#northiceland

Yet another stunning waterfall in Iceland. Aldeyjarfoss is situated in the north of Iceland, north of the highland road Sprengisandur (Road F26). Therefor the waterfall is almost on the boarder of the highlands. It is an overwhelming sight to see the powerful river, Skjálfandafljót drop 20 meters down next to the majestic basalt columns in Aldeyjarfoss. Besides the basalt columns the lava field it is a part of contains a broad variety of rock formation. Although bit of a hassle to get to since a 4WD vehicle is needed a pitstop by Aldeyjarfoss is completely worth it.

Yet another stunning waterfall in Iceland, Aldeyjarfoss.

For those interested in history and the Icelandic Sagas, Borgarvirki is a very relevant place to visit. Although originally formed naturally by an ancient volcanic plug of columnar basalt, that base is believed to have been transformed into a defensive fortification dating around the Settlement (879 - 1030 AD). There are some debates about whether that is true or if it was simply used for peaceful purposes but either way it is a great spot to see and perhaps decide for yourself.

 Borgarvirki

The seals at the Seal Colony at Vatnsnes in Iceland are, as are we, fascinated by the goose and the flock of young ones following her.  We wonder if it is a teacher or a mother? How many young ones does she have?  And we are looking at the seals.  Even if we try to read their mind, we have questions. Our best shot is that they are simply enjoying the view.  Finding pleasure in seeing the life of the young ones and her pride in her teaching as she swam back and forth. She has chosen to live in this Seal Colony at Vatnsnes.

The seals at the Seal Colony at Vatnsnes in Iceland are, as are we, fascinated by the goose and the flock of young ones following her

 

The canyon Ásbyrgi is a joy to view and a pleasure to visit.  Although a separate part of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon it is considered to be geologically a part of that canyon and made by the same catastrophic floods and eruptions some thousands of years ago. It is formed like a horseshoe and guarded by 90 to 100-meter cliffs on all sides except the northern side where the cliffs descend to the lowland.  In the middle is a cliff island of the same height that helps enhance the horseshoe form of the three and a half kilometer long and one-kilometer wide canyon. 

Made by Odins horse Sleipnir

Even though there are geological explanations, the canyon was formed by Sleipnir the eight-leg horse owned by the god Óðinn (Odin) when it put one of its hooves down to earth.  This event was documented in the Nordic mythology, ages and hundreds of years before anyone started to write about geology and geography. 

A vegetation beauty that offers peace and quiet

In the bottom of the horseshoe canyon, is a small pound, Botnstjörn, surrounded by vegetation and astonishing cliffs.  The canyon has an unusual variety of vegetation and lively birdlife during summer.  It is a great place to stay for a day or two and walk some of the convenient and not so difficult hiking trails in Ásbyrgi and also up on the cliffs that give the place such a wonderful feeling of a peaceful sanctuary. Today Ásbyrgi as well as the whole area of Jökulsárgljúfur is part of the Vatnajokull National Park and is managed by the park authorities. Part of the Jökulsárlón canyon are the magnificent waterfalls Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss, and Selfoss.  From Ásbyrgi you can also visit the remote villages of Raufarhöfn and Þórshöfn in the north east as well as whale watching at Húsavík village nearby.  All interesting places to visit.  

Midnight sun near Ásbyrgi in Northern Region in Iceland

Ásbyrgi is a perfect place to stay for the midnight sun at the end of June

A great place to stay on your visit to Iceland

Ásbyrgi is easily accessible although in a considerable distance from the Ring Road or Road one in Iceland. It is located in the northeast part of Iceland and is connected to the Ring Road with Road 864, the same road that takes you to the east side of Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon and the east side of Dettifoss waterfall.  At the end of that road, you take a left turn by the bridge over the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum onto Road 85 and you can't miss it. You can also drive to Húsavík town to access the Ásbyrgi from the west side.  In Ásbyrgi is one of the best camping sites in Iceland and a great place to stay for a few days to explore and experience.

Below is the location of Ásbyrgi on the map of Iceland

The canyon was formed by Sleipnir the eight-leg horse owned by the god Óðinn (Odin)

Húsavík is the whale watching capital of Iceland and possibly the world.  The whale watching companies running services out from Húsavík have a very high success rate at finding large animals and members of the whale family in the Skjálfandi Bay. Some of the companies have over twenty years of experience and are offering state of the art service in every way, like North Sailing, the one we choose. They have a variety of wonderful old oak fishing boats and schooners that have been modified to safety standards and convenience for whale watching.

Suddenly and literally out of the blue, one of them suddenly breached.

Lystigarðurinn (The Botanical Gardens) is Akureyri's pride and joy. It was a public park, opened in 1912, and a botanical garden opened in 1957. It has approximately 6600 alien taxa growing in beds and nursery, as well as, 430 species of the native taxa. Located a mere 50 kilometers from the Arctic Circle, developing and maintaining the beautiful Gardens has been no mean feat. It all started in 1910 when a number of women in Akureyri founded the Park Association to beautify their town.  A year earlier the town council had given them a hectare of land to play with, never realizing the ladies meant business. For the next forty-three years, the Gardens were run by the Park Society and increased to 3.6 hectares.

Apart from being tranquil and beautiful Gardens, the Botanical Gardens gradually became a place for scientific research. Many of the plants placed there were believed not to be able to survive on the Arctic edge. But, survive they did, and what's more: They prospered.

Within the Gardens, you'll also find fountains and tiny lakes where children like to play. At the southeast corner, you will find a few wooden buildings. One of them is a café/bistro with a large patio. It is the most delightful place to sit down and relax on a sunny day.
 

Lystigarðurinn (The Botanical Gardens) is Akureyri's pride and joy

The tiny village of Bakkafjörður is probably the smallest, most remote and most isolated village in Iceland.Both regarding activity and geography.  It is more or less a cluster of houses with a small harbour.  The population is less than 80 people, and everyone depends on fishing and fish processing.   As part of the Langanesbyggð municipality after merging with Þórshöfn in 2006, most of the se

Bakkafjörður is a tiny village in the Northern Region in Icedland

Þórshöfn is a small village in the Northeast region in Iceland, remote and far away from most places. Although Þórshöfn was never a large village, it reached its peak in the seventies, when around 500 people lived in the village. Since then, there has been a decline in the population and today less than 400 people live in the village.

Þórshöfn is a small village in the Northern Region in Iceland

It is hard to imagine when you come to this tiny village on the edge of becoming deserted, that it was once one of the largest export harbors in Iceland.

The church was designed by Iceland's most prominent architect, Guðjón Samúelsson and built in 1927

 

The Church in Húsavík is a timber building, built in 1906 and consecrate in 1907.

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