Today, we docked in Akureyri, Iceland at 8:00am and we had an early tour scheduled. We booked this tour independent from NCL and was a much better value. We found our guide easily and waited for the others.
As we started driving, this area of Iceland was even different from the various landscapes we saw two days ago. The first unusual thing was a very long tunnel through the mountain. It seemed never-ending. We timed it on the way back and it took 6.5 minutes to go through the tunnel.
The first stop was Godafoss waterfall or the waterfall of the gods. It was a breathtaking display of nature. Seeing the rainbow the falls made was so gorgeous. It was back to the bus to head to the next stop the pseudo craters.
The pseudo craters were created by a volcanic explosion many years ago. We took a few photos but found this stop to be the least interesting. I was more excited for what was coming next.
We stopped at a photo point on Lake Myvatin for a few moments. This area was used in Game of Thrones. It was the site of the Wildling camp in I believe season 3. I could picture John Snow trekking though the rocks here.
Off we went to the Dark Castle. This area was either created by volcanos or by trolls who were having a party and forgot the sun was rising. When the sun came up, they turned to stone. Some of the formations do look like faces and one is two trolls kissing. The other interesting lore of the area is how Icelanders believe in a few Santas. These Santas spend their winters in these caves. We climbed up to look into this Santa den. We saw pacifiers hanging on a rope. We wondered if Santa stole these from babies so we asked our guide. She said these were just placed there and shouldn’t be. I’m sure there’s a story to go with them.
Back to the bus and off to the mud pits. You could definitely smell the boiling mud pits as we arrived and it was amazingly strong outside. I have never seen bubbling mud and the landscape with steam vents made us feel like we were on another planet. The view was worth the odor but a younger member of the group was not enjoying it. He ran up to us covering his mouth and nose saying it was like “rotten eggs and a men’s bathroom times one hundred” What a great description!
Our final stop was the nature bath Myvatin. We were very excited to experience a geothermal bath. The surrounding area was desolate with just the building and the bath. We paid an entrance fee, showered and changed to our suits. We had one hour to enjoy this spot. The water was the perfect temperature. It was a stunning, milky, light blue. The water has minerals that make it very slippery. It was quite strange but so relaxing. I could have stayed in the water much longer. We showered and changed back into our clothes with enough time to grab a snack. Chris wanted to try the Icelandic speciality of smoked trout on rye. I gave it a taste but couldn’t eat more than a bite. It was very smokey with a fatty texture. The bread was super dense and sweet. Veronica chose a salad and I ate a delicious pastry. Chris also tried a Viking beer that was only 2.5% alcohol. We all remarked how relaxed we felt and if the bus was more comfortable I am sure we would have napped. We did not get back to the ship until 3:00pm. It was a very fun, busy day. We had walked quite a bit at each stop and were tired.
We all wanted to take a shower before the evening. Chris ran up the buffet for some chips and salsa for us to snack on in the cabin. We went for drinks and trivia before dinner and Veronica left us once again for her friends. Chris and I enjoyed an early dinner in the buffet. We met our new Falkland friends for trivia in the pub after dinner. We are creatures of habit so we ended our night in the Galaxy having a few dances and watching the Yes or No gameshow which gave us a few laughs. The ballroom duo was having another show but we both felt the bed calling us. We called it a night early even though tomorrow is a sea day. A busy day in Akureyri took us down!