We regret to leave Seyðisfjörður, but we must move further to the north. We were running out of time, because we planned to visit also the western fjords. Today we’re going to get to Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland.
As you may recall, we met at the airport in Berlin, Icelanders who were on their way back home – Halle and Einar with an eight-month-old daughter, Nathalie. Their house is located near Akureyri – after we told them about our plans to visit Iceland, they invited us to come for a visit. They wanted to show Mania the great sheepfold, which belongs to the parents of Hallii. We exchanged phones and emails, ensuring that we call them back. And in we called back, but with an idea that they fix us up with bad for a night :-). Fortunately Hall and Einar agreed :-). How different is then the journey when in the back of your mind is that after a busy day of sightseeing awaits you warm bed and home-made food :-).
For the purpose of the journey we set ourselves the destination of Lake Myvatn, called jewel of the midnight. The mandatory point is to visit the geothermal pools. It is just because of these pools we let go the Blue Lagoon. As it turned out, there are several such a mandatory points in the area. Unfortunately, along the way, we do not know why but we missed the spectacular waterfall Detifoss. Will you ever be in the area, write to us whether it was worth seeing and what we have lost.
We did not missed the pools :-), but before we reached the pools we stopped in Hverir. The field of geysers is impressive, perhaps even more than the famous Geysir. Mani loved it too, especially the hissing and rising steam from the chimneys. If it were not that terribly windy, then we would have stay there a little bit longer, but we could not wait to swim :-).
The entry fee to the hot springs cost about 20 € per person, Mania of course entered for free. That was what we needed. The temperature of the water – 38 Celsius degrees, Mania in a cap on the head (it was about 3 Celsius degrees) smiling from ear to ear. Without a doubt that was the best ever experience in Iceland. I could not shake off the impression that for a moment I moved to Cuba, on the beach of Cayo Santa Maria.
But let’s go back to the reality. It is worth to go around the lake and stop at several places. We have decided that we want to see a 432 meters high volcano crater Hverfell, with more than a kilometer circuit. You cannot get very near to the crater. So awaited us about 2.5 km walk to the foothills. For the first time we were entering the volcano :-) and frankly speaking, we both were expecting something more spectacular than to see a black huge hole in the ground. The crater itself didn’t enthused us too much, but a view of the plain and the lake stretching from the crater did. This was the another landscape that is quite different from what we have seen so far. It happens often on Iceland. Wherever you go, you always see something new, nothing repeats itself.
We bypassed the whole lake, stopping from time to time to take a picture.
We got to Fagribear (15 km from Aukreyri) around 7 p.m. What we saw, was beyond our wildest dreams of the northern fjords. Be-auti-fully! Just before Akureyri the road starts to descend sharply down, so you get the impression that in a moment you will drive down straight under the glistening in the sun surface of the water. Peace and quiet, there were almost no car.
We didn’t enjoy the view for too long as Mania for the third time was vomiting in the car. Only now we combined the facts. Manias’ bad mood was a result of a famous Icelandic yogurt – skyr.
Halli parents’ house is located in the middle of Eyjafjörður, at a place where – as Hall told us a few hours later – whales swim up and you can easily see them several times a day. When we entered to the house, a delicious dinner (the fried salmon) was waiting for us. The salmon that we probably have never eaten. The salmon was caught that day, was fried only outside, inside was almost raw, but was incredibly soft. We basically do not know if the fish was just so good, or maybe after a nearly week of eating “just anything”, we finally needed to eat something normal, some home cooking. Anyway, we recall that salmon to this day :-).
As Hall promised – despite the late hour – we went to the sheepfold. There were 600 sheep, each one in pregnancy, mostly in twin pregnancy. The births take place throughout the month of May – at that time the family is not leaving a sheepfold for an inch, and is on a 24 hours shift. When we crossed the threshold of the sheepfold, Mania who has been nodding off immediately perked up. For the first time she saw such a large number of sheeps in one place (we probably also! :-)). All animals watched us closely, some of them bleated, because they couldn’t wait the parturition, the other tended their newborn lambs. Halla and Einar explained to us how they care for the animals, how the parturition looks like (we saw the birth of a little lamb! Amazing!), they also explained us what happens later and how sheep recognized their newborn ones, etc. Einar brought to Mani two lambs that were born three hours earlier. Of course, our daughter not really was afraid of new animals and immediately stroked them in the way that she strokes our dog Makaron. She cuffed several times each in the head :-). We hold these little ones in our hands of, we stroked them, marveling is the fact that we were able to accompany the Hallas’ family in such an unusual moment.
While we were returning home we watched a spectacular sunset: the sun was setting over the ocean, near to the entrance to the fjord. The moment of the summer solstice is said to be incredible in this place – the moment when the sun never sets. But that’s another story.