Iceland – Meeting on Another Planet VI
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."
15. 8. 2013
Norröna - Island, Seyđisfjörđur
I must say, the Atlantic was very moderate and we enjoyed to voyage very much. No big waves and often it was sunny. Today in the morning, the weather is excellent for taking pictures.
Once you get on Island we go through customs. Prohibition was long time on the island. Even today it is not easy to buy cheap alcohol. For this reason, and not only for this reason, our bus is full with beer. Also you must take into consideration that it is full of Czechs who love beer. You can take 12 beer cans with you to island. But each one of us would have to take those cans by himself across the customs. As the beer is left in the trunk it is taken away. Without compromises. This worsens our mood a bit.
Slowly we leave the harbor and enter the island. Our first stop is the town of Egilsstaðir. We have to buy food supplies and exchange currency. Present exchange rate 100 EUR = 15702 ISK. Nothing stands in our way to explore the island.
Journey by bus is made more pleasant by Jarda and his reading out lout Icelandic fairy ales. Or Zdenek tells us interesting information. We learn that every day in a week is dedicated to some of Nordic gods – Wednesday is Odin’s day (the god of death, war, and magic), Thor’s (the god of thunder) is Thursday. Friday is dedicated to Feya – the goddess of love and all human passions. Icelandic names are very complicated and hard to pronounce. Yet there are grammar rules – they always consist of more words. So you can guess to some extent. For instance, if it is a fall (the word FOSS is in the name), river (Á), valley (DALUR), island (EY), glacier (JÖKULL), or bay (VÍK).
Instantly as we get off the town, we can see a number of mini water falls. Views are beautiful yet there are more furious torrents of water. Iceland, a place where waterfalls are born, can offer us many. We are about to visit the first two of them. Dettifoss and Selfoss, the waterfalls, are only 1,4 km away. Dettioss is the second largest waterfall in Iceland and in Europe. The flow rate is around 100 – 500 m³/sec. The largest Icelandic river of Jokulsá brings water there. It gathers the water under the glacier of Jökulsárlón. The water then falls 44 meters. The second waterfall Selfoss is much smaller … too bad its half-circle shape and its width is not that apparent. It deserves more attention.
We ride on to the camp. We get there at 21 o’clock. I am curious what one can do there because we have difficult hike on the next day, as Zdenek implies. Jarda convinces me that the hike is not that difficult and that I should go with the others. The information center is closed already. I get back across a large meadow. Suddenly I realize there are boletes all around me. It is really difficult not to collect them all. Initially I intended to ask a cook to cook them for us. But it was impossible as it is forbidden to use fresh mushroom in field kitchen; Jarda allows me to cook mushrooms by myself at least.
We build tents near a golf course. You have to pay showers – 500 ISK for 5 minutes. You find there washmaschines, great place to dry your clothes. The drying room looks like a closet to which hot air blows from to the bottom. Clothes dry really fast. Really practical place. It was only in some camps.
Next time we tell you about rock formations and various shapes of the Rocks of Echoes.
Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová
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.
The night was freezing yet beautiful. In the morning, sun is shining and it seems it will be the last one we enjoy on the island.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our stay on the Faroe Islands is getting shorter. It is the best time to visit the capital of Tórshavn and explore it thoroughly.
We continue through Kvivik, a small village, to the northernmost city of this island, Tjornuvik.
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…
Selfoss is only a small stop on the route around the island. Nevertheless, main spine of this small town is formed with most important Iceland road No. 1, enabling to drive round Iceland (despite the fact that the road is changing to gravelled way in remote parts of the country).
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