By keef and annie hellinger, Jul 6 2019 04:38PM
Motorhome trip No38 : May 5th – July 3rd 2019 A KeefH Web Designs Travel Blog NOTTS (home)->Faroes & Iceland via Holland, Germany & Denmark ->NOTTS (home) 5257 miles
Calendar (3 months)
Iceland Slideshows (11)
The Talkies (3)
Audio Diaries (3)
What a fantastic 2 months away, scenery to die for, lovely people, couldn’t have asked for better weather in Iceland, as an example the preceding June it rained non stop for 28 days. We had 16 consecutive days of 24 hour sun. You get used to the sun falling and then re-arising moments later. It just never got dark in either the Faroes nor Iceland so it was really weird when returning to Germany via Denmark when it did go dark.
This trip meant along with our previous trip to Scandinavia (Blog 100) we have now been to all the countries in Scandinavia in our lovely Wendy house, VW Autosleeper Clubman Anniversary motorhome #proud
Suggest using the menu to find your way around this blog if you want to dip in and out of specific bits, or you can of course just carry on from here and go all the way through, the choice is clearly yours
Here is a selection of some of our photos to get you started, you can also see them with others across our motorhome-travels via the gallery in the dropdown, enjoy.
It is worth saying that the Faroes has 18 islands connected either via Ferry, Bridge or undersea Tunnel. Some we weren’t able to do especially Sandoy… ferry over subscribed and the far north islands as the tunnel at 3.1m was a little too low for comfort when taking the van thru. The Smyril line provide you with a booklet for download of the Faroes campsites. A selection of our fave places where Gasadalur on Vagar, Torshavn campsite views of Hestur, Kaldbak on Streymoy,Vestmanna, Gjogv on Eysturoy, Hosvik, Saksun (both Streymoy),Vikings at Leirvik, Trollanes on Kalsoy. See the pictures to get a feel. We loved it , a week and a half is probably enough but you are guided by the ferry timetable! Also glad we went there 1st before Iceland, I think on balance it’s the right order.
Iceland is a magnificent place to visit. Absolutely bowled over by it. Apart from my scary 2nd day morning climbing over the mountain out of Seydisfjordur in driving snow and winds where you could barely see the road, much less that it was surrounded on both sides by frozen lakes… it was all a joy! Get an Iceland camping card if you are staying more than 2 weeks, sites are plentiful in the east, south west, western fjords and the north… not so in big stretches of the southern coast. Sites are not great but mostly adequate with the exception of Reydarfjordur, Isafjordur and Siglufjordur which are wonderful. If you are not using the card it can be very costly. Reyjkavik for example is not part of this scheme and about £39 / night. Take as much canned food, rice, pasta etc with you that you can fit in your van to control your expenditure. Sadly whale watching for us at Husavik was off, foggy and blowing a hoolie! A selection of our fave places were Reydarfjordur (east) and areas out to Nordfjord, whole of the western Fjords, Vatnajokull NP, Jokulsarlon Lagoon Icebergs,Porshavn (north),many of the lovely fjords and Waterfalls, the Kerfla active volcano area (north west) , Siglufjordur (north),Husavik (north), Grindavik (south west) and as a city Akureyri. See the pictures to get a feel.
We went past Sumburgh head , the Shetlands en route , if you would like to read about our time in the Shetlands see Blog 82, thanks
Sunday 5th May 2019
Having packed the van in advance we set off once again for Harwich, we had booked into the Castle Inn just outside Harwich but when we saw that it was just a pub car park decided against that. We stopped in Harwich town for a good look around, including the harbour area with the Boat that rocked from the film of the same name featuring Bill Nighy, the garden areas, sea front, real ale beer festival on the pier, old town areas, most nautical, a nice fish and chip supper and finally decided to park up opposite the care home on the front. Went to bed early as up early for ferry to Hoek Van Holland tomorrow. After seeing the campsite last time and this in future if we are going across to Europe via Harwich, we would do the same. Not really having seen Harwich before we would rate it, a very interesting place with history, Samuel Pepys and the Mayflower, men of war ships built here 1660-1827, the treadwheel crane, Gill cartoons, house of correction and fab architecture.
Monday 6th May 2019
As we were effectively wild camping, we got up early, it was a very quiet night, and drove the short distance to the port and joined the ferry queue for 8 a.m. The Stena line ferry was not leaving until 9 a.m. so we had our breakfast and read in line. The ferry was incredibly empty of passengers, mostly cargo lorry drivers who get sleeping quarters on board. We wouldn’t be surprised if this service dies like many of the DFDS services, as just not enough passengers. Eventually sadly it will probably only be possible to cross at Dover to Europe making journeys up to Scandinavia very long. Indeed, this trip is that already. Back in the day when we were in the Orkneys you could go to the Faroes via Aberdeen – Stromness – Lerwick – Torshavn, indeed we did think about it back in the 80s but as the kids were very young gave it a miss. Now you can only go either flying from Copenhagen or as we are doing ferry from the top of Denmark. On board we sat and read in the café and had lunch there. Annie didn’t fancy any of the movies, having fallen asleep just when Harrison Ford died in the last one when we saw the latest Star Wars movie in 2016. Keef went to see the hustlers movie with Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, quite amusing but I and only one other were in the cinema.
On arrival we faced the same issue at the same roundabout with our TruckNav but eventually mastered it and got out of Rotterdam, then drove back to Gouda, missing however the right turning for the Klein Amerika Aire behind the Library which meant we travelled the narrow canal side roads, not clever, lucky no one coming the other way. Eventually got there, parked up, no electrics as all slots taken for that but no worry, still a very convenient site #recommended
We walked into Gouda again and visited the cheese shop where they last told us that we had a royal heir. We bought quite a few nice cheeses. We love the town of Gouda.
Tuesday 7th May 2019
Up early having part filled the water tank at the aire and set off to join the A1 bypassing Utrecht, Apeldoorn and onto near Osnabruck where we headed north entering Germany still on the A1 past Bremen (almost the same route as on the way back in 2016) Turned off at K15 through rural Buntberg and onto Heidenau, Germany. It was quite a weird site and we stayed almost alone in the grassed motorhome section outside the main entrance, however it had a barrier which was control by a payment machine, took us quite a while to work out what you need do with your credit card but once in we were ok, filled to the top with water and set up the electrics. The facilities were quite a way off through the bigger site. We had a bit of a look around got changed and went to the Greek restaurant on site for an evening meal, all very nice, then to bed, we had driven for about 4 hours and done 270 miles through two countries, just a wee bit tired.
Wednesday 8th May 2019
Left the Heidenau campsite for Flensburg today, just below the german border with Denmark. Luckily the barrier opened for us and we didn’t remain trapped inside that strange campsite field, we had lost all confidence in the auto payment scheme and its automated control, we would never stay there again although the traditional wooden hut with woodland creature carvings was a joy.
Anyhow it was back onto the A1 and turned onto the A7 near Rosengarten, then bypass the amazingly busy Hamburg, there is always a hold up there in our humble opinion and this time was no exception, a huge port had massive roadworks pulling traffic down into 1 lane most of the way around, when crossing some of the bridges on route we got a glimpse of just how large the port is. I have a certain allegiance to Hamburg as it was the port my ancestors used to escape the Pogroms back in the 1880s. After Eidelstedt we turned off the A7 onto the E45 and steadily made our way north from Saxony into the state of Schleswig-Holstein and Flensburg, here we turned off onto the B199 to the very nice site we had pre-booked at Medelby, we would use that site again to break the journey on our way back from Iceland. Mr and Mrs Lund a nice Danish couple run the site, we were on pitch one , huge green open fields, fab facilities block, lots of space, nice indoor pool, although we didn’t use it, and outside seating area for an ice cream which we did do. All in all, a very pleasant stay #recommended
Thursday 9th May 2019
Packed up after brekkie and left the Lund’s, checking out and saying goodbye, we will be back as Arnie once said. So back along the B199 having had a quick look around the area and re-joined the motorway E45 up across the border into Denmark, there we a few borders crossing folk at the checkpoint, but they took one look at our number plate , UK, and just waved us through. On past Kolding and Vejle which we had seen in 2016 and through Arhus to our ACSI campsite at Lisbjerg called Aarhus camping off Randersveg. It was in a very green area, nicely laid out, we were on pitch 83. Set up and had a good look around and used the facilities. They had nice little huts for kids to play in, a huge outdoor chess set, and flowers blooming everywhere, a very nice site, we had driven for about 2hours 10 mins and 120 miles to get here from Germany. We then left our marker on the pitch and set off to have a look around Arhus, a university town, that we had not been into in 2016. Quite nice in parts but not that interesting, some unique Danish architecture though, the Danes are so good at design, have a look at the Danish images if you want to see what we saw in Arhus. We then returned to our Roholm mose area campsite in Lisbjerg.
Friday 10th May 2019
Left Aarhus camping site and travelled the hour journey via the minor road to Odum and then back on the E45 motorway turning off onto the 507 through the big town of Randers , its huge hospital and bridge across the Gudena onto Hadsund across the Marianger fjord. At Hadsund we called into a Lidl to do our food shopping, we like Lidl both for price and layout in goreign lands, they often keep the same layout so it makes it easy for us to find stuff.
