We left the Myvatn area and headed west towards Akureyri. The stops today included Godafoss (waterfall of the gods), then the town of Akureyri followed by a drive through the countryside with a brief stop at a very old farm, now open as a museum.
Godafoss rips straight through the Bardaralur lave field. It is definitely one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. Legend has it that the law speaker Porgeir was forced to make a decision on Iceland’s religion. On his way home he tossed his pagan carvings of the Norse gods after declaring the country would be a Christian nation. Thus the waterfall became known as waterfall of the gods.
Akureyri is Iceland’s second city with only 18000 residents. It has cool cafes, quality restaurants and a late night bustle within a very scenic setting. It nests at the head of Eyjaforour, Iceland’s longest fjord, at the base of snow capped peaks. We stopped for lunch at Strikkid, followed by a brief tour of the city and surrounding hills.
We then headed towards Laugarbakki, our stop for the night. But we did stop first at the old farm at Vidimyrarkirkja, which dated back some 200 years and some of the buildings have been restored. Of particular interest was the old churches.
We soon had an opportunity to see some of the Icelandic horses closeup. These were developed from ponies brought from Norway in the 9th and 10th centuries. They are purebred as importation of horses is not allowed. The breed is pony sized, long lived and hardy. They are seen widely, and used for sheep herding and for leisure activities.
Our last stop was what our guide called a “canyon”, which turned out to be quite spectacular. Kolugljufar waterfall runs over into a rather deep canyon in a relatively flat area. Legend says that the troll Kola sleeps in the canyon, and fishes by hand for salmon or arctic char.
Our overnight stay with a fine meal was at the Hotel Laugarbakki.