Hafnarstraeti

Hafnarstraeti

Akureyri, with a population of about 15,000, is the second largest town in Iceland. It sits near the end of the 60 kilometer Eyjafjordur fjord with a backdrop of sheer granite mountains tipped with snow. Although only 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, we enjoyed clear skies and temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. We walked through the commercial center of the town, Hafnarstraeti, where we purchased an Icelandic sweater made with two wools. It claims to be waterproof.

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AKureyrikirkja

Akureyrikirkja

The steep walkway up to the basalt Akureyrikirkja is lined with colorful pansies. This church designed by Gudjon Samuelsson was built in 1940. The inside of the church features stained-glass windows with scenes from Icelandic history and the life of Christ. The passage way around the outside pews is very narrow. A model ship hangs from the ceiling. Apparently this is part of a tradition to protect the parish’s fishermen at sea.

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Icelandic horses

Icelandic Horses

We stopped for lunch in Varmahlid, which only has about 100 people but was packed with visitors for Landsmot. This biannual National Horse Show of Iceland is at nearby Vindheimamelar which is also in the Skagafjörður district. Some 15,000 people from Iceland and other parts of the world participate in different types of competition, the classic Icelandic Gæðingakeppni, tölt competition, racing and breeding shows. We walked to the top of Reykjarholl Hill for a panoramic view of the countryside.

Glanni

Glanni

What’s a day in Iceland without seeing a magnificent waterfall? We were not disappointed with the waterfall Glanni, not too far from Norðurá.

Egill Skallagrimsson cairn

Egill Skallagrimsson Cairn

After dinner in Bogarnes, we took a short walk to the waterfront. A cairn recognizes where Egill Skallagrimsson lived in the 10th century. The son of one of the first Norse settlers, Egill was both a fierce Viking warrior and poet in the skaldic tradition of intricate word-play and metaphor. A stop in a local bar completed another interesting day.

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