Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Akureyri, Iceland

Hello from Akureyri, Iceland!
Akureyri, Iceland
View from the ship
Before I get started on today, I need to go back to very early this morning. Actually, I need to go back to 2014 when I took this sunset picture as we were flying over Greenland. It's an image I have kept in my mind ever since as being the most unique and spectacular sunset I've seen in my lifetime.
Sunset over Greenland, November 2014
Now fast forward to this morning at a little after 2 AM when I got up to use the bathroom and saw this out my balcony door. We've got ourselves a picture (three pictures with no edits or adjustments!) of the most unique and spectacular sunrise I've seen in my lifetime. Based on the ship's position at the time I think it occurred over Greenland but if not it was most definitely over the Greenland Sea. The pictures don't do the color of the deep reds any justice. What I saw is something I will not forget. 
sunrise over Greenland
sunrise over Greenland
The beauty of the vibrant colors can't be described
sunrise over Greenland

So back to today. While half the world is experiencing extreme heat it was a cool and crisp morning here with the day starting out in the 40s.
steam rising from waterfalls in Greenland
Cool enough for steam to be coming off the warm waterfalls
When I was in Akureyri last month I took the Hop On Hop Off bus. (You can read about that visit here.) But today - even as late as breakfast time - I still hadn't put a plan together for this visit. 
people waiting in line for cruise line excursion bus
You can bet any plan would not include a line like this one
Being the bar of cucumber melon bath soap I brought from home (that I haven't been able to smell once yet) was down to a sliver I knew I was going to have to buy some new soap somewhere. I did a little quick Google search and found a grocery store away from the tourist areas but close enough I could scooter on over to it. If I can hang in a mall in Poland I can go shopping in a grocery store in Iceland, right?

It couldn't have been any easier to get to the Hagkaup store. Leave the ship and go straight on Gránufélagsgata. I could turn on Laufásgata but it would take me more into the industrial area but as a single solo woman I wanted to stay on the main strip. I felt safe the entire time, but you can never be too careful. 
Instead, scooter down to Hjalteyrargata and take a right.
Truth be told, I just made sure I stayed on the
"G" street name until I got to the "H" street name
Follow Hjalteyrargata until you see the gas station on the left and the store is right behind it.
Hagkaup grocery store and gas station Akureyri, Iceland
There it is!
And the ship is behind me, hiding in the trees. 
I feel much safer when I'm in an unknown area if I can still see the ship
Everyone in the store was a local and other than me not a tourist in sight. I took a few pictures inside the store but didn't want to attract attention so I keep the picture taking to a minimum.
I contemplated picking something up but everything was in Icelandic
Other than the soap, I had my eye out for something else. When Ed and I were here years ago we found a couple food items we really liked. I kept pictures of them in case we'd ever get back to Iceland again someday and lo and behold they had them in the store. Skyr is a thick Iceland yogurt high in protein (yum, yum) and Hrískökur are rice cakes with a chocolate layer (double yum). So of course I loaded up.
Snacks to last for at least a couple weeks
I also spied something I've been wanting to try. I've seen these throughout Norway and Iceland and since I've been skipping carbs (other than my birthday day) I've been skipping buying one. But I bought one today and ate the whole thing when I got back to the ship.
pepperoni focaccia pizza
Bakariliō focaccia meō pepperoni = pepperoni foccaccia
I was proud of myself for being brave and acting like a local and getting myself to the store on my own. But when I got back to the ship and looked to see if I could tell where I had been I kind of got an ego check. I guess I didn't wander as far and wasn't as adventurous as I had thought.
Hagkaup grocery store from cruise ship port in Akureyri, Iceland
Pink circle marks the spot
But I figure when I'm at home I don't do tourist things every day so when I'm on the road (or the sea) it shouldn't be any different, right? So I'm okay with today, and since we're here one more time next month I'm really okay I stayed local. 

Tomorrow we're in Grundarfjördur, Iceland. It's a new port for me, it's a tender port, and it's another port where we have to do a face to face immigration. This time it's with the Icelandic officials so we'll see how that works. See you then!