On our sixth day in Iceland, we visited the northern city of Akureyri; the second largest in Iceland. What a beautiful city! And such a creative community. Both Chris and I thought it was even more beautiful than Reykjavík.
Below is pictured the shingles that we saw on a number of houses in this port city. They looked to be made out of slate, and were the prettiest shape and colour! They looked like fish scales when seen from further back.
The next day was spent driving a little west to the small town of Hvammstangi, which I mentioned in a previous post. This was the area known for being an ideal place to spot seals, (and trolls), so we took the drive around the Vatnsnes peninsula to see if we could spot some.
We did! There were plenty of them basking on the rocks, and I was so excited to develop the film and see some of the captures I'd gotten while quite close to a few of them. Unfortunately, the telephoto lens wasn't working properly, and none of them turned out, (sob)! Chris has some great digital photos of them, though. Thankfully!
Pictured above is Hvítserkur, a 15m high rock formation with a bit of lore behind it. It is said that this formation was once a troll that got caught out in the sunrise and froze just shy of the cliffs where it was headed. During low tide you can walk out to see it up close.
To the right in this photo is a viking fortress called Borgavirki. It was formed out of a natural volcanic plug in the earth, and climbing it gave a pretty incredible view of the surrounding area. Unfortunately; as I found out quite a bit on this trip, I have a real fear of heights, so I kept quite low to the ground while trying to take these!
More troll lore; this small waterfall, Kolugjúfur, just south of the Vatnsnes peninsula, runs through a canyon that was said to have been formed by the scraping fingertips of the giantess Kola. It was one of the prettiest waterfalls we saw on our trip, and is little known except to locals.
We drove to another town north of Akureyri called Dalvík to try and catch a ferry to Grímsey, the northernmost point in Iceland. Grímsey touches the arctic circle, and is known for it's bird population, especially puffins. We hadn't been able to find out when the ferry left, and were just a couple of hours shy of the ferry leaving for the day. Fortunately, we'd heard that there was another island that we could catch a ferry out to. This island, Drangey, was closer to our cabin, and is known for it's enormous bird colony, so we planned to go there the next day.
We explored a little bit more of Dalvík, then headed back the way we'd come through a few really beautiful port villages and tunnels through the mountains.
Siglufjörður, (which Chris endearingly named "Cigarette Four-Door" because the name was incredibly hard to pronounce), was another favourite town along the trip. We had a great lunch right beside the harbour and watched fisherman loading up their boats.