After stocking up with provisions it was on from Hadsund to Oster Harup heading out on the 541 road towards the coast and going along the coastal road turning at Aals which was a very interesting old village with nice traditional buildings. It was only 20 minutes to Oster Harup. We parked up in what is quite a touristy area and went for a nice breezy walk around the marina, boardwalks and jetties plus had a look as some of the for hire coastal holiday shacks, which all had fab views and Danish style. Quite impressed. This was a true seaside town. We then carried along the coast to Egense where we waited for and caught the ferry across the Limfjorden to Hals. An interesting experience as you had to purchase your ferry ticket via a machine before travel, clearly saving them work on the chain ferry for this short journey. What fun. Fab views out to sea as well. From Hals we carried on up the coast to the larger town of Frederikshavn (havn meaning port in Danish) We stopped in the town centre but weren’t sure of the parking charges or how to pay so decided just to drive around as much as we could seeing the big port area which felt very industrial, so we then moved onto our campsite for the night at Hjorring. It was only a 45-minute drive through Sindal and some very green hilly terrain. A large site with not many people on it, we set up on the grass with electrics , the first thing we saw was a huge mountain hare, fascinating, as we had arrived quite early in the afternoon we went for a brief walk around the large site and then returned to chill, listen to music, read, eat, and bed. Happy bunnies as they say.
Saturday 11th May 2019
No rush today our ferry doesn’t leave Hirtshal until 3 p.m. Had a leisurely breakfast , packed up the van, disconnected the electrics, wound up the rear steadies, made sure the cable flaps were pushed in, step and waste bucket securely stored away in the side pannier and then saying goodbye to the campsite guy, he was very friendly, we initially went into old Hjorring parking in the supermarket area for free. Had a good look around the older area and gardens, especially liked the old warehouse. We then set off the short 25-minute drive to Hirtshal, Jutland from Horring. We had been here briefly in 2016 but did not visit the port. Some aussies we met back then were using it to get to Norway. We stopped on the hill approaching Hirtshal town to take a lot of photos then Keef realising he had forgotten to bring his hat and gloves and it was going to be cold went along the port area to a fishing type shop and bought his Icelandic hat and gloves, I am so proud of them, I even wore them at night when we did the NC500 in 2022 as it was so cold (Blog 177). We then had a good look around town having paid to park. After that we had lunch and then drove from town to the port to join the queue for the Symril line ferry. In the queue we saw some outlandish motorhomes, one from guys from Czech Republic which was a true outback almost armoured vehicle with solar panels for power plus a huge lorry transporting what can only have been a bridge under wraps. We eventually got on the ship but not without some interesting stuff, Annie had to go on as a passenger leaving the van and being driven to the gang plank. I waited patiently in line as was the next to last vehicle on the ship, boarding 20 minutes after the scheduled departure time ha-ha #scary. Parking was reversing and wedged in as close as possible but as I am right hand drive, I had to shimmy over to get out of the motorhome. I carried lots of stuff with me and had to wait ages to get the lift to our floor and our cabin where Annie had been waiting ages a little worried that the boat would leave without me, as if, ha-ha. Nice cabin had all we needed for our 3-day , 2-night boat trip. I think we were on floor 13 but could be wrong. Our ferry was the MS Norrona. As it departed, we went outside sunny and windy on deck 8 to wave goodbye to Hirtshal, Denmark… next stop Torshavn, Faroe Islands, Denmark, but the Denmark bit is another story I will cover later. Went into the bar on deck 5 for coffee, cinnamon bun and keef bought his new fave chocolate covered liquorish, a Faroese delight! Keef went outside to take some pictures as we went past Sumner Head on the Shetlands, where we had been way back when (2001), see Blog 82.
Sunday 12th May 2019
At sea. The MS Norrona by Symril Lines, wholly owned by the Faroes, has fab food. Whilst queuing for some drinks for us a guy started up a conversation with us, he lived in the North of the Faroes but had been working away from home in Norway. He was so friendly and indeed at the end of the trip as we got off in Torshavn gave us a book of the Faroes and his phone number and said if we were in his area come and visit him and his family how kind is that! Sadly, we didn’t have time to do so.
Mealtime was allocated by the lady at the door, breakfast, lunch and dinner. On our first dinner the table allocated was already full so we went back to let her know, not repeating a camping pitch calamity we experienced in 2016, ha-ha. They shifted us to nearby tables with apologies. We struck up a conversation with the folk on the table who were teachers , with fab English, returning with their teenage school party from a singing visit to Copenhagen. They invited us to their decktop concert given by the teenagers at 10 p.m. It was lovely, lots of traditional Faroese folk songs and they even did a few classic tunes in English especially for us, just wonderful, we slept reasonably well that night although as the winds and waves got up it was especially rocky, we found we had to cling on to get dressed. We watched the TV in the room briefly to get a hang of Danish culture but mostly ads. Keef watched a Danish subtitled version of Morse, ha-ha. Not one I’d seen before.
Monday 13th May 2019
The ship finally docked in Torshavn harbour at 6 a.m. and we went up on deck to get our first views of the Faroe Islands, just magical as the sun had already risen, indeed this far north in the world at this time of year it hardly even sets, not sure I’d want the reverse of total darkness in winter though. It took a while to get off the boat, cargo first, and the smell of fish near out van was intense, they carry in frozen storage containers and sometimes they defrost, ugh! We drove off the ferry up to the car park by the sports stadium and had a snack and a drink whilst planning what we would do this morning as not allowed in the campsite until 1 p.m.
We then drove back to the harbour area and parked in the car park area by the ferry and had a good look around there taking many photos of our ship, before it departed for Iceland. We then drove back to the empty car park near the marina and more central for town, looked for pay machines, couldn’t find any so naively assumed it was free. We then went off for a long early morning walk around the marina area and along some of the back streets. Although sunny grateful for hats and coats as a bitter wind. When we returned the car park was full of shoppers and workers. We had what seemed to be a parking ticket under the windscreen, as it was written in Faroese I couldn’t read it, asked a nice lady next to us who said we had to pay a fine as we were not displaying the timer clock, which you set to say how long you will be there based on your arrival time, e.g. if you arrive at 10 a.m. you set it to 10, then if you are only allowed to stay for 2 hours the wardens know and will issue a fine if you overrun. Clearly as new arrivals we knew none of this, a different culture. She told us we had to pay the fine at the local police station, it took us a while to find it, Keef had a bit of a row with the Chief of Police claiming it wasn’t a great way to greet tourists, I had to pay about 200 Danish Krona £25. The police chief claimed it was the ferry’s responsibility to tell passengers of these rules, I told him they hadn’t and if I was him and they wanted the tourist economy he should use his position to influence them, anyhow his secretary told us we could get the clock disk from any petrol station so we did, now we know what to do we would not fall foul of that again. Anyhow despite this totally un-transparent process we had a nice morning, arrived at the campsite, locked, rang the number on the gate and the lady who lived nearby came and checked us in, and we got coins for showers and washing machines and hooked up overlooking the sea, a lovely view, and a nice site. Did some cooking, cleaning and washing and then relaxed for the rest of the day.
Tuesday 14th May 2019
Had a shower, pretty good facilities, talked to some folk in tents in the very high winds today, so glad we have progressed to a motorhome at our age, breakfasted , had a look up at the traditional dwellings overlooking the site and the sea, and then headed back out of Torshavn centre along to where they are building the new hotels and turned right out of town. Initially we visited Kaldbaksfjordur, so many waterfalls on route which the drizzle helped to swell. Had a lovely look around, took some photos, so quiet so peaceful. Even the sheep were trying to get out of the rain and the road. Saw quite a few salmon farms in the fjord. We then decided today we would not use the 550 tunnel to get through the mountain which became a firm favourite in latter days and often essential. So we turned back into Torshavn at the opposite end and headed south west to Kirkjubour, the mist high up was so close to your nose, meaning you could hardle see anything, so glad I was going slowly as a Faroese guy pulled out right in front of me from a side road going so fast he could easily have hit me, he just didn’t see me, a lucky escape but quite shaking, so I drove even more slowly to Kirkjubour, luckily hardly any traffic. We parked near the bus station, basically the end of the line. Had a look around the grass thatched tourist house which doubled as a bus terminal. Then we walked up the road to the oldest inhabited house in the faroes, named Roykstovan. Free entry and very interesting it was, we then walked further up to the now derelict St Magnus’s Cathedral, it had no roof but was under repair as a historic building, it was even true that the nearby domkirke (church) with fab views across to kirkjuboholmur island was also being repainted and repaired after a winter bashing so we couldn’t enter as workman were busy. What a lovely setting though really liked Kirkjubour. The stromo island mountains were still in mist as we made our way back to Torshavn, highway 54, so once again I took it easy and safely. From here we headed out to our campsite at Vestmanna, also on the island of Streymoy, 40 minutes back out of town on the 550 through the mountain and past Hoyvik (a place we would later come to love). The road to Vestmanna was so scenerific, we were stopping endlessly to take pictures. We went through Leynar and Kvivik on the 40 and around the fab bay between Valur and Vestmanna, holding the hydro electric plant on its mountain side, self-sustainability for the locals. The campsite was fine, interestingly with metal hoops concreted into the ground to tie vans and caravans down during high storms, not something I have come across before. The lady who ran the site was just lovely, a sea captains wife, he being away fishing off Greenland in a huge floating canning factory, you learn something new every day #tick Nice facilities, nice new showers and inside rooms Her English was great, we even broached the subject of the whale killing festivals and understood her culture but not the practice, she said dried whale meat was a treat for the Faroese people, we have seen images of the mass blood and culling during their festivals #notnice for us Brits. Had a very nice stay here, so much so we decided to return later on in the holiday.
