After Reykjavik, we headed up to Akureyri, Iceland's second most populous city with a whopping 18,000 residents. Honestly, I don't think we were expecting much, but the town was so.fricking.beautiful. Akureyri is at the bottom of a fjord, with giant hills - okay, mountains - overlooking the town. Our cabin was half-way up the mountain facing the town, so we had a view of basically....everything. The cabin was a dollhouse-sized little number with a teensy stove and a big-ass hot tub.
Naturally, the much-anticipated hot tub refused to work. After pressing every button on the control panel roughly one thousand times, we ascertained that the tub wasn't full enough - a fact that, had we been using our common sense and sense of sight, we would have figured out right away. In a panic (if there's such a thing as a hot-tub emergency, we were having one), we called the brother-in-law of our AirBnB host. The brother-in-law, Flosi (yes, pronounced like a pony's name), arrived after a stilted phone conversation, took one look at the hot tub, and then started a bucket brigade. An hour later, the tub was full; the next morning, it was hot.
|Not pictured: the coconut ice cream we ate in the hot tub like total bosses.|
|Not pictured: kamikaze death terns.|
Heading to Dettifoss was a different story. Outside the car, it was sterile rocks and grit as far as the eye could see. As we pulled off the main highway, I remarked, "Hey, it's sort of...smoggy out?" which was mysterious because we were not anywhere near a major city. The "smog" grew denser, and within minutes, we were in a full-fledged Icelandic sandstorm. The moon-like landscape and the roaring storm, coupled with the fact that we were heading towards Europe's most powerful waterfall, made me feel like we might have accidentally wandered into one of those sci-fi movies where Mars turns out to be haunted by angry ghosts. At Dettifoss's edge (because, again, all that was holding us back was a dinky little golf fence), I actually got kind of choked up. It's rare that we're confronted with such unmitigated natural power, and being so close was an intense experience. I left feeling like my soul had been scoured with Borax.
|Not pictured: Darude|
Next week: glacier walks, seafood pizza, and the library that turns into a bar.