02 Aug Ring Road Day 4: Akureyri
We woke up at our little Airbnb that was situated about 15 minutes outside of Akureyri, the second biggest city in Iceland. Sadie gave us another private yoga session, and afterwards we showered and got ready to tour the city. We first made a stop at Akureyrarstofa (the information center) to see what the city had to offer.
Chloe found a brochure for whale watching that we were interested in, and after heading to Norðursigling we found yet another discount code to make the venture out onto the sea even more doable. We booked a spot at 4:00, then started walking around, exploring the area.
Icelandic wool is a must!
We first stopped and had some coffee and pastries at Kristjansbakari, then walked on to the Icewear store to shop for some Icelandic wool, something that we all agreed that we needed (or wanted? We aren’t quite sure).
As Chloë had already bought hers at the sister store in Reykjavik, Sadie and I both invested in some. Sadie and Brian bought me a wool poncho for my graduation/birthday/Christmas gift (thanks guys!), and we walked out of the store with bags full (only for a short amount of time, as we went directly to the car to drop off our purchases).
We then walked to the oldest house in Akureyri, walked to the top of the church to get a good view of the area, and stopped for a donor kebab for lunch Aleppo Kebab. After eating, we decided to get some beer before whale watching. We stopped at R5 Micro Bar, where the bartender was very knowledgable and informed us of every beer he had on tap.
After finishing our beers, we made a run to the wine store to buy some wine and beer for the next few days, then loaded up the car to head to Húsavík. We were fitted with warm suits for the boat ride and loaded up, all of the passengers hoping for some whale sightings and, at the very least, a dolphin sighting.
The boat chugged along the ocean slowly, the waves around us creating the illusion of a whale spouting everywhere we looked. After we made our way out to the ocean for about an hour, we finally spotted it:a humpback whale. He grazed the surface of the ocean a few times, spouting, as we all gasped and followed it from the boat.
As we were all staring at him, content with what we saw, he breached (jumped) from the water. There were multiple sounds of excitement coming from our boat and lots of clapping after we saw him. On our way back, we saw yet another humpback whale jump about six or seven times directly in front of us. We were given hot chocolate and cinnamon buns as we made our way back to the dock.
Our guide was very knowledgable and was able to tell us many facts about whales as we toured around. All in all, we paid $69 each for a two hour tour on the ocean, including our gear and a snack. It was a splurge well spent.
Brian picked us up and we headed to the town pool to soak in for awhile. Akureyri Swimming Pool was very clean, with multiple pools with different temperatures, including an ice bath right next to the hottest tub they offered. Brian and I had a few competitions to see who could sit in the ice bath the longest – I won’t tell you who won, but I will tell you that I was last but not least.
We decided to treat ourselves to Rub 23, a fancy, expensive dinner place in Akureyri. Sadie and Chloe both split a large bowl of mussels and sushi, Brian got sushi, and I ordered salmon and scallops. Mmmm good.
It was an eventful day, and we all went to bed tired and full. And content.
happy whale watching,