fishing on rowing boats together with her father, and at 17 she grew to become an able-bodied seaman.

Þuríður received a particular allow from the sheriff to gown as a person at sea. She was known as “formaður” for the key a part of her years at sea, which lasted till 1843. This was exceptional for a lady at the moment.

The fishermen’s huts, which had been discovered in lots of locations by the ocean in Iceland, had been made with turf, rock, and wooden. In these huts, the seasonal fishermen slept collectively, two and two. It should have been a bit unusual being the one girl within the hut.

Þuríðarbúð fishermen’s hut was rebuilt in 2001. It’s underneath the care of Byggðasafn Árnesinga – the Árnessýsla Heritage Museum and is open to guests. No admission price.

Draugasetrið

The Icelandic Wonders Museum is a must-see with its elves, trolls, and Northern lights.

A Ghost Museum is in the identical constructing, however be ready to be startled on each nook. The primary time I visited this museum my mom received so scared that we needed to go away 😉

Djákninn á Myrká – the Deacon of Darkish river

 

 

To go to the south coast of Iceland you may lease a automotive in Reykjavíok and drive to Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki in lower than an hour through route 1 South and route 39, which we name Þrengslin.

On the way in which, you’ll move Raufarhólshellir lava cave, the place you may be part of an hour’s guided tour of the colorful lava cave.

 

Have a beautiful time in Stokkseyri ðŸ™‚

 

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