Wednesday 15th May 2019
Now as far as we can go on Stromo island in the west, had a leisurely breakfast then traversed our route back just past Leynar, which we stopped at for both the views and a look at the village or town if you prefer, then onto highway 40 to join the tunnel (vagartunnelin) across to the island of Vagar. You must pay your toll for the crossing in a petrol station which we did and kept the receipt, it was the price as well for the return journey. Vagar Island has the Faroes airport on it and quite a few Americans come over to trek. We decided we were going to see the whole of Vagar today and set off up to Gasadular in the northwest of the island. Initially we stopped at Sandvagur, parked up and walked to the church which like all Faroese churches was locked, sadly they have had a spate of thefts from churches on all islands, so it was a government directive. We walked over the bridge and had a look around some of the houses, all very interesting. Lots of school kids walking around. It was then back on the road past miovagur and all the way along the edge of sovagsvatn (vatn means lake in Faroese) , great views, then we joined the Buttercup route (road 452) just past sorvagur. This ran all the way along the edge of the sea inlet, fab sunshine and great views of the island of Tindholmur with its pointy rock side. Lots of pictures were taken. So much better weather today, how lucky were we. There were lots of waterfall and towards the end we got a glimpse of the small island of Glasholmur. We had to take the tunnel to emerge at Gasadular. What a place parked up and went for a walk down to see the cliff edge waterfall called mulafossur. We then came back through the island to have a look at the campsite we had proposed staying on Vagur, just awful, looked like camping on a garage forecourt so we decided to give that a miss and travelled back through various tunnels to Kaldbakfjord and this time took the coastal road down to Kaldbak to have a look at the ancient church and the village, all amazingly interesting and well worth the visit. We then returned to the site at Torshavn, rang the warden lady and booked in again for the night. It wasn’t very busy. We met an American couple who had returned on the ferry from Iceland but because of the cargo going to Hirtshal were told they couldn’t get their Motorhome off in Torshavn and had to wait for it to be returned on the next trip out, they were loaned a car and a caravan whilst in the Faroes. It was their honeymoon, I would have been furious with Symril line, just not acceptable.
Thursday 16th May 2019
Up early for a shower, put our coins in it was freezing water, had to call the lady out, no recompense of money but an apology, these things happen, she got someone out to sort it. Whilst she was there I got her to sort the padlock on the chemical toilet disposal lid, it was still locked from winter which surprised me as meant no camper up to May had ever emptied their waste unless they did it down the loo, not good. Anyhow the warden couldn’t open it, so I struggled and eventually freed it, the lock had rusted in the inclement weather. So, it was a late start for us , we went back into Torshavn and had a look around the town, and walked up to the parliament buildings. Then it was back to the Torshavn campsite to relax, lovely views outside our campervan window.
Friday 17th May 2019 Time to leave Torshavn again, it really doent take very long to get anywhere on the Faroes so as we liked the lady in Vestmanna so much we went back there this time taking the road over the top of the mountains rather than through the tunnel to the top of the west coast of Streymoy, Stromo island, just spectacular views from the top and clear enough, mostly, for us to take pictures. Wow! We settled into a slightly different pitch this time refilling our water which the campsite lady helped us with, what a lovely lady. We relaxed after another walk around Vestmanna, there being some craft shops on the harbour area and some lovely bridges and boats to look at, all in all a lovely day.
Saturday 18th May 2019
Said our goodbyes to Mrs Campsite, sea captain’s wife, and returned as far through Streymoy as Oyrareingir and joined highway 10 heading northeast as far as you can go on Stromo. Why it is called both Stromo Island and Streymoy I’m not quite sure, maybe one is English the other Faroese, but who knows. We stopped at Hosvik to have a walk around the harbour, keef picked some wildflowers for annie to press in her book. Lovely yellows everywhere, no wonder it is called the buttercup route. At Hvalvik we turned off onto the single track road to Saksun where we parked up for a walk around, past the old museum with its grass roof and down to the church on the coast. A nice place, we then returned and carried on up the 10 to Haldarsvik where we stopped to see the sailor’s memorial and the town houses with goats and sheep kept on a cliff edge. The church was closed but as the vicar was there we asked if we could come in as from the UK, he said yes which was so kind, some lovely views through fascinating windows, then it was back in the van and onto the end of the road at tjornuvik a traditional fishing village, parked up with view of the rock stacks known as the giant and the witch we had some food then went for a lovely walk through the village where we came across a brit who had lived there for 14 years with his Faroese wife, she had wanted to retire their when they retired in Birmingham. He still had his accent, they sold pancakes to tourists. We walked all the way around and along the coast with vegetable plots that would have severe wind bashing. How did they ever grow anything I wondered? Then we left drove back down and across the bridge from Streymoy to the island of Eysturoy and all the way up roadway 62 to the town of eidi to our campsite for the night on a football field outside the town, its facilities were the changing rooms ok if you don’t mind a communal shower, haha, but keef did use the showers in the morning. We pitched just next to the goal posts, as it was a weekend it was quite busy. We went for a walk outside the site along both the lake and the coast looking for whales. An interesting place to stay, we saw the church as well. Bit breezy over night.
Sunday 19th May 2019
Eysturoy Island, packed up from the football field, no water fill or chemical toilet disposal so filled all our water bottles in the changing rooms, very cold wind today whilst packing up blistering in off the sea, so grateful for my Icelandic hat and mittens. We left but not before hearing the whooper swans on the lake and having one more look, and photo opportunity, at eidi’s magnificent church, quite a population here and they had 2 campsites, wonder on reflection if the non-ASCI one would have been better, who knows. We then drove the 20 minutes initially to funningor , a little village off the main road and then onto the magnificent Gjogv (pronounced gee-oar-gee) where we camped for 2 nights. The road was very windy and steep with some very interesting inclines both up and down as it helped traverse the 882 metres high mountain called Slaettaratindur. Funningor village was off the main 662 and was clearly a tourist visit as we saw coaches, but the approach road was probably too narrow to get down to the car park, not for us, however. Parked up and had a lovely walk around the village, little bridges, livestock, river views, lot of old traditional dwellings, all very interesting, we really liked funningor.
So, then we came back out of the village traversed our route back up the 662 and turned up to Gjogv up the 632. It is the highest point north in Eysturoy you can get to by road with fabulous views over to the island of Kalsoy which we visited later. Anyhow great site. You had to check in up at the huge hotel and gift shop. The motorhome park was out on the cliff edge a bit of a way away. All hard standing, reminded me of Sango Sands, Durness Scotland (see Blog 177) although not quite so windy. There was only us and our next-door neighbours who were Austrian. We found the key they had provided for us for the facilities block did not work, but as the kind Austrians were leaving they swapped keys with us. The site left the block open initially which meant 3 coach loads of tourists visiting the village trashed the place. We decided to lock it up after that just for our use once they had been cleaned, and very good they were, showers, loos, wash sinks all heated with flowers and perfumes and nice smelling soaps. Loved this site.
Monday 20th May 2019
Keef cooked breakfast outside on the griddle and even sat out for a bit, blanket, hat, scarves and gloves reading, admiring Kalsoy views and watching our ferry the Symril line Noronna go past. After breakfast we went for a long walk around the village, all very green and peaty, trad houses, farming, bridges, old school houses and what remains of the old chain hauling system to get down to the very steep harbour bottom, a very nice walk and then back to the site to chill for the rest of the day, this area was probably our favourite in the Faroes although we do like the town of Torshavn, especially its old Faroese costumes shop.
Tuesday 21st May 2019
Sadly, we had to leave our fab views and pitch 2 at Gjogv, we loved it here, so relaxing. Then we drove south through Eysturoy almost as far south as you could to our site for the night at Aeduvik. We travelled along the edge of the magnificent funningsfjordur inlet outside Gjogv, the road was flat surrounded by that unpronounceable mountain (Slaettaratindur) tee-hee. We stopped briefly at Skipanes for a photoshoot on the 662 especially the tulips, this was a halt we would get to know quite well in our time on the Faroes. We then joined road 10. Got some great views of skalafjordur inlet and then turned off past gotueidi onto road 70 stopping at sydrugota, gotugjogv and nordragota, all very interesting, on our way up to the larger town of fuglafjordur at the end of the road as far east as you can go on Eysturoy. At Nordrugota we had a good walk around the harbour, visited the blasatova heritage museum , but it was closed, would have been interesting , the sideways standing man artwork along a town square, this artist is famous throughout the Faroes. Can’t find his name though, Joannis something is memory serves me right. At Fuglafjordur we had lunch on the harbour area which also doubled as a campsite with electric hook up, if only we had know #camspites. Keef saw a giant jelly fish in the water. The long jetty had many pieces of rusted metal arches, done to look like whale bone arches, all very interesting. After this we returned back to highway 10 and down the skalafjordur with views across to Skala, which we would visit later, and onto Aeduvik. We had to ring for the guy to come and check us in, it was deserted. We did see the start of construction of a tunnel over to Streymoy we had seen the other end just outside Torshavn, what a difference this will make in travelling times when complete as it goes under the sea to link the 2 islands. The site had nice views was quiet and a great heated room, comfy chairs and big screen TV, after dinner we went to relax in their and watched Faroese TV a first, English subtitles helped ha-ha.
