Sunday, July 3, 2016

Akureyri, Iceland

There's no sign in Akureyri, Iceland that reads "last pizza before the Arctic Circle." Someone is missing a marketing opportunity.

Akureyri is on the north shore of Iceland, a bit below the imaginary line to the north. You can take a ferry from Akureyr to Grimsey Island, which contains the only part of Iceland that is actually north of the Arctic Circle. It's a six-hour round trip, but you can say you were on the north side of the geographic line when you were done.

Akureyri serves as an important commercial center for the entire region. I don't know if it contains the only bookstore within hundreds of square miles, but it's probably close to that. The climate isn't as cold as you might think it is, and the harbor is ice-free. That gives it some major commercial advantages.

Besides, Akureyri is beautiful. It is surrounded by mountains, and the city is something of the skiing center for the country. A road goes north on the other side of the harbor from Akureyri, and it offers a spectacular look at the city and the surrounding areas. Just don't look for much darkness here in June - when we visited, sunrise and sunset were 35 minutes apart.

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