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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Around Akureyri

Today has not been a very adventurous day. We were up quite late, as the owner knocked on the door at about 11pm and invited us out to see the aurora. Even over the lights of the town, it was much brighter than we'd seen in our drive out to the countryside.

This morning we got up and headed into town. First stop was right at the bottom of route 828 where it terminates at Route 1. There's a little park there, and the first geocache here in the north. It was very easy to find, and we placed one of the travel bugs into it.

When we arrived in town, we parked at Hof, the local cultural and convention center/performance hall. We went inside, but the tourist bureau is not open on the weekend. In fact, very little in Akureyri is open on the weekends. Even the hot dog stand in town was closed. Mom selected another geocache, and off we went. When we'd made it about half a mile on foot we discovered that the selection had gotten bumped - the GPS wanted us to head up a large hill, when the description of the cache said it was near Hof. We reset the GPS and backtracked, and found the cache near a sculpture just west of Hof. It was just a film canister size, though, too small to leave a travel bug.

While we were walking along the waterfront and the marina, we noticed that the water looked kind of odd, almost thick. As we reached the marina, we realized it was because it was in fact ice - the water has started to freeze for the winter. There were still people wanting to go out in the rigid inflatable boats for whale-watching, though.

Our next stop was Akureykirkja, the local church. It has double spires and beautiful ironwork hinges on the doors. Mass was just getting out, and we didn't want to disturb them, so we didn't go inside, just got some pictures, then headed down to the next cache. This one was in a rock wall behind a poet's house - you found it by going halfway down the church steps, then around a path to the house. The path is starting to erode away, and they're going to need to do some serious hillside stabilization work before too much longer, or the church is going to end up on top of an apartment building, and in the fjord.

We did a bit of shopping around town, then headed out south. We came in from the north and the west, and we're heading east to explore tomorrow, so we wanted to see what was south. Turns out... not much, just farmland. We did see quite a few dead evergreen trees, though, just like we saw on our trip up here from Reykjavik. It's like they were growing fine, then just died.

Back in town, we hit the other church for pictures, though it is much less impressive close up than far away. Then we headed to the Bonus for food. We picked up stuff for tacos and chicken alfredo - tacos tonight, chicken some other day. I also want to hit the fish and chips shop in town one night, since this is a fishing town.

Mom was feeling a bit under the weather, so we came back to the apartment so she could nap. Nick and I ran out to pick up some things we'd forgotten, and this evening we're just going to relax. Tomorrow we're going to head out to Goðafoss, Lake Mývatn, Dettifoss, and maybe farther east. I'd like to hit the national park that's up here, so we can say we visited all three. Tuesday is the trip to Grimsey Island, Wednesday is TBD, Thursday is the drive back to Reykjavik, and Friday is close out and fly home.

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