‘Twas a long time ago now, on an island far far away, that I journeyed from the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, northwards to the top of the land and a little town called Akureyri. Which is honestly quite difficult to spell.
Iceland had been an interesting place to visit in 1999, although I did not come close to making the most of my two weeks there spending the majority of my time in and around the capital. Bus fares weren’t outrageous, but generally speaking Iceland was at the time a very expensive company where even cooking for myself would come out, trying to be as stingy as possible, at not much under ten dollars Australian. The weak Australian dollar at the time also did not help.
Trying to work out where I wanted to go once in Iceland also proved problematic because I really needed to do more research and have a clear budget other than the old ‘$50 a day’ that I was trying to stick to ( I went blooming way over budget needless to say in Iceland) and I needed to have more money set aside for tours or activities such as whale watching. As it was, I really just ‘spent time’ there without getting out and about.
I nearly blew ALL my money in one hit as I contemplated a tour to Greenland from Reykjavik, and perhaps I should have done that. The money would have been well worth it in the long run. Instead, I took a bus pass that allowed me to go to Akureyri and back making stops on the way if I wanted. I can’t recall exactly but it may have been a sort of ‘eastern pass’.
The weather was variable but actually quite clear not just when I was in Akureyri but most of the time in Iceland. Blue skies were stunning, and in Akureyri the blue skies were complemented by snowcapped mountains that surrounded the town.
It was a cute little town and I had a good time here, even if it was just the two or three nights. The hostel was excellent – if you like hostels or even if you don’t Iceland is one place I recommend hosteling in general as they are so well run, with excellent facilities and one of the few chances there to get value for money. I met some great people there.
The town is pretty much walkable wherever you want to go. Iceland has a population of around 323,000 and just over 17,000 live in Akureyri, so actually it’s quite a big town for Iceland. Keep in mind also that over a third of the population is in Reykjavik. It’s the second biggest population centre in Iceland.
What did I get up to? Well, I played golf and went clubbing. Walked the streets a bit too. Playing nine holes (it might have been eighteen) is no stress in the Icelandic summer, you don’t need to be worried about finishing before the sun goes down. Because it doesn’t. In fact, I started my round after dinner and it finished at about 11pm!
Disclaimer: I am not a golfer, I played just for the thrill of playing at that time of night!
Not far away were meadows with some of the cutest donkeys/horses you’ll ever see with dark brown colourings and a fancy mop of hair. Very special creatures! And then it was clubbing, all night. That obviously wrote off my second day – although I’m sure I explored the streets etc, however it was 1999 and that diary no longer exists.
The club was fun, I’m sure I blew more than night than any day that I was in Iceland. Drinking is very expensive in Scandinavia. But it was a lot of fun, much dancing to be had, and never at any point did it get dark. I left Akureyri a day and a bit later on a day where it just rained constantly. But that’s another story.
Continuing on with Iceland as my country of choice this week, tomorrow’s ‘Through My Lens’ will be old scratchy photos from Iceland. Oh, if you’re interested it was July and the maximum temperatures in Akureyri were around 13-15 degrees. Thanks for reading and May the Journey Never End!