We started our day in Northern Iceland at Goðafoss, or “waterfall of the gods”. It was called this because in the year 1000, Porgeir Ljosventningagodi made Christianity the religion of Iceland and threw all of his pagan god statues into the waterfall. We were lucky to catch several rainbows around the falls.
Our Viking guide Stefano was always enjoying the company of Lauren and Lucy.
After visiting the waterfall, we made our way to Akureyri, nicknamed “Capital of North Iceland”. The drive is amazingly beautiful with lots of ocean-side farms and fisheries.
We decided to go whale watching but knew it would be difficult to impress us since we had seen lots of humpback whales during our trip to Antarctica a few years ago, but that was premature. This excursion was not part of our Globe Drifters agenda but a few fellow travelers joined us.
In less than 30 minutes, we started seeing whales in all directions. They were coming up for air then doing a deep dive leaving only their tails in the air as they descend.
We must have seen 30 or more whales — the whale spotter said this was the most whales they’ve seen in a long time. We have a lot of yogis in our group — so definitely great Karma going around for us to be able to see Northern Lights and an abundance of whales.
Akureyri Bay was stunning – pictures don’t do it justice.
The town of Akureyri has an interesting feel — like a small town with metropolitan amenities.
Most cities have murals, I always find myself photographing them because I’m sure each has a story. The image painted by Guido Van Helten (from an photo found in the town’s archives) is portrait of ‘Sia’ (an Icelandic actress) who passed away in 2010 in Akureyri.
A short drive away is the Akureyri Christmas House where everyday is Christmas.
Even the bathroom has Christmas music playing 24:7.
Iceland Day 8 – Beer Baths
You’ve never soaked your buns in beer? You don’t know what you’re missing!
This restaurant and craft brewery allows patrons to soak for 30 minutes in the good stuff. I’ll spare you from seeing us in the spa but I can tell you it’s very relaxing!
After the beer spa, you go upstairs to the “quiet room” where they wrap you like a burrito on a massage bed and meditate for 20 minutes. Once that’s done, you then take in the majestic mountains surrounding this area while soaking in an outdoor hot tub.
All during the trip, Lynn and I had this big joke with Stefano because he is a Viking with a menacing laugh. Lynn said one day she would be joking with him and he would start choking her as his laugh rings aloud.
Towards the end of the day, we made our way to a volcano where you could hike about a thousand steps to the top.
With the sun going down, all of us wanted to be the first to the top. I turned on the jets and made it up first!
We ended our night by building a fire and telling stories. Not long afterwards, the Northern Lights made another visit!
Interested in Seeing More?
See more of our Iceland blogs here.