Akureyri rhymes with Tipperary, doesn't it?

Trip Start Jun 22, 2006
Trip End Jul 12, 2006

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Flag of Iceland  ,
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Upon closer scrutiny of my itinerary last night, I was dismayed to realize that my tour company, "Discover the World", had booked me far from Skaftafell National Park, and the Glacial Lagoon Jokulsarlon made famous in the Amazing Race. This would not do...so after breakfast this morning, Inga, my Icelandic angel at the Hotel Edda's front desk, endeavored to change my itinerary by booking me into different Hotel Edda's ("Edda" is the sole budget hotel chain in Iceland). She called a few places and managed to get me booked for one night relatively close to the park - Hurray! I tried to tip her for all the work she'd done on my behalf but she wouldn't have it and simply said, "It's my job." What a foreign concept, eh? Refreshing to say the least.

I left Laugarbakki at about 9:30 and my plan was to drive up to a seal colony called Hindisvik, but I must've missed the turnoff and didn't hear any seals honking so I missed it. Oh well. The road was a bit rough along here but luckily my car had no problems. I continued driving, rejoining highway 1 and later stopped at a place called Glambaer, which has a museum and traditionally styled Icelandic homes - I figured I should go to at least one touristy museum while here and see something of the traditional way of life. Well, it was pretty boring, at least to me, so I only stayed for about 15 minutes. Ho hum.

I carried on until I arrived at Akureyri, Iceland's 2nd biggest city with a whopping population of 15,139 according to my Lonely Planet, where I'd be staying the next two nights. Akureyri lies at the head of a long fjord and is charming. It has a funky modern church on a hill overlooking the city centre and a couple of streets with shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.

After checking in at my Hotel Edda, (I swear whomever modelled the rooms was hankering for his university days for my room totally resembled a dorm double!) I did some shopping. I picked up an Icelandic sweater and a book of photographs called "Lost in Iceland". I should be able to reclaim 15% of the cost at the airport using their tax rebate system - cool! I tried to find a t-shirt for dad but they were mostly hideous, kitschy things and of the two designs I did like, none were big enough. Sorry Papa San! I'll keep looking.

My dinner was cheap and non-traditional - a veggie sandwich from Subway. So shoot me! It's not as if there's much of anything traditionally Icelandic I can eat here since I'm a vegetarian. They're into fish being an island nation and all. Does the lady protest a tad too much perhaps? Shut up!

I turned in rather early as I planned to get up and have brekkie at 6:30 and be on the road by 7:30.
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