Next stop was the town of Akureyri (BTW, Borgarnes -> Akureyri via the route I took is 400+ km. It's shocking how much driving it can take to get from one settlement to another in such a "small" country). Considered the "Reykjavik of the North", it's Iceland's fourth largest municipality, but #2 and #3 (Hafnarfjörður and Kópavogur) are really suburbs of Reyjavik, so it's really Iceland's second largest "metro" area. For that matter, it's really the only place in the country outside of Reykjavik I'd even consider a "city" (the vast majority of Icelandic settlements wouldn't even rate "village" around here), and even at that, it's modest, with around 25,000 population. But it's a major shipping port (due to warm water inflow and the relative warmth of the gulf stream, the pork of Akureyri never ices over), and also a fairly common cruise ship destination for the area.
Here's a nice overview of town (actually taken the day I left, since we got a good view from the other side of the fjord):
It's a reasonable decent town, however, having staffed gas stations, actual grocery stores, good hotels, and the like. The fjord is also is popular with pleasure boaters, so there's a reasonable harbor there for smaller boats (as opposed to the gigantic fishing boats and cruise ships):
Akureyri is also the "City of Hearts", and this manifested itself in an odd way... when stopping at my first red light in Akureyri (which was the only place outself of Reykjavik where I saw traffic lights), I thought to myself, "that's an odd illusion, that red light looks like a heart." By the second one, I realized it was deliberate:
As far as food goes in Akureyri... An interesting thing I discovered in Iceland is that the largest ethnic minority is Thai. Iceland doesn't have a large immigrant population, but most of the immigrants they have are from Thailand, Poland, Vietnam, and the Philippines, with the first of these being most prominent. A byproduct of this is a rather large number of Thai restaurants. In Akureyri, it seemed like a good idea to check one out, so we went to Krua Siam across from our hotel:
This was your standard Thai restaurant like you'd get most anywhere else, with the noted exception that there were a *lot* more lamb dishes on the menu (Lamb being the most prevalent, and often the cheapest, meat in Iceland). We ended up getting Tom Kha Kai (chicken and coconut soup), Pad Kva with Lamb (a spicy stir fry), and beef Yam Nua (cold beef salad):
Overall, I was quite pleased, this was very flavorful, very spicy (in contrast to most Icelandic food, which is usually very flavorful, but if it's hot at all, is a black pepper spicy), and the use of high-quality lamb made for a particularly good Pad Kva. And the place was noticeably better than most Thai places I regularly get to here in the US.