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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Touring Akureyri

I woke early and read some before going down for breakfast. I had a good sleep and decided to spend the day exploring Akureyri more. I have a big drive back to Reykjavik and civilization tomorrow, so I want to lay low, have a good dinner, see of Northern Lights will happen and just rest.


I discover that last night was not a good night for the lights as Alan informs me since some other guests went to the same spot past Dalvik I had been to and they had no success.


I got out by noon and did my last banking and set out to drive the roads and byways of Akureyri. I drove up to the ski slope which was a fun ride and very very cold once I got there. On my way up three lads with snowboards were walking and hiking the road. I stopped and got them in the car and got them up to the slope. They didn't speak English well enough to have a conversation. It was a long winding road and they were very grateful for the lift.


I stayed to watch them make a run. It took about 20 minutes for them to get to the top of the run and about 10 minutes to come down. The slope has a snow mobile area. They have a rope tow from the bottom of the slopes to the chalet. There is a T-bar to the top of a beginning hill and a three person chair to the top of the slope that seems to have two ways down.  The ride down the hill to town was steep and fun as I stayed in second gear all the way.


I then roamed about the area above Akureyri which has  a large apartment building complex, probably for middle income dwellers and then to another area with family housing, and then through a very upscale community.


I wound my way down to sea level and went to the airport museum. The Industry Museum and the Motorcycle Museum were closed. Next time.


I had dinner at Rub23. I had the mussels which were very salty. I followed that with salmon, eel, and char sushi. I concluded with char tempura.  I wonder why there is so little whale, puffin, and horse here in Akureyri.


I went back to the hotel and watched The Spurs advance in the Europa League.

I head out at 10PM for my final chase of the Northern Lights. I went past Dlavik to the tunnel parking spot. When I arrived the Northern Lights were awaiting me in all their glory. Every star in the sky is visible. The Milky Way dominates. Not a cloud can be seen and it is freezing with a good strong wind. I park the car so I can sit in it with the window open and the engine running so I can take advantage of the heated seats. I have a perfect comfortable view of tonight's show. The lights extend from horizon to horizon. Below the bottom of the rainbow shape I see stars. The sky below is dark. Then the green band of the Northern Lights undulates in intensity. On the upper curve spikes shoot out at various times to various lengths all along the stretch of the Lights. The most intense part is above Grimsey Island. Off to the far right at the end, the lights are really dancing as they resemble the hair of a troll. The intensity of tonight's show is mind blowing and truly awesome and humbling. The show lasts for more than an hour and then they simply fade away. A far better show than a couple of nights before and deserves a grand applause.

Hotel Akureyri

I stop at Kaldi for an unfiltered Christmas ale before going home and packing for my trip back to Reykjavik. The week here in Akureyri has been fabulous and well worth it. I will return and have found that I find Akureyri more pleasant than Reykjavik with so much to offer in the area and so less congested. I will be sad to leave.

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