Travels in the North

Musings on arctic holidays

Reliving an old trip – 26th June 2006 – Akureyri

The one bus a day from Reykjahlíð on Lake Mývatn to Akureyri didn’t leave until 3:30, and I felt like I’d done everything with a reasonable walking/cycling distance so it meant I had a leisurely morning, and long lie in.

When I got on the bus there was one local and about five or six tourists on it. It’s amazing there’s a service at all really it must be subsidised quite heavily.

When the bus pulled into Akureyri it was a bit of a shock to the system to be back in an urban environment – although it’s still quite a modest sized town at around 17000 people, it’s the largest in Iceland outside the Reykjavik area, and the largest town I’d been in since leaving Aberdeen on the ferry about two weeks ago.

Akureyri

Akureyri

I had heard from a guy at the campsite in Reykjahlíð that the campsite in Akureyri was shut – but I checked with the tourist office and thankfully it had just reopened. It did have a slightly unfinished feel to it though – and no showers! Despite this is was packed, full of huge Icelandic off road vehicles, caravans and camper vans.

Church in Akureyri

Church in Akureyri

On my way into town I stopped at the botanical gardens – taking an avid interest in all things arctic I was keen to see the arctic flora of which they apparently had a lot – but was pretty disappointed. Just a modest collection of low lying shrubs with small green leaves. Still what exactly did I expect? It’s not really a region known for it’s flora afterall.

Akureyrarkirkja

Another church – Akureyrarkirkja

Akureyri town centre was pretty quiet – but then it was a Sunday night. A handful of tourist shops were open selling the usual postcards, t shirts, puffin keyrings and hugely expensive books on Iceland. A couple of pubs were also open but they all looked dead so I thought I’d leave the nightlife for tomorrow.

As the sun lowered it started to get quite cold, the daytime temperatures are around 20 degrees but at night it can get down to about 5 degrees or lower, which is in contrast to the Faroes where it seemed to remain fairly mild all night.

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