Iceland – Meeting on Another Planet II
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…
11. 8. 2013
Norröna – cruise to the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn
Before the breakfast in the early morning, I go to the pool. It is a great relax after a night in a hot cabin. I spend most of the afternoon on board. Weather is nice, unfortunately the lunch could have been planned better. As we are taking seats for the lunch we sail by the Shetlands . The lunch is prepaid, there is not much to choose from – do not eat and make pictures, or eat and miss the Shetlands.
We could choose one of the following meals: fried fish, roasted beef, potatoes, cooked vegetables, or red cabbage. You have to pay for your drinks – beer 30 DKK, latte 39 DKK; it is possible to pay in euros but you will get your change in DKK.
Except for a pool, there is a sauna on Norröna’s board. We are going to try it in the afternoon. We reach Torshavn, the Faroe Islands in the night (at 22,30). The harbor is beautifully lit. We move to the camp about 3 km away. We quickly rise our tents and go to sleep.
12. 8. 2013
Faroe Islands - Streymoy
Faroe Islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark , yet the islands have some degree of autonomy. There are 35 deputies in the parliament. There are 7 political parties on the islands, the republicans have won couple of past elections.
The weather there is determined by the Golf Stream, there are around 283 rainy days during the year. The Faroe islands are called the sheep islands. No wonder as there are up to 80 thousand sheeps on the islands. The capital of Tórshavn - Thor’s harbor. Thor, one of the main Viking gods, the god of flash and thunder, carries a hammer that summons thunder and flash.
Even this night was easy. I am awoken by sun at around 5,30. I did not know that the camp is so close to the shore. The alarm is set for 7 o’clock. There is a great shower at Byggitænastan camp, included to the price of accommodation. Perhaps you wonder why I mention it. It is not common to have price for the shower included. The kitchen has good equipment and there is even a small social room. The travel agency gives us a half-board. During our trip we decide that to choose Jarda as a cook was a great decision. And our decision was based not only on meals he prepared for us. Large portions and great food. Even his knowledge of the are will be of a great help.
Our first tour goes to the village of Vestmanna, on the Streymoy island. Some from our group take a boat cruise to observe the birds. Two hours cost 37 EUR or 275 DKK. The cliffs are beautiful. Birds are, however, too fast and stormy sea doesn’t allow us to take nice pictures. About half-way through we receive helmets. We slowly sail inbetween the cliffs, sort of a gate to the mainland. Beautiful experience and we don’t regret taking this trip.
Next time we tell you about the northernmost city of Streymoy island.
Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We moved to the rhyolite hill on the opposite side. It is what remained of Leirhnjúkur crater. The land is really strange yet beautiful.
"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.
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.
Morning, sun wakes us up and the sky is clear! Great! Other travelers arrived in the night - six new participants.
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