Wednesday 22nd May 2019
Left Aeduvik on the 687 going past the current Faroes football stadium, lots of tributes to when they beat Austria in a world cup qualifier, and just outside town up in the hills and the mist was the remains of the old Viking parliament and settlement, very interesting to us descendants , then we retraced our route back to Gotueidi alongside the inlet, such fab views, and then through nororagota where we turned on to road 70 and parked up by the church at Leirvik. We walked backed to the best-preserved Viking settlement in the Faroes for a good look around. We then drove through the Nordoyatunnelin which connect the islands of Eysturoy and Bordoy. As the lady warden at Torshavn had told us that many of the tunnels on Bordoy and Kunoy were old and therefore very low ceilings we decided not to explore any further in these islands but stayed on Bordoy and went straight to the port town of Klaksvik, the largest town in all the northern islands. We had to wait in line for quite a while to get our ferry to the islands of Kalsoy, the one we could see across the water for our pitch in Gjogv. It was £44 for the ferry return, not bad for quite a lengthy journey on a small car ferry. So glad we went. We had pre booked our campsite on the island of Kalsoy in the tourist information office in Klaksvik and had to call in to see Olivia Dogg Friofinnsdottir, the lady I’d sorted all this out by email before our trip, what a helpful lady, we paid the 150 Danish Krona fee . So, we had instructions of where to go to. We arrived at Sydtadalur off the ferry and it started to rain, the mist making it a little tricky to see that well along the coast, Kalsoy being a very long thin island with only one road way really down its east coast.
Stopped at Husar to let most of the locals ferry traffic past, us being tourists who want to travel at our own pace. We loved the remoteness of Kalsoy. We drove all the way north on Kalsoy , the road up to about Mikladalur was fine but then we entered 2 very lengthy badly lit lowish tunnels to get up to the top at Tollanes (subtitled the end of the world) ha-ha. Parked up with quite a few tourists and went for a nice and interesting walk around the village and across its huge village green populated by many sheep, and goats roaming free. We learnt that before the tunnel out to Trollanes was built in 2010 only 2 families lived out in this remote area as it was a 3 and half hour up over the mountain to get back to relative civilisation at Mikladalur, our views was the village was not civilisation either. After Trollanes we returned through the tunnel avoiding the school party with torches who were walking back through it with the teacher barking safety instructions, not great as so dimly lit inside the tunnel. At Mikladalur we pulled up near the statue of Kopakonan, the famed statue of a mermaid, the seal woman of Mikladalur.
Kalsoy is now famous for the place James Bond (Daniel Craig) dies in no time to die. We then went to the campsite which was actually in the car park for Kalsoy united , it had electric hook up, and the amenities building was wonderful. We filled up with water, the wind was strong and chilly however and our electric cable flapped against the edge of the van for most of the night. Glad we had stayed on the island however, a very interesting place but I suspect because of the James Bond connection will be so much busier after 2022.
Thursday 23rd May 2019
Up early, had a shower, wonderful facilities, then drove back along the coast road early back to the ferry terminal, which was just a road queue, as we were catching the first ferry across there were not many people waiting. Got on and showed our ticket and then enjoyed the fabulous view of Kunoy on the Bordoy outcrop, on the ferry on the way back , it had a light dusting of snow even towards the end of May. The ferry journey only takes about 30 minutes. The next few days we were going to stay at the Fuglafjordur harbour campsite and continually return under the tunnel to see all of the outer northern islands but as the tunnel heights were dangerously close to the top of our van we sadly took the decision to return to the Torshavn campsite for 4 days , we were booked in for the last of those but I rang the lady warden who said it would be no problem as not very busy yet. So back in Klaksvik we had a good look around, quite an impressive town it is the Faroes 2nd city after Torshavn, then it was back across the tunnel from Bordoy to Eysturoy at Viking Leirvik, also a nice place. Once back at Skalafjordur near Skippanes we decided to drive the length of Skala fjord on the other side through Skala to the end at Strendur and then back, at the time the tunnels back to near Hosvik were not built but I’m sure they are now which would certainly cut down the journey. It was then back across the bridge to Streymoy, and we stopped for quite a while again at Hosvik harbour, a place we are very fond of. It’s on the buttercup route and is probably the place we have seen the most buttercups. Pulled up the van on the harbour and used the benches provided for lunch and reading in the sunshine, we watched folk repairing their boats and walked around eth old harbour boardwalk again. Just so relaxing. After hosvik we returned to the Torshavn campsite with our sea view for the remaining days on the Faroes.
Friday 24th May 2019
Took the van into Torshavn centre and parked in the small car park where the ferry to Nolsoy goes, we watched it fill up and go before walking through town past the hotels and restaurants, we visited the oldest street, costume shop and community buildings, all very pleasant then it was back to the site for the afternoon to relax.
Saturday 25th May 2019
Up early we set off again to the south west of the main island back to Kirkjubour, this time there was no fog so easy driving, where we joined the queue to get on the ferry to Sandoy island, without realising as it was a weekend and Sandoy was a favourite spot for the locals to go and they get travel priority , we realised there was a risk we could get there and not get back and our ferry onto Iceland was tomorrow, this was a risk we could not take, so decided to quit and get out of the queue.
We then drove back to the Magnus Cathedral and pulled up for a relaxing time looking at the speed boats in Hesturfjordur and looking over to Hestur island. All very nice before we returned to the Torshavn site , a little disappointed that we did not get to sandoy but also relieved there was no chance of missing the Symril line. We went to bed early
Sunday 26th May 2019
We just stayed in the site today and relaxed, lots of eats, chocolate and generally relaxing, thing we went for a little walk along the coast wall and saw the castle but nothing strenuous, we were moving on tomorrow.
Monday 27th May 2019
We had to be at the ferry terminal 3 hours before it leaves for Iceland which was 2 p.m. We heard the ship coming in from Hirtshal to Torshavn in the early morning, so it was already in dock. No great rush had showers and breakfast, read for a bit, filled the van with water and did dump station duties.
Then finally broke camp and joined down to the check in and had our papers and tickets checked then joined the boarding queue. Not that many vehicles were joining so the public queue was short but the cargo lorries one was very long. This is the main mode of product movement between Denmark, The Faroes and Iceland.
We were both allowed to stay in the van to board this time, parked behind what seemed to be a fish container well the smell would indicate that, ensured all windows and doors locked, we took our overnight stuff and valuables up in the lift to the cabin. This time I think we were on floor 15 , one off the top. Settled in had a nice evening meal and then just one night’s sleep and we would be in Iceland, so looking forward to it, we loved the Faroes but maybe a week and a half would have been enough, however ferry crossing times would not have allowed that anyhow. So, onto the next stage of our fantastic journey.
Tuesday 28th May 2019
We both slept we even if it was a little rocky. Up early packed and then went down for breakfast and very nice it was to. We were then called over the tannoy as the boat docked at 9 a.m. in Seydisfeyordur, Austerland, Iceland which borders both the Norwegian and Greenland seas. It is the most easterly town in Iceland. Get ready, your next adventure begins. #tick Here is a list of top towns by population in Iceland, we visited quite a few of them on our journey but tried to stay as remote in general as we could, it is what we like.
We got off the boat amid flurries of snow. It was cold and I mean cold. We drove through the town to the campsite near the old church, we checked in and hooked up to electrics and immediately put the fire on, so grateful for Icelandic hat and gloves whilst setting up.
We then went for a long walk around Seydisfjordur, around the lake, through the old streets, into the church, back to take pictures of the Norrona in port, and inside the ferry terminal for a warmup and pick up tourist brochures. We then visited a craft shop on the lake edge, all very interesting, back past the school, town hall and into the supermarket to buy a few things especially Skir youghort why wouldn’t you, note food prices are extremely high in Iceland, expect to pay for a basket of goods what you pay for a whole trolley back in the uK, but that is the nature of the beast.
