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Week 3

Day 15 : From Breiđavík to Fáskrúđsfjörđur

I caught the bus early in the morning to get to Breiđavík, which is a town near the East Fjords. It was a nice day to cycle, so I did about 50 km and it was very beautiful – a nice change from the southern part. I came across some very nice villages and a lot of very friendly horses. I like how they come running after me like they want to say “hi”.

Day 16 : From Fáskrúđsfjörđur to Eglisstađir

Well, another hard day – about 50 km again. My original plan had been to stop in Reyđarfjörđur but, since it was a very easy 20 km to get there, I decided to continue on to Eglisstađir. The next 20 km were so hard – mostly uphill with wind in my face the whole time. That section was no fun at all. I finally got to Eglisstađir, where I ate with a German guy I had met along the way.

It's a cute little place, but has no charm really. It's also very cold since it's not on the coast. It’s night time and my tent has frost all over it – it must be about 0°C.

Day 17 : Arriving in Mývatn

Mývatn is a little lake in the northeast where there is a lot of volcanic activity. The crust of the Earth is so thin here that I can see smoke coming out of the ground everywhere. I went to a little underground cave where there is a hot spring. I didn't go into the water because I didn't have my swimsuit with me. I did, however, feel the hot water and I also walked around the cave a little bit. I didn't stay long because of the nasty smell that these hot springs create.

It was a nice day with very little cloud; I wish I had more days like this one.

Day 18 : Visiting Mývatn and krafla

Once again, I woke up to beautiful sunshine. What I like about the Sun in Iceland is that it's not too strong and you get a fresh breeze from the North. That way it never feels too hot. I visited the first geothermal power station near the lake. I went on to Krafla, which has the second geothermal power station – but this one also has an active volcano next to it. Its last eruption was in 1980 so the lava is still very visible, in the form of black rock, of course.

I then moved on to another site, where I could see boiling mud, little geysers (sorry, no photos) and some spots with a lot of smoke coming out of them very loudly (kind of like a loud camping stove). The area was so smelly that I couldn't stay too long. I went back to the campsite to eat and chat with the Icelandic family next to my tent.

Basically, it was another very nice day to visit and relax, but I did manage to do 40 km just by going from place to place.

Day 19 : From Mývatn to Akureyri

My original plan had been to go to Gođafoss and spend the night there, but when I arrived it was still very early and I had plenty of energy so I decided to continue all the way up to Akureyri. Besides, there wasn't much in Gođafoss other than the waterfall. After a smooth 100 km, I arrived at Akureyri, which is the fourth largest city in Iceland, with a population of 15,000. It actually feels like a city here, but the campsite is next to a busy road. I treat myself to a huge Subway sandwich and I get to bed around 12:00, the sky is still pink. Beautiful!!!

Tomorrow, I'll spend the whole day visiting the city, including some museums.

Day 20 : Akureyri

I spent the day in this beautiful little city visiting what it had to offer. There are some nice statues; I got a little snack and ate lunch in Jacobson Park. I then visited the botanical gardens, which are very nice but, to be honest, I have seen much better. For some reason, things don't grow so easily in Iceland. Basically, it's a place with flowers and trees, which are very rare in Iceland.

I am pretty much finished with the cycling for now; I have done what I wanted to do, so from now on I will just jump to each point of interest.

Day 21 : Grímsey Island and the Artic circle

The day started early today because I had to wake up at 6:00 to catch the ferry to Grímsey Island. The island is about 60 km north of the mainland. A few tourists go there because it is the only place in Iceland where you can actually cross the Arctic Circle (66° North). The three-hour ride to get there is totally worth it. I was with a few Icelandic sailors and the boat smelled like fish…the good old Icelandic way, I guess.

It's hard to believe that there is actually a community of about 100 people living on this very remote island. They have been here for hundreds of years and they are very proud of their Viking origins. The view they have over Iceland is breathtaking.

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