Husavik - Akureyri

Trip Start Aug 05, 2012
Trip End Aug 19, 2012

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wake up at 7:15 am after a good night sleep in a real bed, and it is foggy ! After a warm breakfast, we leave the cottage where we spent the night, heading to Husavik harbor for a whale watching tour. 
The weather is not as sunny as yesterday, but one can not be lucky each time ;-) It is a bit late in the season for whale watching, but we try our luck anyway. After the safety explanations, the boat proceeds to the bay. It is a traditional wooden boat, and despite the cold, everybody stays on the deck !


After a while, someone spotted several bottlenose whales ; it looks like big dolphins (8 to 9 meters long), and several of them are jumping and clapping on the surface of the water with their tail. A typical reaction when they do not not want to see us around !! 


We are lucky to meet a graduate student on the deck who studies the whale population in the bay and thus takes the hale watching trip everty day ! She tells us that bottlenose whales are usually scarcely seen in the area. 

The boat passes close to puffin island, hardly visible through the mist. A short while after, several dolphins come and ride on the bow wave of the boat, jumping clear of the sea's surface. Those are white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) which are characterized by their short thick creamy-white beak and very curved dorsal fin. 



We did not get the chance to see bigger whales during the tour, but it was definitely worth it anyway. On the way back to the harbor, we are offered cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate. Yummy ! 
We are back at Husavik at 11:50 am. After a short shopping break, we have lunch near the quay and then go back to the cars. We stop at a fish farm and Alex buys fresh wild trouts for the dinner. 



On the way to Akureyri, we stop at Godafoss. Despite the grey and foggy weather, the scenery looks great ! The water of the river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters. 




We finally arrive at Akureyri at 3:45 pm. While Alex and Pierre go to the supermarket, we can enjoy the city until 5 pm. 
Akureyri is Iceland's second largest urban area after the greater Reykjavik area, and fourth largest municipality. Nicknamed the Capital of North Iceland, Akureyri is an important port and fishing centre, with a population of 17,754. The area where Akureyri is located was settled in the 9th century but did not receive a municipal charter until 1786. The town was the site of Allied units during WWII. The area has a relatively warm climate due to geographical factors, and the town's ice-free harbour has played a significant role in its history.
We go to the information center, climb a hill to the Church which is unfortunately closed, then wander in the commercial streets ad finally make a stop at Eymundsson library to have a hot chocolate !
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