Taylor, Kendall, and I would have missed one of our most unique experiences on our road trip across Iceland if Taylor had not insisted we stop in Djúpivogur. The Gallery of Freevilli is an eclectic home collection of bones, stones, and other interesting artifacts maintained by Vilmundur Porgimsson and his dog. A small bit of skepticism was quickly vanquished by several wonderful exhibits and a friendly host.
The partially reconstructed whale skeletons that guard the entrance to Vilmundur’s gallery are impossible to miss and represent only a fraction of the bones we would see. We saw a multitude of skulls, vertebrae, teeth, horns, and full skeletal reconstructions among the several independent exhibits. The skeletons of several aquatic animals were the most impressive and interesting of the bunch.
Far from a boneyard, the Gallery of Freevilli is wealthy with natural stones and crystals. Crystals and intriguing rocks as small as a pebble inhabit display rooms alongside some larger than my head.
The glistening crystals and abstract gem formations mesmerized and perhaps enchanted us just before we walked outside and began reading about the Icelandic “hidden peoples” and their mystic nature. As we finished reading and began to approach the residence to view the remainder of the collection, we were greeted with a merry, “Hello, people”.
Inside, several shelves of carvings and collectibles lined the walls and wagered for our attention as we began to converse with their creator. Vilmundur is a fascinating and open individual with whom we spoke for nearly thirty minutes. In a country where most of our interaction was with immigrants, this encounter with Icelandic sentiment will not soon be forgotten.
The Gallery of Freevilli is a commendable collection of natural artifacts with a few eye-catching artistic creations. Artifacts and folklore litter the property, and one might find themselves in awe for much longer than expected.