Iceland has several museums inside preserved 19th-century turf buildings, and Glaumbær can be a good stand-in for all of them. These farmsteads are reminders of how dramatically Icelandic life has changed within a single lifespan. They are also vital repositories of cultural memory: with no coffeehouses, theaters, or village squares, Icelanders were once homebound on residences such as this through long, dark winters.
Like most of the more prosperous farms of the time, Glaumbær has several buildings, constructed at different times but accessed from a central corridor. Aside from the usual fish-skin shoes and toys made from animal bones, Glaumbær's more unique holdings include driftwood bureaus, primitive brainteasers, and a snuff box made of a whale tooth. For Icelanders, the most treasured piece is a basket allegedly made by Fjalla-Eyvindur, the beloved 18th-century outlaw. The near-waterproof basket, expertly woven from willow roots, is inside an unmarked glass case at the back of room #5. The church next door is worth a quick look to see the six disassembled panels from a 1685 Danish pulpit.
Áskaffi, in a neighboring 1886 clapboard house, serves hot drinks, cakes, sandwiches, old-fashioned pancakes, and skýr cake in front of a turf-burning fireplace.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010