I have added a special page on Eyjafjörður:
The inhabitants in Eyjafjörður are 1.031. The viking settler in Eyjafjörður was Helgi magri or Skinny Helgi.
Here you have the lovely turf houses of Laufàs, beautiful old churches, the Grundarkirkja church, which is one of the most beautiful churches in Iceland in my opinion, and the old Saurbæjarkirkja turf church and the old church at Munka-Þverá.
Here you can also find The Christmas house and the wishing well of unborn children. And several museums.
Here you can find an island which is called The Pearl of Eyjafjörður fjord Hrísey.
Once a year there is a big festival called The great Fishday in Dalvík village. The theme of the festival is for people to get together, have fun and eat fish :D And the nation is invited to a great sea-food buffet - it is all for free and a lot of people from all over Iceland show up and stay for the night.
Feeding the ducks and geese on the pond.
Next to the swimming pool there is a pond with ducks and geese, which I go feed with bread while I visit Akureyri. Last time I visited there were some yellow chicks there, so sweet. But beware of the black-headed gull (see my warning tip). Last time I visited in the summer of 2012 I saw that there is a net over the pond. I was wondering why and threw one piece of bread to the ducks. Immediately the sky got filled with black-headed gull and we had to run away as they were very aggressive. Now I know why the net is there - to protect the ducks and geese from this aggressive bird :(
The pond is located beneath the swimming pool in quite a steep hill. There is a small park by the pond with sculptures and flowers, so this makes for a nice place to sit down and rest. I used to stop there often just for the flowers as there were rows of snapdragons there, which are my favourite flowers. Didn´t see them the last time I visited though.
Take a photo with the parents of the Yulelads.
You can take your photo in Akureyri with the parents of the Yulelads, who are ogres. They stand in Hafnarstræti, the main shopping street in Akureyri, and are quite grim looking and scary.
Here in Iceland we have 13 Yulelads, which are quite different from Santa Claus, but now we have all but adopted the American Santa Claus. There are records of names of 80 Yulelads, but somehow these 13 Yulelads have stayed with us until the modern times.
Our original Yulelads were spranksters and all of them have their special name. 13 days before Christmas the first Yulelad comes to inhabited areas and then a new one arrives every day until the last one arrives on the 24th of December. We Icelanders celebrate Christmas on the evening of the 24th of December.
The parents of the Yulelads are Grýla and Leppalúði (see my photo). Grýla is a very bad and grim ogre, and she eats badly behaved children, she comes to pick them up, puts them in her sack and then cooks them in her cauldron
Grýla and Leppalúði own the Christmas cat, he eats people who don't get any Christmas presents containing clothes. So you better get some soft Christmas presents if you don't want the Christmas cat to eat you ;)
The Akureyri swimming pool.
I just love the swimming pool at Akureyri and go there every time I visit Akureyri. Swimming pools are a favourite pastime here in Iceland and are heated with natural geothermal water. When ever I (and this goes for most Icelanders) am travelling in Iceland, I seek out the swimming pools. And most of them are excellent.
The special feature at Akureyri swimming pool are the two small waterfalls and it is absolutely lovely sitting under them. Highly recommended.
Our swimming pools used to be open much longer at nights, but due to the crisis in Iceland they are now closed way earlier than they used to be.
In summer time: May 28 - September 1st
Mondays-Fridays: 6:45 - 21:00
Weekends: 8:00 - 19:30
Winter: September 1st - May 31st
Mondays-Fridays: 6:45 - 21:00
Weekends: 10:00 - 18:30
Closed on Dec. 25-26, Jan. 1st, May 1st and June 17th.
Admittance fee: Adults: ISK 450 (2011), kids up to 15 years old: ISK 150.
I only have photos of the outside of the swimming pool, it is of course frowned upon taking your camera with you to take photos of the pool itself - and cell-phones with cameras are forbidden in the locker room.
Outside by the swimming pool there is a hot dog stand - take care not to get attacked by the cranky black-headed gulls there - they are nasty :(
Check out the cruise liners by the harbour.
One of the things that I love about Akureyri is that there are always big cruise liners there when I visit. During the summer time a lot of cruise liners stop in Akureyri harbour and the town gets filled with tourists from the cruise liners, it is so lovely.
As Akueyri stands by one of the longest fjords in Iceland, Eyjafjörður, then it adds a lot of character to the fjord when the cruise liners visit. I just love the sight of them. In the summer 2010 a big yacht of one of the managers of Microsoft visited (see my last two photos) - I remember that they were looking for something in the ocean, forget what though, but it stayed in Eyjafjörður fjord for days.
The obligatory stop at Brynja to buy ice-cream.
