Akureyri to Ólafsfjörður
The distance between Akureyri and Ólafsfjörður - a small fishing village to the north on the Tröllskagi peninsula - is only 60km, but we have a way of putting in at least 250km irregardless of the distance. Today would end up being a eclectic mix of museums and sights.
We started by heading the opposite direction - down the farm filled Eyjafjörður valley. The previous day, at the Aviation museum, I found a flyer for Svirir Hermansson's Sundry Museum, a collection of thousands of small items in what is described as "not a historical museum, appliance collection, household collection, nail collection, foraging collection nor a key collection, but all of those rolled into one and much more." So about 35 minutes down valley, we find ourselves in the midst of a dizzying array of...everything. Woodworking tools, tea kettles, water faucets, pens, lighters, rubber stamps, matchboxes, hanker chiefs, light switches, door knobs, kettles...it's overwhelming. It's utterly amazing. It's easily on my top five places I've been to in Iceland. I could have been there for hours. The museum's namesake collected thousands of items a year for decades, and here it all is, arranged in a VERY orderly fashion, wall after wall, case after case, room after room. It's hoarding, taken to a folk-art level.
Heading back on the other side of the valley, we stopped to get our wits together at Kaffe Ku, where you sit in an enclosed glass balcony sipping a latte while you watch the free-range cows below, chomping on grass and lazily walking over to the laser-guided milking robot when they feel like it. Yes, a laser-guided milking robot. There's flat screens in the cafe you can watch the whole thing go down. The cows don't seem to care - they come and go as they please.
Finally back in Akureyri after the round-trip through the valley, we stopped by the Icelandic Motorcycle Museum, where, considering it was Saturday and it had warmed up to 9C, there was a fair amount of bikes parked out front. It's a great collection of bikes, including a few I've never seen in collections in the states.
Next, another detour down the Oxnadalur valley, since the weather was beautiful and we wouldn't be passing through here tomorrow . The valley is a gorgeous range of snow-peaked mountain ridges which frame farms and waterfalls for nearly 60km.
We double back again, and finally head up the western side of the Tröllskagi peninsula to Ólafsfjörður. Soon, we're seeing snow on the side of the road again, and the views across the fjörds were helped by epic skies. The views ended at a single lane 5km tunnel that drops us into Ólafsfjörður. It's a small fishing village tucked between two mountains, accessible largely only by the 5km tunnel and another 8km tunnel on the other side of town. THere's not much going on at all, there's only one restaurant open, but I really fell in love with the place. It felt like being tucked away at a remote corner of the globe. The lack of internet helped.