north iceland: driving north on the ring road to akureyri

Tuesday, August 16:  After we finish our hike, we get into our car for the long haul to Akureyri.  Unless we see enticing hikes along the way, we don’t plan to stop, except to take pictures.  Our first stop is on a bridge over a river where we see a couple of horseback riders in the middle of nowhere.

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a river found along the road

When we see these sheep close to the roadside, we have to stop to take a picture of the horned fella scratching his back on the bottom of the sign.

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sheep having a back scratch

A field of yellow flowers with a barn on a hill also entices.

another farm
another farm

Sometimes it’s the sky over a grand sweeping landscape that beckons.

peaks and valleys
peaks and valleys

A mountain bathed in sunlight with sheep in the forefront seems unspoiled and pastoral.

idyllic Iceland
idyllic Iceland
pastoral scene
pastoral scene

Luckily, we’re seeing a lot more blue sky than we have so far in Iceland.

blue skies
blue skies
sunny dapples
dappled sunshine

Some of the farms seem to be huge operations.

a large farm
a large farm

We pull off at a spot below where a bridge crosses a river; here we find a woman out salmon fishing.  Later, we hear that Eric Clapton likes to go salmon fishing in Iceland.  An article in Ice News, published on August 6 of this year, tells of how Clapton nailed one of the biggest salmon so far this summer, at 28 pounds.  You can read an article about it here: New York Daily News: Eric Clapton catches giant salmon, breaks local record in Iceland.

farm across the pond

a fishing spot

While we’re at this spot, someone drives up in a car, and, voila!, it’s Wang Wang and her mother, who we last saw this morning at Freyja Guesthouse in Reykjavik.  What are the chances that, having left at different times, we would meet again at this minor pull-off?

fisher woman
fisher woman
grasses and peaks
grasses and peaks
more grasses and peaks
more grasses and peaks

Of course in typical Chinese fashion, we take pictures of each other and then do a selfie.🙂

Mike and I at the fishing spot
Mike and I at the fishing spot
Wang Wang and her mother
Wang Wang and her mother
Wang Wang, her mother, Mike and me
Wang Wang, her mother, Mike and me
river and dappled mountains
river and dappled mountains

By the time we leave, the fisher woman is thigh high in the river.  She doesn’t seem to have caught anything by the time we leave.

fishing
fishing

We continue on our way, making a couple of stops for more scenic views.

another pretty farm
another pretty farm
farmstead
farmstead
red-roofed farm
red-roofed farm
bales of hay in the fields
bales of hay in the fields
another farm
another farm

I adore this little church, which almost looks like someone’s private church, all lit up as if from the heavens.

glowing church
glowing church
pretty church
pretty church

Finally, we come in our journey to the narrow 30km long scenic valley known as Öxnadalur on the Ring Road between Varmahlíð and Akureyri.

green valley
green valley
a view with a lake
a view with a lake
lake view
lake view

At one spot, we find glimmering intertwined ribbons of water flowing over a rocky terrain.

a river flows through it
a river flows through it
river on the rocks
river on the rocks
Mike on a bridge
Mike on a bridge

We pass multitudes of waterfalls falling from the rock faces in the gorgeous valley.

jagged peaks along the way
jagged peaks along the way
jagged peaks up close
jagged peaks up close
sweeping valleys
sweeping valleys
yet another pretty farmstead
yet another pretty farmstead
northern views
northern views
along the Ring Road
along the Ring Road

At long last we are approaching Akureyri.  We stop for this magnificent vista right before the road heading north to Dalvik.  Finally, we have blue skies!

idyllic spot near the road to Dalvik
idyllic spot near the road to Dalvik
idyllic spot near the road to Dalvik
idyllic spot near the road to Dalvik
farmland and mountains
farmland and mountains
a wooden fence
a wooden fence
idyllic spot near the road to Dalvik
idyllic spot near the road to Dalvik

We leave our little paradise viewpoint and continue our drive through Akureyri, in route to our hotel, Lamb Inn Öngulsstadir; it is 6.2 miles south of the town.  Before we head out of the town, Mike searches in vain for a Vinbudin, the state-run liquor store (the only place to buy booze aside from the Duty-Free, bars, and restaurants).  There are 48 Vinbudin locations across Iceland and they all seem to close between 4:00-6:00.  We usually arrive too late to find one open, and tonight is no exception.  Oh well, I guess we’ll have to buy wine with dinner later in Akureyri.  Buying alcohol in a restaurant or bar is never an economical choice in Iceland.  That won’t stop us though.🙂

17 thoughts on “north iceland: driving north on the ring road to akureyri

      1. I’m smiling, because I just made a coffee and headed over here for a catch up. You’ve spent so long on mine, I thought you must have stacks of new stuff up, Cathy. You got me! 🙂 🙂 Hope you’re starting to feel a bit more yourself. Hugs, darlin!

      2. Haha, nothing much new on my end. I was into cleaning out my inbox and reading old posts that I’d missed. Now I need to start posting more about our Iceland trip. Not much is going on at home except my dad’s 86th birthday this weekend; my sister from California and my brother from New Jersey, along the rest of my more local family will be here. We’ll have a festive time, I’m sure. Just hope I’m back to normal by then.🙂

      3. I can never fully clean out my inbox, Jo, and even when I do, it takes no time at all for it to fill back up again. I just can’t keep up with all the emails!🙂

        My whole family will be here this weekend, all except Adam, who is still in Hawaii. It will be the first time we’ll all be together since my mom’s funeral in April 2002. I’ve been busy the last couple of weeks getting prepared!🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Carol. I’m so glad you like it. I’m enjoying your photos of England. By the way, I tried to leave a comment (twice) on your loo post today, but I don’t think either of them took.🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Charlie. I do hope you get there; you will love it! I’m so glad you enjoyed the photo tour. I have a lot more photos to come. But there was still a lot in Iceland we missed. I think we’ll have to go back one of these days.🙂

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