From Keflavik to Akureyri
Akureyri Travel Blog› entry 3 of 18 › view all entries
Well, September rolled around and I decided it was time to leave the country again. Where too? How about Iceland? Very few people know about the secrets Iceland has, but for the past two years I've been secretly wanting to go. And finally my time has come!
So straight to the trip. I landed at 6:20 in the morning. Grabbed my bag. Went out to the lobby. Met the guy giving me my car rental. He busted out some papers. I signed them. He gave me the key. And the next thing I was out on the road, driving in Iceland!
First stop, Akureyri! This is the 2nd largest city in Iceland. But thats not saying much considering Iceland has less people than Prince William County and 95% of the population lives in or around Reykjavik. Iceland is about the size of Kentucky.
The drive was a long 6 hours. It was tough especially after getting no sleep on the plane. But the landscape was enough to keep me awake and energized.
First there were mountains. Then there was the waterfalls. I have never seen so many random waterfalls bursting out of the mountains! As I got further north, the snow caps started appearing. And even some evidence of volcanic activity! I felt like I was pulling over to take photos every 15 minutes.
I finally hit Akureyri. Its a beautiful town nestled at the foot of a bunch of mountains, and sits on the coast of the Artic Ocean. There I met a true Viking. Thats right, a Viking in the flesh and blood. And while she was sweet most of the time, you dare not cross her. She has quite a temper, and she ALWAYS gets what she wants.
The next stop, Laufás (turf homes). Alexandra, Hugrun, and Helga took me to visit real turf homes that were used up until the 1930's. It was amazing to walk through and see how people used to live. Even more amazing, Helga (whom escaped all photographs) was related to just about every one of importance in this town! Ok, maybe not everyone. But her family has close ties to those who lived and worked in these turf homes, and just hearing about the history was amazing!
Because Iceland has a lack of trees (thanks to the Vikings as it is believed), there wasn't a lot of wood to build homes. So instead, Icelanders would cut blocks of sod out of the ground. These blocks of sod would be stacked like bricks to make the walls of the turf homes. The nicer living areas would then be lined with wood for decoration and comfort. It is believed that the sod provided excellent insulation from the cold.
After checking out the turf homes, we spent some time in downtown. It was quite charming. Definately not like anything I've seen in America. The buildings were painted so bright and vibrant!
I only wish I wasn't so tired. But going over 48 hours without sleep will do that to a guy. Special thanks to Hugrun, Helga, and Alexandra for showing me around the city and helping me get my feet wet!