Wednesday 29th May 2019
It had snowed quite a bit overnight. Because of the snow and the more mountainous area in the north we decided to go around Iceland clockwise. This meant heading south first. Anyhow we bit the bullet and left to go up over the mountain, my most scary drive ever in the van, driving snow meant we could hardly see anything even with the wipers on their fastest, the road was so covered in snow you could not see it and on either side of the road, wherever that was, with no barriers or markers was frozen lakes #scary #frightening, I drove very slowly, we seemed to climb and climb on the highway 93 on what is known as the Seydisfjordur mountain pass, all 17 miles of it, past Heidarvatn at the top and onto Egilsstadir, the relief as we started to descend was palpable. We had made it. I’m sure the views were spectacular as we can attest to as we returned at the end of the holiday when the weather was so much better but on this day, we only stopped at one huge waterfall for a photo opportunity but otherwise it was just a case of get out and be thankful otherwise we could have spent quite a while hemmed in in Seydisfjordur.
We visited the museum in Egilsstadir, very interesting, lots of cultural stuff and especially liked learing about moose and winter survival techniques. After a good look around this town and discovering its supermarkets and petrol station, we replenished the diesel just in case, we headed out on highway 1 (the main circular route around Iceland) through the fabulously scenerific mountain pass and valley to our favourite campsite in Iceland at Reydarfjordur (note I got the spelling wrong on my images) tee-hee, hardly surprising the difference between sound and spelling with some of the Icelandic names. We set up on the site on the only hard standing we could find in case of heavy snow, near the amenities block which was very good. Couldn’t work out how to pay until a lady came along in her car and knocked on the window. We now know as stayed here again at the end of the holiday. Its lake, river, waterfall, mountain views, ducks and clean air made it a pleasure to stay here.
Thursday 30th May 2019
We left Reydarfjordur having had a good drive around the town and harbour area and headed east out around the fjord the 12-mile drive to Eskifjordur, on highway 92, stopping initially at the point at stromholmi at the tourist viewing point. Along the fjord edge there were masses of wild lupins growing making it just so colourful. We had to cross the bridge on the 950 to get into Eskifjordur past the swimming pool and onto have a look at the campsite there, not good, far too hilly and in fairness to close to last night’s site. Across the bridge is the Helgustadir Spar Mine.
Having had a good look along the harbour front we returned and travelled under the tunnel on the Nordfjardarangong coming out in beautiful, lush green farming deep valley countryside full of livestock near Holar. We then drove all the way to the tip at Neskaupstadur on the 92. This only took a further 15 minutes. The tunnels in Iceland are a whole lot better than those on the Faroes.
We then returned to Eskifjordur and back through Reydarfjordur heading south and turning back onto main highway 1 all the way down to where the river dalsa met the fjord. We briefly stopped in Faskruosfjordur at a craft shop where we talked to the very nice lady there who told us currently because of overfishing her husband’s boat was holed up in port so times were hard. However, she then told us in the next breath she was driving to Reykjavik and back the next day to do some clothes shopping. A 16-hour trip, what, she must be nuts, it would mean travelling at night which I guess she would be used to, but in the dark, moose elks and all, no way!
After Faskrousfjordur where we also had lunch, and tried to visit the Aurora exhibition we had found out about at in the amenities block at Reydarfjordur, which was sadly closed, we went onto see the gardens of the rock lady at stoovarfjordur, the volcano (benign hopefully) , craft brewery and post office (shut) at breidodalsvik, had hoped to get fish and chips here we eventually pulled into Djupivogur a nice harbour, and the campsite behind the café on the harbours edge, it was quite a touristy area, but the site was ok for one night. The facilities weren’t great but we set up, had a tea and then went to the café for a lovely meal of fish and chips, and looked at the kiddies books, ha-ha. The curry batter on the fish was a very enjoyable novelty. It took 1 hour 30 minutes of driving from lunch to tea with a bit added on for photo opportunities obviously, ha-ha.
Friday 31st May 2019
Packed up the van and had a quick look around the harbour area before driving our around the Djupivogur headland to see the eggin I gledvik egg sculpture display not far away, at gledivik or merry bay in English, truly amazing, we parked up and walked from one end to the other. So pleased to have seen this, found it on one of our many tourist brochures. Just classy when we consider they were hand ground by the artist and his crew.
We then stopped at the waterfall between hnaukar and hvalnes for a view of the magnificent waterfall there, it also had a statue claiming to be the site of the birth of Christianity in Iceland. We then travelled across the longsvik grit bowl a weird gravel shelf that in fairness folk had lived on back in the day, but such poor farming land. The wind wiped up across it and to this day we still believe there are bits of grit buried in the window frames. We had been warned but had no choice, we stopped at an information board at one point where a young couple were trying to start their outdoor stove to cook on but really with no hope, the winds were far to strong and even if the flame did ignite it would sadly be pebble-dashed with grit.
It took about a further hour and a half from here to the town of Hofn where we were staying for the night. We had lunch in one of the less windy areas along the way. As we approached Hofn we could see the Vatnajokull glacier in the distance, the largest glacier as far as I know in the world, and certainly in Iceland, its huge, going from south coast to almost the north one, sadly receding nowadays because of global warming.
We went in the Hofn museum , very interesting, and had a nice walk along the harbour and saw all the ice-breaker ships. We even had a look at Hofn beach. The lady at the check-in office wouldn’t let us in before 3pm so we read in the van and then set up on our pitch, hard standing and grass with fab views, there were 2 Dutch couples in front of us who set up awnings attached to their small VW vans, not clever in those high winds, took them forever. We liked this site, it had nice surrounds and Keef went to explore and almost got blown off the cliff, tee-hee whilst taking pictures, still even if cold it was sunny, we liked Hofn a lot.
Saturday 1st June 2019
At Hofn I looked at the speedo in the van and realised we had now driven 2000 miles and loved every moment of it. Just found out Vatnajokull is Europe’s largest glacier, that settles that then.
We filled up with water at Hofn Camping before setting off along the south coast with fantastic views of both the sea and the Vatnajokull glacier. A truly wonderful drive of just over an hour and 50 miles to the Jokulsarlon area. We parked up in the free car park, wrapped up warm and set off for some fabulous views of blue icebergs, highlighted by the clear light. Initially it was teaming with tourists from the many coaches that stopped there. You could also do a boat trip around the sea water fjord to see the ice bergs close. We didn’t do that. After a while all the coaches left and apart from a few motorhomers we had all the views to ourselves. We took lots and lots of pictures not having seen this since St Andrews in Newfoundland Canada in 2010 at iceberg alley, just a wonderful site, we even saw bits break off and float out to sea. Duck tours had finished for the morning session, tee-hee. We stopped at the memorial at hjallanes on route to Jokulsarlon.
We then drove a further 2 hours 20 minutes along the south coast moving into the south region from what was officially the eastern area of Iceland arriving at Campsite Vik at about 3.30 p.m. We saw Skatafell on route and some great scenery, lakes mountains and rocks carved by glacier movement. A big campsite with limited electrical hook up but we found one. It had reasonable facilities in a long block at the end of the site. The strange, shaped office and cooking area was full of back packers so we decided to cook in the van. It had been a long journey today so we read, relaxed and went to bed early. We will have a look around Vik tomorrow.
Have a look at the slideshow of images of this fascinating section of our journey.
Sunday 2nd June 2019
Up early, had to do one thing at a time, electricity wise this morning as very low amps on the electricity. So, it was kettle, then hot water, then heating, as more than one outley and the trip switch flipped and Keef was forever outside resetting the electrics, not great, indeed the worst we had come across on our travels so far, reminded us of our French trip in the van in 2014 (Blog 71).
We noticed at the site that people were arriving and using the showers and then driving off, all for free as Camping Vik had no barriers or look out plus we saw one family obviously driving go Reykjavik who had the son laying down in the back of their low level van, totally illegal, who all popped in for a shower then popped off, as it was so busy us paying customers didn’t bother, grrr.
We then drove out of the campsite at Camping Vik up to the church and had a walk around taking in the magnificent views of the nearby Katla geopark. We also visited the village and the weird Britannia type sculpture outside the main Vik hotel on Austervagur.
We then drove the short 15-minute trip off the main Highway 1 down to Reynisfjara beach which was part of the Katla (active volcano) geopark. This beach is noted as the most dangerous in Iceland because of the freak sneaker waves. We parked in the rough carpark and walked down past the café onto the mostly black sand beach, with views of the rock stacks just off the coast called the Trolls fingers (Reynisdranger) we also saw the cave and basalt fingers collectively known as Dyrholaos and what looked much like London bridge that we saw on the Great Ocean road in Victoria Australia in both 2008 and 2017 or Durdle door in Dorset in the UK, on Iceland their equivalent is called Dyrholeay.
A very interesting beach, as always there were a whole bunch of young tourists right on the beach edge foolishly tempting the freak waves despite the explicit warnings #fools The board showed the most recent deaths, a Chinese man and an American woman who had already visited 5 times.
From Reynisfjara we returned to the main highway and continued on clockwise past the incredible volcanic terrain of Katla’s geopark, with its larva rock covered over by a thin green clear air growth that remined us of oakmoss, just not sure what it really was.
From here it was a 35-minute drive to the town of Skogar in Sudhurland (or south land) and the magnificent waterfall called Skogarfoss, just breath-taking, see the images.
