Friday, November 3, 2017

Akureyri: The Capital of North Iceland [Part 4]


Nicknamed the Capital of North Iceland, Akureyri is an important port and fishing center. We spent our third night in Iceland there, and arrived relatively early in town. Thus we had some time to explore the town in detail and at the end of the day, we even drove outside of it to search for Northern Lights. But more on that in the next post. The area where Akureyri is located was settled in the 9th century. The town was the site of Allied units during World War II. Further growth occurred after the war as the Icelandic population increasingly moved to urban areas. It's the only town besides Reykjavik that we visited which was bigger and had urban structure.




Akureyri stands strong as Iceland’s second city, but a Melbourne, Manchester or Montréal it is not. And how could it be with only 18,000 residents? It’s a wonder the city (which would be a ‘town’ anywhere else) generates this much buzz. Expect cool cafes, quality restaurants, a handful of art galleries and even some late-night bustle – a far cry from other rural Icelandic towns.




Akureyri nestles at the head of Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest (60km) fjord, at the base of snowcapped peaks. In summer flowering gardens belie the location, just a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle. Lively winter festivals and some of Iceland’s best skiing provide plenty of off-peak appeal. With its relaxed attitude and extensive food and accommodation choices, it’s the natural base for exploring Eyjafjörður and around, and it's seeing a growing number of cruise ships calling by (passenger numbers can sometimes overwhelm the town).







Akureyrarkirkja or The Church of Akureyri is a prominent Lutheran church in Akureyri. Located in the centre of the city, and towering above the city on a hill, it was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, and completed in 1940. The church contains a notably large 3200-pipe organ, a unique interpretation of the crucifixion and a suspended ship hanging from the ceiling which reflects an old Nordic tradition of giving offerings for the protection of loved ones at sea.





While returning to our apartment we passed by the Cultural and Conference Center Hof, which has an interesting architecture. Places worth visiting in Akureyri, besides the sights shown in this post is the Christmas House, a year-round Christmas shop, Whale watching tours in the Harbor (vie Saga Travel), the Gleratorg Shopping Center, Nonnahús Museum and Jaðarsvöllur golf course.


We eventually returned to the Gista Apartments, which we also booked through AirBnb. I made dinner and we then got ready to go out into the dark, in search for the Northern Lights. What happened in the night, and if we had luck in seeing them is a story for the next post...


End of Part Four
To be continued...




18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It truly is. Thanks for visiting.

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  2. Dear Mersad,
    these are great pictures and impressions from your trip to North Iceland. Thank you for visiting and your comment.
    Have a nice day!
    Loretta

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    1. Thanks for visiting back. Have a great day.

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  3. Thanks a lot for sharing beautiful pics from Akureyri. Awesome place.

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  4. Gorgeous shots! I think the series Trapped was filmed there. (Great Icelandic series - you can find it on Netflix.)

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    1. That show sounds good. Will check it out!

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  5. I like all the bright colors they use, and that round building is amazing. looks nothing like what I see in my mind when I hear the word Iceland. much better, much prettier than what I see in my mind

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    1. They have some very interesting Nordic and Scandinavian architectural style there.

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  6. That conference center architecture is indeed interesting. The circular part of the building...is it made of stone cut in rectangular shapes? It looks like unpainted wood at first glance. I'm so hoping that you saw Northern Lights. We've seen them occasionally in Indiana, but nothing like what one would see in Iceland.

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    1. I believe those are stones, cut and assembled into a circular shape. Come back on Sunday for the full Northern Lights story :) It was quite the adventure in the dark.

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  7. Fascinating photos. I like the bright colours on some of the buildings.The church looks amazing.

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  8. Mit den zwei hexenartigen Figuren habe ich auch Starfoto :-) aber in Reykjavik.
    Liebe Grüße

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  9. Gotta love those trolls! Looks like a beautiful town/city and a great place to visit.

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  10. Wow-- a wonderful place to visit.

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  11. Eine sehr interessante Stadt die es lohnt besucht zu werden. Gefällt mir.

    Wünsche dir noch ein schönes Wochenende und sende viele Grüsse

    N☼va

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