Iceland (Part 5): The North


The last time we met, we were heading north on Iceland's Ring Road (Route 1). The wind had picked up and it was getting dark so we decided to pull over and hunker down for the night. We pulled over in a small town on the edge of Mývatn which in non-winter months is a gorgeous lake. The area is also famous for its geothermal activity, hot springs, mud pots etc. We weren't really here for a spa day this time so we skipped that stuff and since it was winter the lake was less than evident. When we woke up, we did drive around the lake and took in some views of the obvious volcanic activity.

Myvatn, Icland, Volcano

After our quick jaunt, we hit the road and head towards one of the more famous waterfalls not on the southern coast, Godafoss. The story goes that in the year 999 or 1000 the people of Iceland decided to convert to Christianity. One of the prominent elders of the island, while traveling home from the congress, stopped at the falls and tossed his statues of the Norse gods into the falls. Hence, Godafoss or god falls.

Godafoss

Godafoss in winter

After our stop at the falls the next stop was the second largest city in Iceland, Akureyri, also known as the capital of the north. While I didn't take many photos in the town, we did a good amount of exploring. We ate some good hot dogs (Icelandic hotdogs are awesome), had some beers at a bowling alley and then ate some great fish in one of the more eclectic art gallery/restaurants I've ever been in Noa Seafood. We hadn't budgeted a stop in such a metropolis, so after a great afternoon exploring and eating it was back on the road.

Now, we didn't really know where we were going, and we didn't really have anywhere to be so we decided to make a detour, north. We checked the road conditions using this hand-dandy website that also happens to have a pretty good mobile site and decided the road was passable so we would do it. We drove about as far north as we could, driving through some pretty cool tunnels and along the edge of the sea as the winds started to pick up. Then, all of a sudden around the town of Ólafsfjörður we saw something in the sky.

Aurora Borealis above Olafsfjordur, Iceland

Aurora Borealis above Olafsfjordur, Iceland

Aurora Borealis above Olafsfjordur, Iceland

This last one I played a bit with the white balance (because I'm an artist and I can do what I want) and I liked the effect. So here you go...

Aurora Borealis above Olafsfjordur, Iceland