Iceland: The North

Seyðisfjördur

Nestling at the end of the famous fjord with a lot of history from settlement era up to WWII, this cute little town is also harbor for the ferries from Denmark, big cruise ships from the US and an active art scene from Iceland and all around the world.

Mývatn

Heading north from here, I must admit I completely skipped the north east corner of Iceland like most of the tourists do – I might come back with my own Camper one day. There were some interesting sites along the way like Dettifoss, a truly gigantic waterfall, not really for its appearance but more for the amounts of water crushing down. Nearby upstream is Seltifoss which is a little calmer and not so deep, but stunningly aesthetical and full of magic. Speaking of magic, in the evening I arrived at Reykjahlið on the lake Mývatn shore – a film set site for Game of Thrones TV series, Beyond the Wall, which was a bit hard to imagine in Iceland’s green midsummer.

Here, I also witnessed France beating Croatia 4:2 in the Worldcup Final.

Geothermal steam and mud pools
Dettifoss
Seltifoss
Mývatn Lake from Bjarg Campsite
Sign to a small farm, Björk also translates to birch tree

Akureyri

The biggest Icelandic town after Reykjavík located far in the north has a vibrant street style, a big harbor and lots of other interesting places to see, like the Bothanical Garden which I found amazing not only for the Poppy Field they grow in all the colors. In the big circular building, visitor center, I picked up my first book: THE OUTRUN – Amy Liptrot. Good read with lots of beautiful stories about Scotland, Orkney and even Iceland.
One thing about camping in Akureyri: do NOT go to the camping grounds within the city, there’s a much much better, quieter, more peaceful and beautiful campsite just 4km outside of the city called Hamrar. One of the best in Iceland, especially if you bring kids.

On the way north to Akureyri: Goðafoss
More Trolls!
Akureyri, city of love
And lovely murals
Icelandic horses just outside of town
Hamrar Camping Ground, Akureyri

Vatnsnes

Leaving Akureyri, I had the easiest lift ever: when I was just approaching a junction at the end of town scanning for a good spot to throw my thumb in the air, a car already stopped flinging open the passenger door. There I met James Robinson, an artist from New Zealand on his own intricate journey. While we were talking, time and landscapes flew by – we made camp on Vatnsnes Peninsula where we discovered a seal colony and our common interest in Sid Meier’s Civilization series. We made a couple of stops at interesting sites but to be honest, that day was more about getting to know James whom I hope I can meet again when I reach New Zealand. In Burðadalur we had a farewell picnic, as I was about to explore the Westfjords.

Old natural fortress, enhanced by man
Grábrók Volcano
Little Off-road Grasshopper
James Robinson

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