Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I'm back with photos!

I do love camping trips, I do. I especially love the completed feeling you get when you come home, take a warm shower and sleep in a bed and then spend a whole day resizing your photos. Anyway, here they are, except that since I took so many photos I figured it would be nicer to separate them a bit: here's the first day or in other words From Reykjavík to Akureyri! I marked the way on the map - you can click it bigger - the pink parts will be tunnels, the blue marks the first day's progress. I also added Reykholt and the Hamrar camping site for clarity.

The first pictures are from Reykholt, the home of Snorri Sturluson, the writer of Eddas and many more. It has a little museum and some other interesting sites such as his bathing tub. 

Here's the man himself.

The bath I mentioned. It's name is Snorralaug which just means "bath of Snorri" and it's a hot spring. The water was so pleasantly warm! Obviously I didn't jump in it but I did try it with my hand. The little door in the back leads to a tunnel that once connected his house to the bath, but now it's boarded up after only ten metres.

Reykholt's new church. The old one was built there in the early years of Christianity in Iceland, making it one of the oldest church sites of the whole country. Next to it is Snorrastofa, the Snorri museum.

Then we drove on. The volcano-looking mountain is not a volcano. Her name is Baula and she's one of the most beautiful mountains I've seen here. In front you'll see Bifröst, a tiny little town - and I call it a town because there are smaller places here that get that name - that mostly consists of a university and nothing much else. It's right in the middle of nowhere. The area is very beautiful but seeing that university come up there is very unexpected.

Nearer Bifröst, those houses are uni buildings and/or campus.

Here's what else is there.

A bit further on the way the ground starts to get higher. Ring Road 1 rises over some mountains some time after Bifröst only to descend back down nearer the shoreline. This part is called Holtavörðuheiði and if you're not used to driving on mountains it might be a bit scary to drive there, especially on those days when the clouds hang so low they're literally on the road and you get about 15m vision ahead. There are hardly any buildings in the area save some abandoned farms.

Hrútafjörður, if I'm not badly mistaken. Here you'll start seeing little farms here and there again.

Blönduós, the first bigger city on Ring Road since Borgarnes in the south. We stopped here for something to eat as we hadn't had a bite since 9 a.m. and had driven for hours.

Then we came back to our car - the little Mitsubishi there on the left - and saw someone had practiced Icelandic parking on us. I'd like to say this is an exaggeration but alas, people park like the whole family only had one eye to share and the dog's currently playing with it. Or perhaps it's due to the Icelandic belief that all roads belong to those who drive on them, therefore they also get to set the rules as they go. I've met a couple of responsible drivers here but they are all foreigners.

That's a mountain road. If you click the image larger and squint you'll see there's a lonely farm house there right on top of it.

Whooo a freaky cloud!

This is what I mean by clouds hanging low. 

Somewhere in the mountain roads between Blönduós and Akureyri. The drops are even steeper here and you'll get random showers, but the views are amazing!

Here's one such drop and it's not even the worst one. See that flimsy little railing there? Sometimes you don't even get that. There are long stretches of mountain roads with nothing between you and a sheer drop except for some yellow poles.

A pretty mountain.

Finally approaching Akureyri, and this is the first thing we saw: a giant ship just sitting there. Soon we saw that it was safely floating in the Eyjafjörður but for a while we just stared at it in disbelief. Did not expect.

Some locals we met on the street.

The Akureyri church. Note that the church isn't leaning to the right, the street is on a very steep hill. In fact the whole city is on a steep hill, it's a bicyclists' nightmare!

It has also lead people to build numerous little staircases and passages everywhere. It's such a charming little labyrinth and we spent ages walking up a down the streets.

Very steep, as you can see.

Snu is relaxing after a long drive. Random couch was very random but clean and dry. It's got a great view, I must say!

Here's a local cat who was so starved for company it came running at us the moment it saw us, making little excited mrimrimrimrimri -sounds on the way. Then it purred like a tiny little starting motor and wanted to be scratched eeeeendlessly.

At the camping site preparing supper. Hamrar is an excellent, large camping site with all necessary facilities, but I'm thinking of making another post/s where I compare the different camping sites of the west and north and list their good and bad sides.

Evening at Hamrar. It was very quiet and beautiful. We didn't have to share the place with too many other campers because the weather up north has been a bit chilly lately. I slept like a log until half past four when I woke up completely rested and ready to rampage. But let's leave the next day for tomorrow.


  1. I want a bath like that too! Awesome! (Was it deep?)
    And I totally cracked on the 'locals' you ran into x).

  2. I couldn't really say but I'd estimate about one metre deep. And yes, I wouldn't mind one myself (especially since I've no access to sauna here ;^;).