From here we drove onto hvolsvollur where we had lunch in the larva centre carpark before paying to visit a very interesting museum where we learnt about Iceland's volcanic background, indeed its heritage was to rise out of the sea as the result of an undersea eruption. It still has many active volcanos, witness the one that bought much of the worlds air flights in 2010 to a halt called Eyjafjallajokull. The museum had sights, sounds, shaky replicas to make you feel you were there and facts galore, we learnt a lot. Heads full and buzzing we travelled onto our campsite for the night at Stokkseyri, limited but perfectly adequate facilities and a real bonus Icelandic ponies just behind our pitch, the area was quite flat after what we have travelled through on the south coast. The sunset was fab.
Monday 3rd June 2019
We left our campsite at Stokkseyri initially visiting the nearby coast and walking around the small village and harbour wall area. Then today was a true tourist day, we drove the 2 hours plus initially along highway 1 turning just past Heidarbaer onto highway 30 to do the 190-ish miles of the Golden circle, views of ingolfsfjall initially, then stopping at haukadalur in the huge tourist car park there and walking across with the other millions to see the geothermal hot water area with its bubble and trouble. We watched the main water explosions of Strokkur and Geysir and we then drove onto Gulfoss and walked up to see the amazing waterfall there, quite spectacular. We then turned back down through the Golden circle via miodalur near the apavatn lake via the very weird but huge pingvallavatn down to selfoss , and the along the hugely geothermal rocky volcanic south coast where many of the active volcanos still exude their fire every now and then, hopefully not when we were around, through porklakshofn stopping at the stamper crater which was amazing as was the road surface, just so bumpy, this is where we believe we lost our front mud guard / wheel cover. Anyhow it was then on to the fabulous Grindavik area which we truly rated #recommended and finally onto our campsite for the night up on the coast at Sandgerdi. It was a very long drive today but hugely satisfying in terms of all we had seen, loved it all, amazing waterfalls, lakes, and volcanic scenery, just spectacular. Thank you, southwest Iceland. We have to say that in a way the Golden Circle even though hugely touristy is the least interesting part of our trip so far, is that sacrilege?
We went past the famous Blue Lagoon which wasn’t open.
Have a look at the slideshow of images of this fascinating section of our journey.
The campsite at Sandgerdi caused us no end of electrics fun, we just could not get the ones we were on to work, so we moved and couldn’t get that to work either, spoke to a very nice lady married to an Englishman who said in general the electrics on this site were dodgy but she told us one point shared with her’s that did work, she had tried it, so we plugged in there , yippee success, we had wasted ages on this. When the attendant came for his money we complained, he said he knew about it and were in the process of fixing, sometime never, as long as he had his dosh he didn’t seem overly concerned #notgood
Tuesday 4th June 2019
Packed up and left Sandgerdi early and visited Keflavik airport where we had landed in transit on our Canada trip back in 2010, parked up and had a bit of a look around, didn’t stay long as thought we may get charged for parking, skinflints that we are, tee-hee.
It took 1 hour about 38 miles into Reykjavik from the campsite. The trucknav helped us navigate our way around Iceland’s capital to the campsite, a large, gravel site laid out in long rows to accommodate a very large number of caravans / motorhomes. We chose one right at the back with grass at the back facing the National Sports Stadium and pool complex at Sundlaugavegur 32. We checked in at 1 p.m. had a look around the facilities, filled up with water then went outside the gate where the Hop On Hop Off Bus (HOHO) stopped. We bought a 2-day ticket and proceeded to do our usual complete rooue around back to the site to get our barings. Second time around on this 1st day in Reykjavik we got off at the opera house whilst it was waiting to do its circuit and took photos of the lovely harbour area, the opera house and Videy island in the bay on which Yoko Ono had built a memorial to John Lennon, called the Imagine Peace Tower. Indeed, there are so many tributes now to JL on our travels i.e. Durness, Scotland (Blog 177) we may have to adopt him as well as James Cook (JC) as out travel hero. We rejoined the bus and returned to the campsite, knowing the sort of places we wished to get off and explore tomorrow with our HOHO bus pass. Here is a write up about the Durness stuff, indeed In My Life off rubber soul which he wrote was inspired by childhood stays at the croft in Durness.
We thought the campsite was very expensive for what you get but I suppose it was the capital of a very expensive country so probably to be expected.
Wednesday 5th June 2019
Got on the bus again outside campsite and got off at stop 2 to walk around the old harbour area including see there was a brewery tour, which sadly we did not do, but we did see the maritime museum and the various boats in the harbour, including the very old dry dock Gullborg and ice breakers a plenty. We loved walking around this area including the old warehouses converted to craft shops, amazing murals, chain bikes, so clever, plus old trad buildings in bright colours looking out onto Kollafjordur, there was even a Greenpeace boat in harbour, we had last seen one in Auckland harbour back in 2007. We then walked back towards the Art Gallery and Craft market, sadly both were closed but we peered through the glass to get a feel of what we were missing. Opposite the Kollaport market was a permanent heritage display with boards about Reykjavik’s maritime history, all very interesting especially the Viking and Scottish links, we then walked into the centre of the city restaurant area, some very disturbingly strange menus i.e., puffin & whale, not to our taste but respect their culture. The area even had an old steam railway engine on display. We then re-joined the bus and got off at the Tjornin stop walked around the lake, called in at the council building to find a doctor’s for Keef’s incessant cough which we would do later, we went to the Hard Rock Café nearby for a chocolate milkshake and then walked back to the doctor’s surgery, had to wait a while and pay about £30 for an appointment but got anti-biotics prescribed which eventually cleared it up, Annie would get it later, read on (Isafjordur hospital). After the surgery we caught the bus back around to the Opera house from the nearest HOHO bus stop, this bus was the last of the day, so we had to catch an ordinary bus back to the stadium which we managed without much trouble. Like Reykjavik, it has a nice feel.
Thursday 6th June 2019
Left the campsite and had to visit the dump station down near the cruise ship terminal, ha-ha what a welcome for the tourist to watch Keef emptying our waste, class eh? Then after refueling we left Reykjavik and headed north, stopping at the far end of Hvalfjordur in the sunshine for lunch overlooking a mass of lupins in flower. After this we carried on to our campsite at Varmaland now in West Iceland. We called in at Leira where there was a campsite which we didn’t rate and was busy with folk in the thermal swimming pool next door. The total journey was about 60 miles on highway 1 over the long hvalfjardagong bridge across open water, very interesting, great engineering. We called in at Borganes on route for a few provisions and to look at a craft shop, just too expensive.
The Varmaland campsite was basically an open field and quite lumpy at that , we found the best bit we could , and laid the cable across the muddy track to one of the few electric hook up. No way to pay we eventually were able to when a young lad (presumably) the farmer’s son arrived in a car and knocked on our door, luckily we had cash as they don’t generally accept card in these remote places.
Friday 7th June 2019
We left the Varmaland camping site, Vesterlund 311 and headed back to Borganes turning as we got towards the town onto the exquisite highway 54 with just such fab views eventually along the Denmark straits. We stopped at the viewing point just past Hjardaharfell after it had turned into highway 56, where we got out and had a walk over some of the open volcanic landscape with Hraunsfjardarvatn views in the background, what a spot, just magical, took loads of pictures. Many people had stopped here to walk right down to the lake, we didn’t.
We then carried on the 56 turning back onto the 54 then the 58 into the historic fishing port at Stykkishholmur at the end of the Borgerland peninsular. Loved the village , walked around the harbour, talked to the fishermen landing huge catches of lumpfish, famed for its red caviar. The views of Landey island in the background were fab, we listened to music from folk performing in front of the fancy sheep van. We walked around the heritage area and museums then we left the harbour car park and drove up to the church high on the hill, a very modern building, great photo opportunity.
We then left to travel into the snaefellsnes national park area, such scenery. We went anti clockwise around the highway 54, some of the best scenery so far, with the snow covered Snaefall mountain in the centre of our road loop which hugged the coast. The north coast views were the Denmark Straits.We visited Grundarfjordur then headed around to our campsite at Tradir camping near budir . We visited olafsvik harbour and the lighthouse at rif and the tourist info office at rif, which was busy.
The site had a nice café area. I got us coins for the shower, sadly some parents had allowed their child to totally flood the shower and when I put my coins in there was no hot water. I lost it Keef with terets, I stormed into the office wet and cold and let them have both barrels, they accepted there was something wrong with the boiler, and let me use the lovely shower for free in the hotel area, wonderful, I also negotiated the same for Annie, the views at the site were great but there was a lot of distance to walk.
If you want to see more images click here, thanks
Saturday 8th June 2019
Left Tradir campsite after taking a look around again at the sea and the beach. Such a nice area, not the best site as the amenities (before the Terets) were poor and nowhere near enough if the site was full. The café looked nice though as an added facility.
Here is a little summary of Budir which sums up the area well. Búðir is a small hamlet in Búðahraun lava fields in Staðarsveit, which is in the western region of Iceland, on the westernmost tip of the Snaefellsnes peninsula where Hraunhafnará falls to the sea, the original old name of Búðir having been Hraunhöfn.
