Saturday, 29 June 2019

Akureyri in Iceland from Ventura

We woke at 4 am this morning (Icelandic time) to discover ourselves surrounded by the most spectacular views. We had entered the Eyjarfjord an hour earlier and were sailing gently towards the Icelandic town of Akureyri. This is northern Iceland's largest fishing port and its cultural and industrial capital. We soon caught a glimpse of the town before we finally docked just before 8 am.

We were one hour behind UK clocks, but as there was less than 50 minutes between sunset and sunrise, the whole idea of  time felt slightly surreal. Once again the weather seemed to forget that we were so close to the Arctic Circle, and, after a leisurely breakfast, we headed ashore wearing only lightweight coats. The one and only hop on hop off bus was waiting for us. It ran once an hour so we were lucky to find a seat.

The bus took about 45 mins and cost around £20 each, which is probably more than you would pay in the UK . The literature on the bus described the town as 'dynamic', which seemed to be rather a flattering description of this reasonably quiet little town. Nevertheless it was a very good way to discover all the various points of interest, including the museums, Botanical Gardens, and shopping areas. We had to admire the way the residents of this remote northern location had created a thriving town with eye-catching ideas to raise a smile.

  Apparently all the red traffic lights were changed to a heart shape after the Icelandic bank crash in 2008.

Once we had finished our bus tour we took the ten minute walk into the town centre.

The architecture of the Icelandic houses was interesting, and there was plenty of seating to rest in the semi-pedestrianised town square before entering the main shopping street.

They had also provided many information display boards throughout the town to help us discover its history and find the selection of cafes and souvenir shops in the main street.

We  finally purchased a few Christmas tree decorations at a souvenir shop before embarking ready for our journey to the next port of call. So here is one final photo from our sailaway back up the fiord. We spotted several whales emerging above the water surface as we left Akureyri. It was almost impossible to capture an image of them on my phone, but I made an attempt. The whale is the black dot about 20 feet in front of the red whale spotting boat. I hope the whale spotters managed to take some better photos than this one....



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