A long drive had taken us to Akureyri, the main city in the north and Iceland’s second largest city. Our next main destination would be a detour to Reykjavik, so we would need to backtrack south. But first we took the morning to explore the town and recover. An excellent public swimming pool with multiple slides, and the great weather provided ample entertainment and we made good use of the culinary offering in Iceland’s “capital of the north” for a tasty lunch. There was an actual city center and everything, and we even encountered the first traffic lights of our trip after nearly 3 weeks!
Our next target was the tiny town of Siglurfjördur, which had become one of the wealthiest towns in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s due the herring industry. Due to its sheltered location, fishing boats from all nations came to the fjord and a booming herring industry ensued – until the collapse of the herring population took it all away in the 60s. All of that can be seen and experienced in an excellent museum, including a real fishing boat to walk through. Even Liam, who normally bares with a museum for about 5-10 minutes, was intrigued for about an hour. We also met some fellow travellers who gave good tips on future destinations and routes. Also noteworthy is the somewhat scary one-lane tunnel that we had to take.
After Siglufjördur we had two very different experiences. The first was a lunch in a lovely small place and about an hour of throwing stones into a smooth river, followed by a visit to Höfsós’ stunning pool right by the waters edge in the sunshine. The sun was out, no wind and a general peaceful atmosphere.
A day later we parked the camper in 50km/h winds with grey skies and occasional horizontal rain. Over night the wind had become so bad that our caravan shook quite noticeably and the planned boat trip to see some seals had to be canceled by the captain. By the time we were moving out, skies had partially cleared, so we got to see the prettiest rainbow I think I have ever seen.
Coincidentally, I had decided to do some cycling earlier in the day after a look at the map and a judgement on wind direction. Turns out, my judgement was good for the second part of the cycle, but the first part was up 300m of elevation with wind coming directly at me down from the pass. I made up for it with a massive pizza for lunch in a town called Blönduos. After that – and a thorough washing of the camper – it was time to move south again. With strong northerly winds coming from directly behind us we posted the first (and probably last) ever sub 10l average fuel economy.
Our last stop on the way to Reykjavik was the city of Borganes. We stopped here for the excellent museum about the settlement of Iceland, including a very smart dual headset for the audio guide. That way I would hear the same as Liam and could explain things to him. The museum also houses a very good popular restaurant, where Yeya randomly met a Zürich Googler she knew. And of course we had to pay a visit to the local swimming pool!