Finding Comfort at Akureyri

Akureyri marks the last stop for Iceland. The drive from Myvatn very scenic, cruising over the Northern snow plains. In Iceland, some of the petrol stations do not have people manning them. Your credit card may not work at such petrol station. So get the fuel cards from the petrol stations manned with people. Sadly I misplaced a 100 SGD petrol card. Till today I have no idea where I placed it.

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Phone Sim cards are bought on the aircraft and can be value can be reloaded from the petrol stations too. The service provider in Iceland is Siminn or at least that’s the one I was using. Offers pretty good service especially when you are travelling through some crazy mountainous area. 

Accommodation Akureyri

https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/5240020

I stayed at this lovely Airbnb hosted by this lovely lady Guðfinna who has a very big fluffy dog, Gula and two friendly cats Meow and Cleopatra. Every morning she would prepare traditional Icelandic breakfast for her guests and offer advice on where to go locally. Her place is off Highway 1 and is very easy to locate. You just have to signal early for the cars behind you to slow down for safety reasons. 

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Lie on the grass land right in front of her house!

1. Gðdafoss

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During the drive to Akureyri from Myvatn, you will come across Gðdafoss. This waterfall is one of the magnificent waterfalls of Iceland. Its unique curved landscape where the water cascades down is what makes this waterfall special.

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2. Akureryi Art Museum

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By JasonParis from Toronto, Canada (Akureyri) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The town of Akureryi is small. One of the things to do to learn about the city is to head to the art museum. Well at least for me, I am interested in art and design so going to the art museum allows me to learn about their style and culture. 

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Some art work that I’ve seen in the museum. They had an exhibition for children when I was there which featured interactive artworks that allowed children to play with them.

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You should also explore the city by foot after parking in a public carpark. There are various artists working in this small town and feel free to walk in as they would be happy to meet you and share with you their work. I chanced upon this textile artist who happened to be a Greenlandic artist. Her husband is the previous Minister of Culture for Greenland and created the Greenland flag. Very lucky to meet people from such a distant country and exchange about our culture. 

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Studio of the Greenlandic artists

3. Akureyrarkirkja (Akureyri Church)

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The town’s church is like Reykajavik’s Hallgrímskirkja. A must visit place photo taking place. Of course the scale of it is smaller compared to Hallgrímskirkja but unique in its architectural style.

4. Hlíðarfjall

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I have no idea how to pronounce the name of this place. This is a popular ski mountain in Akureryri. But during the spring time, the snow is melting and the whole place is shut down. Though I saw some random guy with his ski gear. Perhaps skiing somewhere of from the main area. I tried getting up the snow area for a bit. The snow was melting and there’s small streams of water underneath the snow and ice I was threading on. There were scary sounds of frozen ice cracking under you. After about 50m up, it started to get dangerous. The snow was really slushy and your legs sinks deep into it. Decided to head down for safety. But nonetheless it’s such a beautiful place that you only get to experience in spring. I just love snowscapes.

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Food Places

1. Bautinn Akureryri (92 600, Hafnarstræti, Akureyri, Iceland 

Opening Hours: Summer – Every day 09:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Winter – ​Sunday – Thursday 09:00 AM – 09:00 PM, Friday & Saturday 09:00 AM – 10:00 PM

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This restaurant was recommended by my Airbnb host that serves traditional Icelandic dishes. And the quality of food here is pretty exceptional. Very homely vibes from this place. I ordered a dish that’s pretty exotic. My friend did the lamb shank stew that was comfort food for the cold weather. The broth was rich with flavour but light at the same time. But sadly I didn’t manage to take a photo of it and it was gobbled down. Each meal comes with soup, bread and some appetisers.

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My steak

2. Kaffi Ilmur (Hafnarstræti 107b, 600 Akureyri, Iceland)

Opening Hours: 8-23 Mon-Thur,  8-19 Fri.-Sun

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Snapshot from Google Map

While walking around the town, I chanced upon this quaint little cafe that served nice cakes, coffee and tea. A nice spot for reading your books or just stare into space and enjoy the warmth and comfort the cafe offer. I took a snapshot from Google Map cause I was too hungry that day and went straight to the place forgetting to take a photo.

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Walking around Akureryi 

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Journey back to Reykjavik

Hraunfossar & Barnafossar

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Hraunfossar

After three days at Akureryi, it also marks the ending part of my trip in Iceland. Driving back to Reykjavik takes about 5 – 6 hours that ended up around 8 to 9 hours as we made a pit stop at another renowned waterfall, Hraunfossar and Barnafossar.

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Known as the Lava Falls, Hraunfossar is created from subterranean spring water seeping through lava and run down as tinny waterfalls into the Hvita River.

Through a short walk you will see another waterfall nearby called Barnafoss which literally translates to Children’s Waterfall. The folk tale behind the names goes like this. There were two children who were supposed to stay at home while their parents went to church. But when their parents returned, they were not at home. They followed the tracks to this waterfall where there was a natural bridge that links both side of the banks. The mum concluded that her children fell into the river and drowned. Then she destroyed the natural bridge so that no children will ever suffer the same fate.

A tragic tale for such a scenic waterfall. But the currents of Barnafoss is really strong.

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Barnafossar

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Blönduóskirkja

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This was one really cool church that I encountered during the drive back to the city. I hopped off the car and took some nice shots of this church.

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This was the most epic trip of my life. The landscapes of Iceland is too amazing.

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