Amazing Iceland – 2020/2!
Updated: Oct 29, 2020
After my arrival in Iceland and following two negative Covid19 tests + quarantine, it was time for an emotional get-together with family and loved ones . . . and some travelling within the country! The first planned trip was to northern Iceland where nature, as in so many places in Iceland, is unleashed in its most elemental forms.
I hadn’t been to this area for over twenty years so I was thrilled at the opportunity to tag along with my brother Rafn and sister-in-law Anna Juliana who had planned to visit family and friends in the area as well as reacquainting me with some of our country’s natural wonders and extremes!
We left Reykjavik on a dull, rainy day but as Iceland’s weather is notoriously variable we had checked the weather forecast ahead of time and knew that by the time (5 1/2hours with two short stops) we would reach our day’s destination, Akureyri via the first stretch of Iceland’s Ring Road . . . things would start changing for the better!
Upon arrival in Akureyri, Iceland’s 2nd largest urban area, we drove directly to the modern and comfy K16 apartment hotel where we had booked lodgings for two nights. I loved the location, right in the heart of the city and only a few steps away from the town’s main street with quaint shops, cafés and restaurants as well as the stately landmark Lutheran Church of Akureyri (Akureyrakirkja) with its two towers and steps rising above the town.
By the time we had settled in our lodgings we were feeling ravenous and wanted to go out for dinner at one of the town’s best restaurants, Rub23 known for its fresh & funky food, which just happened to be next door to our hotel. We hadn’t made reservations as we thought on a Wednesday night it wouldn’t be crowded . . . but alas, it was packed and no tables available until 10.30! So instead of food, we consoled ourselves with a trendy, tasty cocktail before heading out to look for a table that turned out to be a lot harder that we had imagined!
After strolling through town, we ended up in a Chinese restaurant where we enjoyed a tasty soup, spring rolls and duck followed by yummy ice-cream at a nearby shop known for its quality and scrumptious tasting varieties!
Early mornings and their sunrise are quite special and since I love to wake up early to experience what I call the silence of the world, on our second day in Akureyri I sneaked out of the hotel around 6.00 am to catch a glimpse of the harbor with a mystical sunrise and calm splashing waves followed by a magical walkabout around town . . . without a single sole to disturb the purest part of the day!
After my walk and thoughts about the mixture of culture, adventures and nature that Akureyri has to offer, it was time for breakfast and a few cups of coffee at a lovely traditional bakery before heading out to see some awesome sights!
If you are wondering what I had for breakfast then I can assure you that I opted for local specialties; fried bread with outstanding smoked Icelandic lamb and for a sweet touch, a yummy Kleina (cardamom flavored doughnut); a real favorite that brings back happy childhood family memories with every bite!
Nourished and satisfied we set out for our road-trip towards the Vaðlaheiðargöng, an amazing 7.4 km toll tunnel east of Akureyri on our way to the magnificent Goðafoss (the waterfall of the pagan idols) . . . a truly spectacular sight!
Next on our schedule was a visit to friends at the beautiful lake region of Mývatn, Iceland´s 4th largest body of water and the home of some incredible geological features with daunting lava formations, flora and fauna . . . and also the home of dozens of species of nesting birds.
It goes without saying that we did a lot of walking and reminiscing but we also made some new discoveries like the Vogafjós Farm Resort where we enjoyed a lovely luncheon at the resort´s restaurant located inside the farm´s cowshed that offers homemade local food with an option to watching the cows being milked through a glass window. If you prefer though, on a nice day, one can sit outside and enjoy nature and a view towards the lake.
We could have stayed all day at Mývatn but since we also wanted to make stops at the Mývatn´s Nature Baths and Hverir, a lunar-like landscape of a hot-springs, boiling mud pots and fumaroles before heading back to Akureyri for a family reunion, we bid farewell to our friends and sped towards our next destinations.
This is a must-stop area that I think every visitor to northern Iceland should explore as it has many unique attractions for unforgettable adventures!
This time around we didn’t have as much time as I wished for as we had to get back to
Akureyri for what was one of our main reasons for the trip . . . a family get-together at the beautiful home of Anna Juliana’s sister, on the hillside across from Akureyri, in a stunning natural environment with incredible scenery and views!
Here is another glimpse of the view that I hope will inspire you . . . as much as it did me!
Amazing Iceland - 2020/3 coming soon!