On the second day on the Iceland’s Ring Road we left Reykholt in the Western region and headed north. We visited the charming town of Akureyri and the remarkable Goðafoss Waterfall. As we had many miles to go, we spent long hours on the bus.
Most of the morning was spent driving from Reykholt to Akureyri. During this tedious ride on the bus, the guide passed the time telling us curious facts about Iceland. After telling us an old Icelandic saga about a man and a woman in love, he told us that the woman and the man were his relatives. He proved so by showing his family tree. For me, its was a surprise. But even more surprising was to know that almost everyone in Iceland knows his family tree. This is something extremely rare in Brazil.
Most of the people who lives in Iceland are descended from a small group of Viking settlers. They all know their family tree and they can trace their relatives back to the first settlers. The Book of Icelanders, or Íslendingabók, contains genealogical information about the inhabitants of Iceland, dating more than 1,200 years back. How awesome is that!
Finally, after 3 hours of driving we arrived at Akureyri — known as the Capital of North Iceland. Although it’s the second largest city in Iceland, it’s rather small. As you may have noticed already, the main attractions in Iceland are not the urban landscapes, but the natural wonders.
Akureyri is a lovely town that offers a good opportunity to buy some souvenirs. I enjoyed the opportunity to buy some warm clothes. The winds in Iceland are implacable even in summer. A windproof jacket is most welcome.
The name Goðafoss means “Waterfall of the Gods“. This incredible waterfall has an interesting story connected to the Christianisation of Iceland.
Around 1000 AD, the country was divided. There were discussions whether the country should adopt Christianism or continue as a pagan country. An important man in the old Icelandic Parliament was in charge to make such an important decision in the name of the whole country. When he decided in favor of Christianism, he threw away his statues of the Norse gods into this waterfall.
We spent the night in Fosshotel Húsavík. This hotel is nicer than the Fosshotel Reykholt we stayed the night before. After dinner, I stayed at the hotel bar and enjoyed a couple of beers before I went to sleep.
For more information about the tour go to http://www.tour.is/longer-tours/country_life_-_7_days