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Published: August 30th 2008
Today was a big change from the landscapes of the past few days. We drove westward towards the northern town of Akuryri. This was a place where I could actually consider living. It lay near the bottom of the long fjord of Eyjafjordur. The mountains gave the impression of being in Switzerland and everything was a lot greener. This town is the capital of the north and an important centre for services, culture and commerce. Around 17,000 people live here and there was a warm atmosphere to the place, unlike the greyness of the capital. (Maybe I just don't like cities) Our first stop was to view some of the old buildings.... I really have to re adjust my mind to what is actually 'old' in Iceland. We stop at the top of the beautiful botanical gardens and we realised how starved of greenery and flowers we have been. The colours of the flowers seemed to bring back a bit of normality to us. The immense overload of dramatic lanscapes gone for a short while. The Akureyri church was interesting set at the top of some long steps. There was a large model sailing ship hanging from the ceiling as we
entered. It looked quite natural to be there. We searched for the stained glass window which apparently came from Coventry cathedral after the second world war. We walked into the little town where we enjoyed doing some 'grockle' viewing of shops. There was a large model viking outside one so the obvious family photo of the 'emmetts and sprogs' had to be taken. (Photo to follow)
There was a delightful dark blue painted cafe where the smell of delicious coffee and cakes wafted from. As we were leaving the town we spotted a flash of black in the fjord and stopped quickly. A whale and her baby had come into the fjord and had been there for two days. We saw her once more then she decided that she didn't want to perform for the cameras and stayed beneath the water.
Our journey took us on a the best road yet in Iceland over the hills and far away to the Glaumber Farm and folk museum. Another interesting bit of Iceland's history. Yes, we do need our bit of history on this trip. The buildings dated from different periods in the 18th and 19th century. Our main problem that
none of the local guides seem to want to show us round. They were all in the office glued around a radio. It was then we discovered that Iceland was playing and handball match to reach the final of the Olympics. We realised later that tehy had won when several excitable people ran to the nearby cafe to inform the people there.
( They won a silver in the final!)
We drove on over the north of Iceland round to our stop for the night near some powerful springs which looked rather small. These springs were at Deildatunguhver which created 198 litres of boiling water per second. (Always useful to know the technical stuff?)We stayed at this hotel which was the cultural hotel. All the corridors and rooms had mythological or literature themes. There were rooms with books lying around and it was full of character despite being a modern hotel. We ventured down in the cold and wind to seek out Snorri's pool which was an historical site!!! No comment.
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