Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Heading to Akureyri
Time to head west. We stopped at Godafoss, a waterfall known both for its beauty and its legend. The story is that in around 1000, at the Alþingi, it was decided that all Iceland should have one religion. The decision as to whether it would be the Norse paganism or Christianity was given to Þorgeir (Thorgeir Thorkelsson) who was himself a pagan. He decided for Christianity and after his conversion threw his Norse idols into this waterfall - hence Godaff or Waterfall of the gods.
The steep walls beside the river after the falls show the upheaval in Iceland due to its many earthquakes which are a daily occurrence, though usually at levels that can not be felt. You can see the daily map here.
Akureyri is the second largest city in Iceland. The cathedral dominates the skyline. The total population is about 18000. The architecture in many areas dates from the 1920s - very art deco feeling.
There are no really tall buildings, but the town is built on a hill so the views across the fjord are wonderful.
I love the fact that a number of buildings have dates on them. It is easy to have a sense of when parts of the town were added.
I am not sure why so many sculptures in Iceland seem pensive or downcast. But then - I have never had to live through the darkness of their winters.