I filled up with water before leaving then we set off back across on Highway 54 to Borganes, stopped here again and got some provisions before using the main A1 route north stopping again at Bifrost for a rest almost 2 hours into the journey and had a look at what seem to be the deserted lava hotal there. We then turned off the A1 near Klettsia onto the magnificent high 60 up across the mountains heading north, spectacular views on this road all the way up to alfheimer where it merged with the 54. Despite the signs luckily at this time of year you didn’t need snow chains, can’t imagine taking the van up over this road in winter, it would be so scary. We stopped at Laugar a very small village off highway 60 which had both a hotel and a geo thermal pool, the campsite was very bumpy and lumpy and the facilities were not yet open, we found the best compromise site we could to be level and put the ramps on. As time passed a few more motorhomes pulled up but it was very sparse. Eventually the girls arrived to open and clean the facilities, presumably from the hotel. They collected our fees. We can safely say this is the worst campsite in Iceland that we stayed at. If memory serve me right it was off highway 60 to the right, may even have been a little way up the 61, can’t remember.
Sunday 9th June 2019
Called in at Reykholar on route today and discovered a campsite we will use later. Today I convinced Annie to go off road, we headed west on 17 miles of gravel road to Flokalundur around the fabulous twists and turns, mountain climbs and bridges , it took and age and shook just about everything in the van, we only did about 20 mph, once we reached the campsite we decided that we could go no further on this road, had hoped to use the gravel road to go all the way around the peninsular but chickened out. The fire had come off the wall and needed refixing. The campsite was nice with lovely views of the coast, we parked up, hooked up, went for a little walk then relaxed after what had been quite a harrowing drive, realising we had to go back over it tomorrow, reflecting on Chris’s flat tyre in NZ back in 2017 we were going to be mega careful, just cannot afford a flat tyre this far out in remote Iceland. Indeed, we didn’t see that many other vehicles on the whole journey and the ones we did we stopped for in essence in passing places on a single-track gravel road.
Monday 10th June 2019
We then left the campsite at Flokalundar and travelled very slowly back along the gravel road with the Denmark straits on our right, yet again majestic scenery and all bathed in glorious sunshine. Once off the gravel track and back on tarmac on highway 60 we turned south past Bjardarvatn lake on the 607 down to the town of Reykholar, this road took us along superb coastal scenery again, with so many inlets on the Denmark Straits with lots of salmon farms our in the clear waters, when the tide was out there were lots of rock pools. We filled up at the fuel station at the entry to the town of Reykholar, diesel is expensive this far out, but you just must do it. We then drove through the town across the many coastal rock bridges to the harbour where there was a herring canning factory, some yummy smells NOT! The local green dredger ship was in the harbour used to pick up the mass of strangling green weed but also the lovely nutrient used for gardening, seaweed which was plentiful. After that we returned through the village to the campsite alongside the road opposite the church. It was on a lovely farmers field. We hooked up along the fence edge in the flattest bit we could find although in general it was mostly flat. The sun was out, the facilities were good. The lady in the office who had seen us arrive provided a hose through the wall so we could get water in the tank. She filled the hot tubs for us as well with sea water. We got changed in the massive changing room / shower block and had a lovely time in the hot tub using the facilities to shower and change on the way out. Just so relaxing sitting in it looking out on the mountain ledge surrounding the valley, all green and sparkly in the sun. This campsite is one of our favourites and the lady farmer was so helpful, so much so that we returned to it again later in the holiday. We had a bit of a walk afterwards down to the old houses and playpark with an old heritage wood.
We had our meal outside tonight on the table and chairs as so mild and sunny, just blissful.
Tuesday 11th June 2019
A long drive today so we set off early leaving the lovely site at Reykholar , we will be back, and travelling on the highway 61 past the turning for Husavik, which we will return to later and along the Greenland Sea on our right. I was a magnificent 3-and-a-half-hour journey which we loved every moment of, seeing fosses (rivers) a plenty, snow melts and frozen lakes on the mountain tops. This area is called the western fjords and in our humble opinion is the best scenery in the whole of Iceland and let me tell you there is a lot to choose from. We stopped at Reykjanes just off the highway as needed diesel. It was a very odd pump system which took a credit card, eventually ha-ha, but not funny at the time, quite frustrating. Whilst here we had a quick look around , there were tourist coaches parked up outside what seemed to be a somewhat run-down hotel whose real attribute was a geothermal full sized Olympic swimming pool outside. We circled mojifjordur and skotufjordur and then stopped at the heritage house in Litibaer, from here we walked down the country path to the waters edge, the town folk had kindly left a pair of binoculars, very powerful ones, to allow visitors to see the seal colony on the outer rock crop. Another family in front of us had borrowed them but passed them onto us and we saw the seals, just lovely, so like seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. We then went on around the fjords stopping to look at some spectacular waterfalls, emboldened by the melting snows from above, and next stopped at Sudavik where there was an arctic fox centre, not really the right season for us. The mountains here are breathtakingly high and sadly they had an avalanche in the village not that long ago #scary Sudavik has an active volcano as well. After Sudavik we carried on into the city of Isafjordur and as we approached, we saw a cruise liner just coming into port. We had a quick drive around the city to get our barings, quite a big place, lots of supermarkets and fuel stations. The campsite was just off the main road up by the waterfall surrounded by lovely lupins in flower. The site had a river running through it off the waterfall and was landscaped on various levels. We chose an upper one with close views of the waterfall. The facilities were at the other end f the site in the valley but very good. We were staying in Isafjordur for 3 nights which was a very good choice.
See the images
Wednesday 12th June 2019
Annie had the same bronchitis I had so we visited the cities hospital and waited until she was seen by a doctor who prescribed anti-biotics , they were all very pleasant and helpful, the consultation cost about £25 and the pills themselves a further £30 so at Iceland prices a bargain. After this we went back into the harbourside area parked up and had a good look around. A very interesting city. We then drove out to Boulungavik and Flateyri through a myriad of tunnels the first we have seen and been under with a traffic intersection in to cope with conjoined tunnels, all seemed to work very well. Both these places were interesting but especially Flateyri with its fish drying racks on the outskirts and the book museum in the high street which we walked around as well as the harbour. The guy in braces in the bookstore museum was a 3rd generation family member and showed us around the home, just so interesting. We bought some cards and took lots of pictures. A very nice day, back to the site to eat and relax, walked around the site down to the amenities block to fill up our water bottles, sat outside for quite a while catching the sun’s rays.
Thursday 13th June 2019
A campsite day today, washing, reading and eating outside and getting sunburnt in Iceland, now just how good is that it was a surprisingly hot and sunny day. Not much else to report today.
Friday 14th June 2019
Packed up and drove up to the entrance on the upper road for the campsite, where the motorhome service station was, after 3 days the water tank was empty, and we needed do dunny man. The site is called the Tunguladur. So refilled with water and a clean blue loo we went to the supermarket on the way out of town, wow those chiller tents where they keep the meats etc are cold, tee-hee. We also filled up with diesel before setting off again. We drove back along the 61 through Sudavik and all the other twists and turns up and back down fjord after fjord off the Greenland Sea overlooking the island of Vigur which still had a dusting of snow on it. There are 4 long fjords on this journey, but we loved all of them, such scenery, the best. Stopped at Amernes point for a while to take in the views. We then drove across the Greenland Sea over the 2 islands of Hrutey via the road bridge, a stunning construction. Stopped again seals and binoculars. Finally arrived at our campsite in Drangsnes overlooking the island of Grimsey late afternoon, big grass field site, we were the first on it, small amenities block but perfectly adequate. Set up and had a cuppa. A few others arroved later in the day. All tourists from other countries. The total journey from Isafjordur to Drangsnes was about 150 miles but took well over 4 hours with some of the roads around the fjords, but I am not complaining, spectacular stuff, it’s what Iceland is all about, I don’t really get this feel anywhere else in the world apart from maybe New Zealand.
Saturday 15th June 2019
Left the site at Drangsnes and had a good look at the town along the foreshaw, lots of holiday cottages, but a lovely old school house and church, there were 3 hot spring pools along the front for general use, as we had come into the town yesterday we had seen those along with endless plumes of steam emitting from the waters edge, this was quite a lively active volcanic area hence the public baths for all to use. Keef went over for a closer look, sadly one of them had so much gunge in it you would never want to use it. As it was blowing a hooley decided not to try even the perfectly OK ones.
We then left Drangsnes and headed back out around the fjord to join the 61 through Holmavik and stopping in Husavik, which is the whale tour capital , we went down to the harbour and around the church and old town areas, a very interesting place , we will be back. We carried on to Hvammstangi our campsite for the night parking up on the flattest bit of grass land not too far away from the limited number electric points, so our long cable stretched. The field backed onto the heritage church with its picket fence, after setting up and having our usual cuppa we went for a walk to have a look at the church, all very interesting. Quite liked the area and the sunsets were just wonderful, had tea, relaxed and went to bed.
