Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 14 - Breakfast -> Goðafoss -> Akureyri City -> Ólafsfjörður -> Siglufjörður -> Hofsos -> Skagafjordur -> Víðimýri church -> Glaumbæjarkirkja -> Glaumbær Folk Museum

Breakfast spread - usual stuff

Waffle station & fruits

Juices & hot beverages

Breakfast room

After breakfast & checkout, a short drive brought us to Godafoss.

Goðafoss is located in the Bárðardalur district of North-Central Iceland at the beginning of the Sprengisandur highland road.

Goðafoss (waterfall of the gods) flows from glacial river Skjálfandafljót. Its water falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.
The river has its origin deep in the Icelandic highland and runs from the highland through the Bárðardalur valley, all the way from Sprengisandur
in the Highlands. The rock formation in and around the waterfall make it one of the greatest natural wonders in Iceland.

In the year 999 or 1000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion it was said
that upon returning from the Alþingi, Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall. Þorgeir's story is preserved in Ari Þorgilsson's
Íslendingabók. A window in the Cathedral of Akureyri (Akureyrarkirkja) illustrates this story.

The fall reminds me of Niagara falls. This one is a smaller version though.

After soaking in the beauty of Godafoss in the drizzle, we made our way to Akureyri and arrived at the city after a 45min drive.

Akureyri is a small city in northern Iceland. It is Iceland's second largest urban area and fourth largest municipality.
Nicknamed the Capital of North Iceland, Akureyri is an important port and fishing centre.
The area has a relatively mild climate due to geographical factors, and the town's ice-free harbour has played a significant role in its history.
Although Akureyri is situated only about 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, it has some of the best weather in the country.

Akureyri Church - one of the main attraction of the city.


Piped organ

The building here were pretty colourful.
Tourist Information Centre

Gotubarinn Bar in Main Street Hafnarstræti Akureyri

Whale watching cruise - the tours guaranteed customers that they will see whales while on board the cruise.

Streets of Akureyri

After leaving Akureyri, we headed for Siglufjörður via Ólafsfjörður. From ring road 1, we connected to 82 and then to 76 thru the
recently opened 11km tunnel that cuts driving distance between Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður by about 47 km. It enables easy access to
the isolated and pretty Héðinsfjörður valley that in the past used to be the most remote settlement in North Iceland. Due to the
remoteness, the valley was abandoned in the middle of the 20th century.

Drove through Siglufjarðarkirkja town.

Siglufjörður is a small fishing town in a narrow fjord on the northern coast of Iceland.
Population in January 2011 was 1,206 but the town has been shrinking in size since the 1950s when the town reached its peak with 3,000 inhabitants.
The municipality of Ólafsfjörður and Siglufjörður merged to form a municipality called Fjallabyggð, which literally means Mountain Settlement.

Siglufjordur church

Then we continued on 76 to the north and down south along the shores of Skagafjörður Fjord and detoured on 77 towards Hofsos.

Coast line on the way to Hofsos

We stopped for a brief while at Hofsos. It was really cold here because we did not wear enough. The temperature felt like 6-8C!
The tiny village Hofsós in the Northern Region in one of the oldest trading ports in northern Iceland dating back to the 16th century.
No interesting landmark except Hofsóskirkja

From Hofsos, we departed to Skagafjordur . A must see attraction in Skagafjordur is the Víðimýri church with turf roof.

Old and tiny Víðimýri church - Víðimýrarkirkja church is one of Iceland's very few turf churches that has been well preserved.

Glaubaer church, Glaumbæjarkirkja, Skagafjordur, Iceland, near Víðimýri church

This is the immaculately preserved historical farm, Glaumbær. Though founded in Settlement times, Glaumbær’s current row of wood-fronted turf-walled and turf-roofed dwellings dates from 1750 to 1879, and was inhabited up until 1947. With their lop-sided, hobbit-like construction (such as wooden-frame windows set into the grassy walls), the buildings are both charmingly rustic and a powerful reminder of the impoverished lifestyle many people led in Iceland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Adjacent to the cottages, a timber building houses the Skagafjörður folk museum, with a collection of rustic implements once used on the farm, from spinning wheels to brightly painted clothes chests.

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