Iceland - Meeting on Another Planet I
Thanks to the feeling of omnipresent danger, the island lures travellers. It is located in the most volcanically active region in the world. It really has lots to offer: monumental glaciers, bubbling thermal springs, majestic falls, colorful lava fields covered with heath, and many other things. It is only a glimpse of what lures people here from all over the world.
Iceland, a place I have wanted to visit for a long time. It captivated me. I felt like on a different planet. Before I get to it, we make couple of stops on one of the Faroe Islands .
Lets repeat together the road I enjoyed last year. Very important for the whole experience is the weather. Information of sunny weather or rain is very common in my story. Hopefully it wont discourage you from further reading …
9. 8. 2013
Prague, night transfer to Denmark
We begin in Praze by the Hlavni Station, the place where we met for the first time the swimmers, a group that would ride through large part of the island. They would get there by Norröna, a large ferry from Hirtshals, a Danish port. The night ride was really great. Drivers are nice and skillful, so we arrived in the early morning.
10. 8. 2013
Hirtshals, Norröna – by ferry to the Faroe Islands
We were there really soon. We would board around 2 p.m. so we have a lots of time to explore what is around. One option is to see a waterpark. We got some leaflets saying that the place is rather for small children. We chose to walk to the sea. Weather is nice, its peaceful, not many tourists, so wandering on the beach was nice. We had some time to get to know each other. We make first pictures of the Atlantic and are looking forward to the voyage.
Finally on the ship. Cabins with six beds don’t seem much comfortable for us. Yet by the end of our trip, we will remember them. Norröna ferry is the second of its kind, it transfers people from Denmark to the Faroe Islands, Iceland. A new Norröna was built in Germany and its first voyage took place in 2003. Its total length is 165 m and with 30 m. You find there 318 passenger cabins and 72 cabins for the crew. The ship can take 1500 tourists and 118 crew members at once. The ferry can take 800 cars. Its top speed is 21 knots per hour.
The first day on the ferry, we learn what is interesting, where you can eat good, relax, or what services are offered here.
Nextime we take a look in the village of Vestmanna, on one of the Faroe Islands.
Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová
The following two days we are going to spend on a ship and have the last stope at Ejer Bavnehøj, Denmark, where is a tower open whole year.
If you intend to visi a beautiful country that is different from the Czech Republic but you don’t want to travel to another continent Iceland could be your choice. The country is near the polar circle and it is the westernmost European country. It charms everybody. It is mostly for its nature which are rare on the European continent.
We were travelling around the island to get to know it better. We set off to the east from Reykjavik. First we are headed to Þingvellir park (Thingvellir). The park is listed in UNESCO’s world heritage program.
I really recommend you to travel to the southeast if you happen to be around Hveragerði. There is the lava cave of Raufarholshellir near the road No 39 and you reach it after about fifteen minutes of drive.
In this part of our series we take a look at island’s north and east. In the east, there are fishermen’s villages along the road number 1. The atmosphere here is very peaceful. It took us a long time to bypass eastern fjords. We were disoriented because everything looks so similar here and there also was thick white fog. One shouldn’t take this lightly.
Next part of our travels starts on the north of the island. It is at Eyjafjördur fjord, the place where the second largest city on Iceland is located – Akureyri. It is a nice city, rich, and full of students. It is really worth seeing. However, our long drive to Vatnsnes peninsula was not very impressive.
Morning, sun wakes us up and the sky is clear! Great! Other travelers arrived in the night - six new participants.
Today, not really pleasant weather starts today. It is raining cats and dogs here. One cannot see in this dense rain, so our plans from the previous day are hard to realize. The departure is postponed. Yet we still are going to get on the top of the highest waterfall on Iceland.
The journey goes according to the plan. We go to the waterfall of Seljalandsfoss near which is the camp. There the drivers were supposed to be accommodated. Upon a short break in the camp, we go further to the harbor. It is raining cats and dogs, and wind blows strongly. Soon we learn that the trip to the island has been postponed due to large waves.
Alarm at 7 o’clock. Leaving camp an hour later. Originally, we had to stay over night on the Vestman Islands. But it would have taken us much more time. We would use it much better – at the farm of Skálakot.
Dyrhólaey is a peninsula on the south of the country. It is also a natural reservation. There are many rocky cliffs of various shapes. The cliffs are favored by maritime birds such as puffin, duck, or murre. Beaches of black lava sand fill the area between the rocks.
We leave the camp. We have to pack the tents, sleeping bags, and foam mats to be ready to carry on.
I think that I can call this day the most beautiful on Iceland. Beautiful weather only enhanced my experience on that day. It was beautiful from the very morning until the night. Sun shone, it was warm, cloudless sky, and great visibility.
After a long time we slept in we woke at 9:30. Night was peaceful only one thing was unpleasant, that is air temperature in couchettes which was more than 30 degrees Celsius. It is not optimal given the combination of air temperature on the deck – too hot in the cabins, too cold outside.
The night was quiet. It doesn’t rain in the morning so we have a quick breakfast, pack our tents, and set off to the Kotagil gorge after 8 a.m.
"Working" with the elves worked out pretty well. We have a nice sunny day, although it is bit cold. Skútustaðir is one of the few towns at Mývatn lake. Our goal is a walk near pseudocraters. Local name for these strange hills, about twenty of them, is skútustaðagígar.
We moved to the rhyolite hill on the opposite side. It is what remained of Leirhnjúkur crater. The land is really strange yet beautiful.
The night was absolutely calm. Living in couchettes is not the most pleasant thing, but one can manage. We were very lucky because of the weather, the sea was absolutely calm and we could have our calm sleep…
We continue through Kvivik, a small village, to the northernmost city of this island, Tjornuvik.
Sun greets us in the morning. Very unusual here… perhaps you have already forgotten how many sunny days there are on these island. I remember it so I appreciate the nice weather more.
Our stay on the Faroe Islands is getting shorter. It is the best time to visit the capital of Tórshavn and explore it thoroughly.
Alarm at 7,30. We have to leave cabins until 8,30. As always, I bought a good book guide and read it. In introduction, there was: “Despite you can travel by boat, we recommend it only to experienced sailors with tough stomachs. Gale is strong on the route as well as storms and waves of the Atlantic."
I get up at 6 already. Yesterday I forget to charge my equipment so I have to do it now. More of us had the same idea. I still ponder whether to participate in hike or not. Eventually together with drivers and other great group that we will have a rest day today.
I wake up at 7.20 a.m. in a shock. I burst out of sleeping bag heading to washroom. Fortunately, I remembered the time of departure. It is an hour later so when I get it back together I start preparing for the departure. The weather is not very good today, it is a bit foggy.
Wandering along south part of Iceland in east direction, the green hills at the coasts start to be appear, accompanied by waterfalls. These are the first one which can be admired by tourists. But, do not worry, there are pleanty of waterfalls in Iceland!
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