Monday, 18 May 2015

Iceland the final post

This is the final piece on my cruise around Iceland. Most people visit Reykjavik and there is lots to see. But the more interesting nature and wildlife was to be found cruising around to Iceland's second biggest city Akureyri and then a planned visit to Lake Myvatn.

The north western side of Iceland has major sea cliffs which are home to millions of auks. A recent programme on the BBC showed the arctic fox hunting on these cliffs.

You can imaging my surprise when I looked up and saw one the prime targets of the trip flying over the ship. This Gyr falcon circled the ship allowing good views and giving me a chance to show this bird off to some of the other 800 passenger on board the ship.
The next day we docked in Akureyri. The city is at the bottom of a 60 km fiord.
I was off the boat early in the morning and walked to the car hire. Car sorted and I was off driving out of town towards Laugaland. A quick picture of the ship and a nice summer plumaged great northern diver with 2 winter plumaged black guillemot's.
Up the valley I came across a family of Gyr falcon being put through there paces by the parents.

The afternoon plan was to go whale watching. Harbour porpoise and a long 2 hours looking at very little was soon forgotten when a humpback whale spouted.

Trying to find a spot on the boat for photos and trying to work out what the whale would do found the captain moving the boat around till the Humpback accepted us.

The great thing about Iceland is you don't have to worry about losing the light. So a quick visit to the family and I was off out in the car driving to Myvatn. Found another target bird the harlequin duck at the bridge as the One road turns left. The One Road is the main road around Iceland so driving is ok.
This duck loves turbulent water as you can see where as the scaup stayed in the calmer water.

I found some where to pull over and look for the other target species barrows goldeneye but realised the midges where going to have a field day with me.

Braving the midges I soon found groups of goldeneyes sitting about enjoying the evening. A drive around the lake and watching the steam rising from recent lava activity made me wish I had lots more time in this area but the ship was due to continue the cruise above the arctic circle and back to Liverpool so time to leave.

Some the waterfalls are spectacular and driving past the Godfoss was worth the 10 minute stop.
The next day we should have sailed but the wind pinned ship to the quay!! This meant we missed are last stop in Iceland but it didn't matter I had seen enough of this island to realise its well worth another visit.