This is a post that should have been written about a month ago, right after my parents where here, but as so many things it got lost somewhere in the depth of my brain…. obviously there were more important things to think about… well that’s what I will keep telling myself…
Godafoss is a gorgeous waterfall on the way to Lake Myvatn, it is the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ and one of my favourites here in Iceland. The story says that in the year 1000 a local chieftain and ‘heathen’ priest Þorgeir Þorkelsson decided that all of Iceland should be Christian to settle the disputes between Christians and those that were still worshipping the Nordic Gods at the historic Alþingi. When coming back from the meeting to Ljósavatn it is said that he threw the statues of the ‘heathen’ gods into the waterfall – which is where the name comes from.
Lake Mývatn is a gorgeous geological area about 1 hour north-east of Akureyri that I actually so far didn’t have the chance to explore all that much. But at the end of July my parents where in Akureyri for a day and I was able to borrow a car from work to show them around. Now please excuse the quality of the following photo, it is almost dark outside (which considering it is almost 21:00 that fact is quite exciting). Yes you read that right it is slowly getting dark again in Iceland, fall is coming!!! But I am getting of topic, on the map you can see the Mývatn area. The lake is fourth largest one in Iceland and there are so many different geological features to see from craters to bubbling mud pools to hot pools (although you have to pay for the one you can actually swim in). It is also one of the places in Iceland where the american and european tectonic plates are connecting or rather drifting apart I think is what they are doing. There you have it though lots of volcanic activity potential.
We weren’t that lucky with the weather but for that area that’s actually better. Lake Mývatn translated means ‘midge lake’, midges are small flies that lay their eggs in the lake and if it is sunny there are thousands of those out and about. You can actually buy hats with flynets on in the few stores around. So for once, yay for cloudy and rainy weather 😀 First we stopped at Skútustađagígar (if you can pronounce this correctly I am impressed), from where you can take a small walk closer to some old small craters and have a gorgeous view of the lake.
There is really a lot to do around the lake, you can basically stop every ten minutes to do some hiking, just have a look around or try to spot some birds. You don’t even have to follow all the suggestions on the map because it is just so beautiful. We just stopped a couple of times along the road for these following views.
Of course we also stopped at the place where the hot pools are (the ones you are not supposed to swim in because they are too hot, I can’t remember what temperature this one was exactly but definitely a bit over 40°C. Close to there is also where you can see the valley between the american and european volcanic plates, it is not as impressive as in Thingvellir (not spelled correctly because my laptop doesn’t know the right icelandic letter) in the South but still quite cool to see.
Lastly we stopped at Námafjall, a field of hot mud pools where you really realize that this is indeed still a very active area. It is super interesting place to visit, you can walk around between these pools although you are reminded through signs to stay on the ‘paths’ and not get too close. It seems a few people got some serious burns from getting too close to the mud pools.
After that the weather unfortunately got so bad that we decided to just go back to Akureyri instead of exploring some more. We had wanted to drive a bit further to the Krafla area to see Mt Krafla and some of the craters that were formed in the 1975-1984 eruptions. That just have to wait for the next visit 🙂