Saturday, June 30th

We (or I) awoke early, 5:30am after only 3 hours of sleep. Tried to go back to sleep and did for a bit but the sun was already high in the sky. There were people rolling into campsites until the early hours and kids playing outside into the early morning hours.

I’m beat and poor Greg has to deal with my crankiness in the morning. 4 hours/sleep per night doesn’t make for a nice Justine at least until I’ve gotten some coffee in me. I took a nice hot (sulfur) shower and we packed up. It was nice to wash some clothes for the next phase. We hit the local bakery, got coffee and gas and hit the 1 again. This time heading north out of Blonduos to the Skagaheidi Peninsula. We took the Ring Road (1) to the 75 and headed into the inlet. The water is the bright blue you see when the water is super cold and very clean. The scenery was spectacular. Plenty of opportunity to take pictures and walks. We stopped at Holar, a very old church (1016) site where the bishops of the north were headquarters. The church was re-built in the 1980’s and is made of out sandstone with a setting right in the middle of the glaciers up on a hill. There is a school there as well were students study fish and there is also a geothermal pool underneath the school. Very pretty and very windy. Along the way more sheep, horses and cows grazing on the grassy land.

Our destination today was Akureyri, the capital of north Iceland and second largest city in the country (16,700). It is situated on a fjord. No reference is made of the town until 1562. It was a trading center for a long time and is now home to two of Iceland’s largest fisheries operate here. The tourism industry is growing and it is the hub for whale watching hiking, camping, etc. There are a handful of museums, and artists galleries along with the Botanical Gardens which were lovely. We splurged and are staying at a hotel tonight which is expensive, but has free wi-fi which makes Greg happy. We walked around a bit and got some dinner. Greg had whale steak which wasn’t bad. It looks a lot like red meat, has good flavor, but is tough. Still you have to try this stuff while here. We ate at a nice place called Bluwinn right in town. It was crowded and had a large salad bar. Yay! Tomorrow we head to Godafoss Falls, 40kms away which are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Then East. We planned out our next 5 days to try and hit the top spots before heading back to Rekyjavik.

I am so happy to be sleeping in a bed tonight. I think I may be too old for true camping, but I love this country. If the weather continues to be as nice as it’s been we’ll go home with tans! Today was 15 C so warm by any standards. It’s meant to continue. Yippee.