Iceland – Meeting on Another Planet XI
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.
19. 8. 2013
Kotágil, Glaumbær, Vatnsnes
Not far from bivouac shelter, we ride only ten kilometers and we had already to find a place to park. It is not that easy as two large boulders lay in front of the entrance. It could be a problem for a bus. So we leave it near the entrance and go to the gorge. At its end, we can enjoy the waterfall yet the road there is not simple. We follow the river, climb boulders, sometimes we try to overcome rock walls, and sometimes we end up in water. The vendor didn’t lie to us, the shoes are really water proof, and I tested it, unwillingly. At the most dangerous places, we can rely on a great help – Jarda, our cook, he is really irreplaceable at difficult terrain! Among us are even such people hwho go forwards and endanger others. Everything looks good and we are at the waterfall. Again, one of very beautiful places. The path leading there is difficult yet beautiful. We return by the same road and then go to Glaumbær open air museum.
The museum is actually a 18th-century farm that shows preserved building techniques of old Iceland. A tour there is worth it. Everything is well-preserved including furniture in rooms and tools old Icelanders used to cook meals and work on the field. Individual houses sit right one next to another and are connected with a long corridor. Iceland hasn’t enough sources of wood. Hence, it was important to save material. Wooden constructions filled with pieces of turf made stron walls, the roof was of grass. The museum is very well presented. In every room is a detailed information on furniture, and you can also read why and how individual items were used for. Various crafts are presented as well. There are also texts about life at the farm and about some habits.
We concluded our visit to the museum in Áskaffi, a house in the museum. It holds a beautiful exposition of a café. It is in operation so you can sit there and enjoy great coffee and a cake. Dishes are contemporary and amazing. There is also a small church in the complex.
With many impressions we leave the museum, we spend a shile at the church in Víđimýri. It is said that it is the oldest church with a turf roof on Iceland.
We have a long ride ahead, Vatnsnes peninsula that is about 100 km away and is known for its seal reservation. We have to walk 500 meters to the sea from the parking lot. Unfortunately, the weather is not good, it is cloudy and seems to start raining soon. A small house on the shore has binoculars that allow you to watch what is happening on nearby islands inhabited with seals. I say nearby, yet too far for making pictures. With my 70-300 mm lens, I am successful in taking pictures. Others who have small compacts are not that lucky. As I said, it is cloudy so the visibility is poor.
We are nearing the end of the day. We have to move to Reykjavík. In the night, the second group arrives – pilots. They will spend with us couple of following days. So lets go to the Laugardalur camp!
The camp is quite large. You can find there everything you need for a comfortable stay. For instance, washing machines, dryers – the only problem is that it takes too long to dry your clothes so you have to take a book or another entertainment with you. You can connect to the Internet via wifi, or spend time in a hall when the weather is not good.
In the following part, we visit important sights in Reykjavík and then move to a geothermal area.
Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová
People who love winter should be pleased by the following article. This time we take you to world’s largest island. And it name is bit paradoxical. However, in the native language of Greenland it is called Kalaallit Nunaat meanin the land of people.
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.
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.
Morning, sun wakes us up and the sky is clear! Great! Other travelers arrived in the night - six new participants.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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…
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Island Trek 2007
Photo: Jakub Štantejský