For most Icelanders there is an obligatory stop at Brynja ice-cream parlour to buy ice-cream - when visiting Akureyri. This is just what is done :) It is almost the best known place in Akureyri :) I haven´t had this ice-cream since I turned vegan though, but my friends say that it is still delicious. But take care - as it is also said that this ice-cream can be addictive ;)
Fríður Leósdóttir, the owner of Brynja, says that they make their ice-cream from scratch, and that 100 g contain 4,74% fat, 4,43% protein, 17,69% lactose og 23,2% fat-free solid matters - and 130 calories!
Brynja is open daily from 11:00 - 23:00.
Do pay it a visit and find out if you like it as much as Icelanders do :)
The accommodation I stayed in, in Blunduos was lovely, otherwise, sadly there is not a lot to say about Blonduos save that it makes for a good pit-stop.
There are a couple of large petrol stations with attached eateries... a good place to stock up on basics.
The major 'attraction' (if you can call it that) is the church! It is odd!Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Road Trip
If you are heading to Husavik from Akureyri, Godafoss is a very worth while (small) detour, between the two.Related to:
- Road Trip
This church is set high on a hill and looks down over the town of Akureyri.
The architect responsible for this geometrical church is the same architect (Gudjón Samúelsson) who built the dramatic (Hallgrimskirakja) in ReykjavikRelated to:
- Road Trip
- Religious Travel
Like all the museums we visited in Iceland, Akureyri's local museum has an extremely well-presented set of exhibits, with informative texts, and some fascinating local materials. Downstairs, they have a history of Akureyri from its earliest times (everything from artifacts found in archaeological digs to a history of local stores, which was surprisingly fun), while upstairs there are rotating exhibits of folk history. When we visited, they had a wonderful exhibit on wedding traditions in the region, with dozens of dresses, wedding gifts and often-amusing wedding photos. The exhibits all give a very real sense of life in the area: there's nothing dry and lifeless about a museum like this!
The Museum Church
The Museum Church stands on the site of an earlier church, which had stood from 1863 to 1943; in its final years, it was used as a storage site by members of the British forces who occupied Akureyri during the Second World War (check out the brochure for a photo of that earlier church, lovely in its own right).
The Museum Church was built in Svalbard, a town some distance away on the other side of the fjord, in the 1840's, and was moved to Akureyri in 1970. It's a beautifully simple place, made from wood, and although like most Lutheran churches there is little decoration they do have a few precious relics well worth taking a look at. It's a good example of the kind of tiny, carefully constructed church that apparently used to dot the landscape, since many wealthier farmers at one point added churches to their properties. The church is still in use, primarily for weddings.
The old church by Nonnahús museum in Akureyri.
Opposite Nonnahús stands an old country-church painted black just like Nonnahús so it looks like both houses belong to one another. But that is not the case. The church belongs to Minjasafnið of Akureyri museum which is above the church. When visiting Nonnahús they will ask you if you are just paying the entrance fee to Nonnahús or if you want to get a discount to both museums (musei).
The church was built in 1846 by Þorsteinn Daníelsson who was well known for his church buildings. These old Lutheran country churches made of timber were void of extravagance, just nice small friendly churches and there are a lot of those in Iceland. This church was originally in Svalbarðseyri. See my tip on Safnasafnið in Svalbarðseyri. The timber churces replaced the old turf-churches so back then they were very modern. The alterpiece depicts the Last Supper.
The church is open so I visited it, even though I didn't pay entrance fee to the Minjasafnið á Akureyri museum.
By the church is Minjasafnsgarðurinn or the Museum garden, a lovely botanic garden since year 1900 with old cannons and more artefacts.
Lystigarður Akureyrar (Botanical Garden)
A tree grows in Akureyri? Actually several do, along with lots of flowers and plants. A worthwhile diversion is to take the walk to the Akureyri Botanical Garden and Public Park. Stroll around the grounds and take in the pretty surroundings. We especially enjoyed the flowers growing near the greenhouse.
The gardens are open daily June - September from 8AM-10PM weekdays and 9AM-10PM weekends.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Hiking and Walking
Sigurhæðir is the former home of Icelandic poet Matthías Jochumsson, author of the the Icelandic National Anthem. It has been turned into a museum on Icelandic verbal arts, open from June to August. Entry is Kr 300.
I suspect the subtleties of Icelandic poetry would have been lost on me, though I did enjoy looking at the artificial waterfall attached to the property. The mirror-like quality of the water flow was quite striking.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Here it is. The Main Square. Well, Main Circle, actually. You can take in the ambiance while sitting on the bench. It should keep you occupied for minutes on end. (In all fairness, I'm told this is quite a hangout after the bars close on Friday and Saturday nights.)
One important side note: Just north of this area is a bank and ATM.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
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