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July 1, 2014

Godafoss WaterfallWe set out this morning for a drive to Lake Myvatn. First we stopped at Godafoss Waterfalls, or "waterfall of the gods". It is said to have gotten its name when one of the leaders of the country's parliament disposed of his statues of Norse gods at the waterfall upon the adoption of Christianity as the official religion in the year 1000. Unfortunately a cruise ship had come in to Akureyri and all the passengers were at the waterfalls at the same time we were there. After having all of our previous stops to ourselves, this was a shock.

The Lake Myvatn area was sculpted throughout the ages by volcanic eruptions and is renowned for its diverse bird population. Over 150 species can be found here, some only breed here. It is also known for its black flies at this time of year so we were prepared with head nets. Fortunately we didn't have to use them as there was a strong wind blowing during our hikes. Lake MyvatnThe Lake Myvatn area is located on the mid-Atlantic ridge where two tectonic plates collide. The gap between the plates on the ridge widens about 1"/year. It is highly geothermal area and there was a plant that pipes the hot water to nearby towns .Geothermal area

Hot springs in caveWe stopped at Grjotagja which used to be a popular bathing area in the springs within the cave. Our guide used to come here as a child and play in the springs but eruptions in 1975 caused the water to be too hot for bathing now.

We then walked around one of the paths at Dimmuborgir Lava Park with its Lava formations at Dimmuborgir whimsical "black castles" lava formations from an eruption 2000 years ago.


After lunch at Sel Hotel Restaurant, we walked up and around some pseudo craters for great views of the lake. The craters were formed by steam explosions when lava flowed over wet earth.Psuedo Craters



Our last stop around Lake Myvatn was to a farm where the owner smokes trout using traditional methods.Trout smoke house He first soaks the trout in salt water, then hangs them to dry for a week. This is followed by smoking in a smoke house that uses dried sheep dung to create the smoke. After the trout is smoked, it is deboned and packaged for sale. It was fascinating to watch two young boys deboning the fish. To view short video of this, click here.


After arriving back in Akureyri we stopped for an ice cream and a quick walk around the Akureyri Botanical Garden. Botanic GardenWe had dinner this evening at the home of a local family in Akureyri. It was interesting hearing about their life and the home cooked meal of salmon was delicious.


To view more photos from our trip to Lake Myvatn, please go to Lake Myvatn Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to Siglufjordur.

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