Akureyri is the largest town in northern Iceland and it sits pretty deep in the Eyjafjörður fjord. It is exactly at 12 o’clock if the island of Iceland were a clock (which it is not – in case you are wondering). The town sits tight against the mountains behind it, almost being on the verge of being thrown into the water.
Where we stayed in Akureryi… or across from it
Through airbnb we found a phenomenal house sitting on a hillside directly across the fjord from the town so we got to look at it at night. Er, in the evening hours in the daylight, since we were down there, er, up there, at the peak of summer when the sun did set, but not deep enough where it got dark (see the last two pictures in the sequence below).
My friends’ young girls loved running on the deck of the house and the field around it while we enjoyed sitting out there, soaking the view, with a beverage in hand (perhaps…).
In any case, I digress. The town is small and is quite charming but is large enough to have a small airport for those who do not want to drive there from Reykjavik – which would be a crime if you skip the drive on the ring road!
Akureyri was a site for Allied forces in WW II which seems quite interesting given it is still a town of under 20,000 yet one that was first settled in the ninth century! Something must have been right about it to be picked by the Allies during WW II given how far it is from Reykjavík. You’d think they would have picked somewhere easier to get to. In fact, Keflavík, where the modern Reykjavík international airport is located, was a U.S. air force base in WW II.
But I digress. One night, we were wanting to be sure to have a good bottle of wine to have at the house so we rushed into town after we looked online where to buy some. We knew we were tight on time as we had learned that liquor sales ended soon that day (I think maybe it was at 7PM but can’t recall) so we rushed out with a map on the phone marking where we needed to go (thanks wifi!). The drive over was nothing short of spectacular, rushing downhill, crossing the end of the fjord via the short bridge and then driving into town trying to find our way to the store (without wifi or GPS!). We made it on time, like 10 minutes before it closed. My friend ran in to get the wine while I stayed in the car – no time to find parking. I sat there and watched people literally running into the store to make sure they could get their alcohol before liquor sales ended for the day. People are people no matter what country you are in!!!
So what does Akureyri look like up close?
Alright, here are some images of this very northern town to close up this post…
Of pylsur, ice cream and pastries…
And of course, a post here cannot leave out a mention of something food… Icelanders love their hot dogs or “pylsur”. They are everywhere.
And, when in Iceland, well, have ice cream! Brynja is one of the national brands. We indulged.
And, when everything else fails, go pastries!
Akureyri is definitely a place far away but, having spent three days staying there, it is like any other place on earth: food and drinks matter and, where there are good views and you are in good company, it is all perfect! Even if my family is only with me on a photo 🙂
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