Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Akureyri, Iceland - land of the midnight sun

Since we approached Greenland a week ago it has not been dark outside. Due to our proximity to the Arctic Circle and the time of year it has been possible to read a newspaper outdoors at any time of the day or night. 
Akureyri is less than 100 miles outside of the circle and, when we left in the evening, we sailed several degrees into the circle. In this location at this time of year midnight sun is still just happening. The sun sets just west of due north but the sunset morphs immediately into a sunrise with the sun re-appearing just east of north. We were prepared to hang out and watch this phenomenon but sadly the weather reverted to type and everything was hidden behind low cloud, fog and periods of rain.
The downside of the midnight sun of course is the wintertime midday darkness. At these latitudes daylight is limited to just a few hours each day for several months with little or no actual sunshine. Further north, weeks go by with no useful daylight whatsoever, a situation that is difficult to imagine.
Like the midnight sun, our sortie into town was also influenced by the weather. Believing that things were improving we set off. After 40 minutes or so the drizzle returned and every aspect went downhill from there. On reflection however, a worthwhile visit to round off our Icelandic experience. Additional pictures.

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