Lesson of the Day - Icelandic is a Nordic language and has much in common with Norwegian and Old English. It has some letters which we don't have in modern English, such as the capital letter Đ which is lower case ð ... this little letter looks a little like a "d" and a "t" combined, the sound is a little like a soft "th" as in "mother"
On the morning of our visit to Iceland, day five, Thursday May 5th, as we left the town of Egilsstaðir we took the road to Akureyri which is in the Northeastern Region of the island.
Once we left our Bed & Breakfast we picked up highway 1 again and headed north west.
Look, no traffic!
What I remember the most about day five of our visit to Iceland, is how stark the landscape was - there were very few towns or villages in this area, but the scenery was dramatic and the roads were quiet along the whole 265 km journey.
Even in the month of May there was snow and ice on the mountains.
The morning mist clinging to the lower part of the mountains
Here's Becky exploring the waterfall - she climbed to the top, and there was no path, she had to really climb all the way!
Oh look! Oncoming traffic! Iceland is a wonderful place for those who dislike crowds!
The Mountain Herðubreið
We had been told that there were herds of reindeer in the area through which we would be travelling, but they must have been grazing elsewhere as we didn't see any.
We stopped at the Námafjall Geothermal area which is located in Northeast Iceland, on the east side of Lake Mybatn.
I had read that the area was a little smelly, but nothing prepared me for the strong sulfur smell that emanated from the fumaroles as it escaped from deep underground, and enveloped us with a smell that was reminiscent of rotten eggs.
This area is also known as Hverir and we saw the boiling mud pools - the area is devoid of plant life because of erosion and the sulfur in the atmosphere.
Pool of boiling mud, Námafjall
Fumarole spewing hot Sulfur gas, Námafjall, Iceland
Goodbye Hverir Namafjall sulfur mud pools - just one last picture
We spent half an hour at the sulfur-smelling area before we moved on to the town of Akureyri, which is where we spent our fifth night in Iceland.
In the afternoon of our journey on our visit to Iceland day 5, I noticed rock cairns, called steinvarða (or just varða), running in rows, parallel to the highway we were on.
Sometimes they were on our right, and then they would disappear for a while, only to reappear on the left side of the road.
Stone Cairns (steinvarða) on the way to Akureyri
I was told that they were used to mark the way to guide travellers toward the next community, before the highway system was implemented, and would have been useful in the snow during the winters to help keep travellers safe.
We passed through more beautiful scenery on the way to Akureyri and found our accommodation easily.
We stayed in the Hrafninn Guesthouse (Raven Guesthouse) which was quite lovely and easy to find using GPS and there was plenty of parking behind the hotel. Our room was beautiful and had lovely bed linens and comfy mattress and our own private bathroom with shower.
We chose our accommodation for night 5 of our Iceland trip through Priceline.com and the booking process was quick and easy!
Again, breakfast was not provided but there was a kitchen that we could use that had an espresso machine, so we were happy about that!
The Guesthouse was located close to the centre of the town and we enjoyed walking around looking at the various book stores and gift shops, full of a wide variety of Icelandic-made products, ranging from hand made sweaters and hats, blankets, shawls, mittens to tea-towels, carved wooden birds and whales.
As well as food being expensive in Iceland (compared to the US and Canada), souvenirs and gifts also cost a lot.
There were beautiful hand-knitted Nordic sweaters in the $265 - $350 range, and the matching woolen hats were around $60 each.
I have decided it is time to get my knitting needles out, because I did not want to pay $60 for a hat!
Some of the hats I've made since returning from Iceland last month
Here I am making friends with the Troll on the streets of Akureyri
I'm not quite sure who the stuffed 8 ft Troll above is, but I think he is a character in Icelandic folk tales - I quite fancied him!
Akureyri was a pleasant, neat and tidy town with a population of 18,000 people, and probably more when you consider the tourists who travel here.
There are interesting shops in the main area down-town and I believe that this is Iceland's second largest city and is often called the "Capital of North Iceland".
Akureyrarkirkja Lutheran Church
It is an important port and fishing center and looked prosperous and clean - as all the towns we visited looked, neat and tidy and the residents were proud of their country - Iceland!
We had supper at Símstöðin Restaurant & Café on Hafnarstræti and enjoyed their pizza which was delicious (and not too expensive!).
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our visit to Iceland, day 5.
Scenes from yesterday, Day 4 of our trip to Iceland
Across the fjord from the town of Breiðdalsvík
Wild & Beautiful
Rugged North Atlantic coast
Beach in Eastern Iceland
River and Mountains
Guesthouse Olga, Egilsstaðir
Scenes from tomorrow, Day 6 of our Visit to Iceland
Whale watching outfit!
The boat Niels Jónsson
Diving Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale surfacing
Fish for dinner tonight!
Heading back to shore
North Star Hotel, Stadur