Akureyri, Iceland

Dramatic skies and snow-capped peaks framed the entrance to Eyafjordur (island fjord),  (photo) the fjord which leads to Akureyri, (photo) the second largest city in Iceland which is on the northern coast.  Snowy mountains and small villages and farms are on the edges of the fjord (photos). Akureyri began as a trading centre around 1600, though the first actual residence was built only in 1777 and the first residents were all Danish traders. Fishing is important in this town but it is trying to expand its industrial base to businesses such as brewing, food processing and tourism.   Today I took a tour to the Lake Myvatn (pronounced Mee-vat) area, one of the must see places in Iceland.  We traversed a mountain pass, going past the geological remains of glacial and post-glacial times to the Godafoss waterfall (waterfall of the Gods) which is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland (photo).  Though shorter than Hengifoss which I saw yesterday, it is wider and much prettier.  We then went to the high temperature thermal field of Namaskard which contains gurgling yellow and purple sulphur cauldrons (photo). I was surprised that the bubbling lava was blue-grey whilst the surrounding land was brown. It was very windy and I almost got blown off my feet. The wind also lashed us with the fine volcanic dust that was everywhere and forms one of many volcanic deserts in Iceland.  The landscape was quite surreal (photo.)  Our next stop was the Dumuborgir lava labyrinth which contains lava castles, natural arches and grottos (photos).  These are said to be trolls who were partying and stayed out after the sun rose instead of  going into the safety of the dark and were then hardened into these shapes!  Our last stop before a nice lunch of arctic char were the Scutustadir craters. These are not volcanic craters but simply resemble them. They are formed by steam explosions when molten lava encounters lakes or wetlands.  Again it was very windy so we only took a quick look (photo). On our return we had a short sightseeing tour of the town which contains many old homes which are now museums. As you will remember, one of the things we could not do on the eastern leg of our cruise was sail through Prince Christian Sound in Greenland.  However, we have had good news.  Weather permitting, Holland America has agreed that we can sail through on the return.  Hopefully all being well, this will happen on the afternoon of the 11th.  At some point last night we traversed the Arctic Circle and now we will be heading southwest towards Greenland.  In the meantime, we say goodbye to Iceland.

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One Response to Akureyri, Iceland

  1. daviddapaget says:

    SPECTACULAR photos, Leslie. You’ve outdone yourself! Good luck at Greenland – and do keep us “posted’…

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