There’s a lot to love about Akureyri in Northern Iceland.
It’s small and manageable, with a quaint city centre that seems to consist entirely of cafes and shops selling outdoor gear.
It sits at the inland end of Eyjafjörður fjord, surrounded by mountains. When I visited in October, the autumnal coloured slopes were lightly dusted with snow.
There’s a municipal pool, heated by hot springs, a great foodie scene and a giant beer can outside the local Viking brewery.
The austere Lutheran church designed by Gudjon Samuelsson is pretty cool too.
But my favourite thing about the city were the heart-shaped traffic lights.
Only the red stoplights are heart-shaped.
The former mayor of Akureyri, Eiríkur Björn Björgvinsson, said the traffic lights were instigated after the financial meltdown to ‘remind the citizens what really mattered’ and give people a reason to smile at crosswalks and intersections.
They certainly brought a smile to my face.