Sunday 16th June 2019
Left the site at Hvammstangi after breakfast and disconnecting. Drove the short distance to the town and its harbour where we parked up and had a good look around. A very interesting place with both the seal centre and palmason house, a traditional style trader dwelling and fish house with dried fish hanging out on the wooden construction we had seen often as we did on the road to Flateyri, but this time close so we could examine the drying process, all fascinating. After a good look around, we drove onto Blonduos about an hour further north with views of hunavatn on our left, until that is the fog set in off the sea and we could hardly see anything. We refuelled here and then parked up in the old town and did a walk around what is the heritage walk with information cards in front of the old houses and church, a very interesting place. We then drove a further 30 minutes up the skaginn peninsular to the seaside town of skagastrond and from there across the peninsular on the 744 to Saudarkrokur with its giant horse statue, not impressed with this place if we are honest, saw the campsite there which looked to be on the back of some industrial works. Anyhow we moved onto Hofsos around the next bay and up the next peninsular as the 744 turned into highway 75. This took a further 40 minutes. At Hofsos we stopped for a good look around the old harbour area with its sea bridge and fishing houses in old dark weatherboard, a fascinating place and then drove back out to a layby just outside the main town with fab sea views where we parked up for lunch, the area was quite touristy with lots of coaches. We had seen quite a lot today already, loved every moment of it. After lunch we drove onto the fabulous Siglufjordur which would be our home for the next to days. Surrounded by mountains still with snow and lupins on them to create colour. The site was in the harbour and very busy but small with good facilities which sadly were also shared with tourists. It took an hour on the scenerific highway 76 to get to Siglufjordur from Hofsos. Parked up and set up we walked to the local supermarket and had a walk around the town gardens and shops. Asked a guy at a fish store about fish and chips but he said they only supplied wet fish to shops, not cooked it, shame, still we returned to the van to eat and take in the truly tremendous views, we absolutely loved Siglufjordur. A huge tick.
Monday 17th June 2019
The day started off sunny we had a lovely walk around the harbour area after breakfast and a nice shower in the amenities. Today was Iceland’s public holiday and the pub at the front of the pier thronged with Icelanders making merry. So like Siglufjordur, the views, the harbour, the long trad wood building that doubled as a restaurant and the carved wood characters on benches outside. We even got to look close at many of the fishing boats in harbour. Opposite the site across the bay was a posh hotel and holiday lets, this is a popular place with both home grown and foreign tourists, so glad we had a pitch in what is a small but compact nice central site, great for walking anywhere #recommended Saw lots of hire vans where you raise the roof and sleep up top, a little chilly we would have thought in this mountainous area. The day sadly turned to mist and murk later in the day with endless drizzle which was such a shame.
Tuesday 18th June 2019
It rained most of the night. Had finally stopped after breakfast so we packed up quick and said our fond farewells to Siglufjordur one of our fave places in Iceland along with Isafjordur but there were many. We headed out around the lake on the 76 to Olafsfjordur about 20 minutes away a quaint touristy town then onto dalvik on the 82 with views out across to the island of Hrisey. All the area around here and the river (or fosse) frindland svarfadardalur was green and lush mostly with a sea of blue lupins. From here it was onto the second city of Iceland and the 1st of the north Akureyri another 45 minutes away at the head of the sea fjord. We parked up on gravel in the harbour area, took some photos of cruise ships and then used the boardwalk to come back into what was the old town hall or Hof and now a shopping area with theatre , cinema, and museum, all very interesting. It was blisteringly cold with winds whipping in off the sea. We then came out and attempted to walk along the preserved heritage fishing industry high street with its information boards and old buildings, quite a history lesson we both remember well. We then drove the short distance to the oddeyri district of Akureyri, where we parked up and walked around the old heritage buildings and cultural museum and church, the nonnahus is famous, nonna being a celebrated Icelander. We then drove up the mountains to see akureyri from above, great views back down to the harbour, we decided we much preferred akureyri to Reykjavik. We now left and out through the tunnel 30 minutes’ drive to the spectacular waterfalls at Godafoss, almost as good as Niagara in our humble opinion. We then headed north on the 845 to our campsite for the night at Heidarbaer, it is also subtitled the Husavik Highway no 85. A very thermal area, crops grown in greenhouses heated by the steam of hot springs, we had a little drive around. The campsite was grass and muddy at that with only a few electric hookups but we got one. The pool at the site was thermal waters and basically too hot to swim in.
Wednesday 19th June 2019 - Arctic Circle
Packed up from the site , it was raining so not much fun, and headed off back up the Husavik Highway no 85 to initially Husavik then onto the Vatnajokull National Park at Asbyrgi. It is fascinating to think that the national park stretched from the south to almost the north coast of Iceland, just amazing. We stopped in Husavik for a good long look around, parking initially in the supermarket car park on the coastal road then driving around the town centre, many hotels for tourists doing whale watching, plus a fab old church we had come across before. It took an hour driving to get to the national park. At Asbyrgi we parked up and had a educational visit at the visitors centre learning once again about volcanoes (Krafla in particular) but more importantly about Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier by far. So much of Iceland is covered by it, but sadly because of global warming it to is beginning to shrink. After the visitor’s centre, we drove through the park a bit to see what Krafla had done to the landscape after it last exploded, amazing lava crater and valley edges, such weird rock formations now very verdant with grass and wildflowers, especially lupins a true feature of our Icelandic travels. We then carried on for another hour on the 85 initially north along the Greenland Sea but turning sharply right just past the Prestholalon lake and across the most northerly peninsular in Iceland to Ruafarhofn the most northerly town in Iceland. We were determined to get into the arctic circle which wasn’t that much further north so we travelled out on its gravel road past the lava works park or arctic henge with its copy of Wiltshire’s finest (Stonehenge), a tourist attraction under construction, but one had to wonder how many people would travel this far north to it. Anyhow we did make it officially to the arctic circle, pulled up and took lots of photos as memorabilia #arcticcircle #fame #achievment #tick After this we returned down the gravel roads into Ruafarhofn again. This whole place including its hotels and harbour were very run down. It had a feel of a utilitarian Russian hovel. Sorry, that was rude wasn’t it but accurate. The old church plus the campsite were potentially the only redeeming factors. The rest could do with a big dose of TLC (tender loving care) #fact
We were initially the only people at the campsite and could not work out where to pay. Someone as is normal in Iceland came to collect our fees, we showed our Iceland Camping card which if you haven’t got one, I would suggest is essential. Our campsite had a lake just over the hill surrounding the site, presumably protection against flooding. I climbed up for a walk and a look at pistilfjordur. After tea we bedded down for the night, amenities block was fine and one other lot of campers joined us, they asked for help with their van the next morning, can’t remember what it was about but we helped get it sorted, something to do with their water I think.
Thursday 20th June 2019 - Wild Arctic Way
We left the Arctic circle this morning returning on the 874 out of Ruafarhofn and turning east onto the 85, also known as the wild arctic way (similar to the wild Atlantic way we saw on our trip to Eire Blog 129 in 2018) taking that road over the hofaskard stopping at the viewing point at the top, just spectacular views from here looking down and around, still unmelted snow everywhere and almost the end of June shows how this this is. The Greenland Sea was easily visible from here. It took about an hour into the port town of Porshofn where we saw school parties doing roadside clearance and gardening for all, very good stuff, community spirited. Porshofn is a big fishing community, the church was lovely and the harbour activity, views and information boards.
We then travelled back all the way along the wild arctic way back to the west coast of this most northerly peninsular and then as we hit the coast turned right to travel north up to Kopasker, here we could look out amongst the lupins at Viknafjoll’s snow covered tops. From Kopasker it was an hour’s trip back to Husavik where we parked up on the outskirts high up and watched the whale watching boats leave harbour, we had lunch here as the sun shone on the opposing peninsulars mountains, just blissful, do like Husavik and surrounds. From here after lunch it was back once again to the site at Heidarbaer, this time we patked in the front field and ran our cable through the woods to the few electric points that they have, we made sure we arrived before the masses came to get one and had learnt our lesson from last time about the muddy field behind. We met a nice german guy also camped around the front with the most massive motorhome, pop outs and a small car parked up a ramp at the back in its hind garage. The next morning, we watched and filmed him using the pulley system to get the car up the ramps back into the garage, what a palaver. I looked at the speedo, today we had done 4000 miles on the clock on this trip.
Friday 21st June 2019
Some Icelandic for you, husbilar = motorhome, tjaldstaedi = tents, hjolhysi = caravan, fluent, eh? NOT! We left Haeidarbaer and travelled onto the Myvatn lakes area and travelled all the way around them. Once around the lake we pulled into the car park in front of the visitor’s centre and had a good look around it and learnt loads. A volcanic crater lake, views fab, the downside was the number of pesky black fly. After Myvatn we carried onto the truly wonderful Krafla volcanic lava fields area off highway 863. This is a hugely touristy area as it is an active volcanic area, boardwalks provided , steam, colour in lakes , it so reminded as of the artist palette thermal area near Rotorua in North Island New Zealand, click here to see.
On route from Myvatn lakes as we climbed the mountains we stopped at Reykjahlid to see the sulpurous lake, bubbling and smelling just like stink bombs of your youth. We climbed that mountain above it and stopped at the viewing spot, amazing views all around. Then it was onto Nammafjall. After a good look around the lava fields we said goodbye to Nammafjall got back on the road and turned off back up to the edge of the Vatnajokull National park on the 862 and stopped in the car park for Dettifloss. We walked a bit across lava fields probably about a mile and a half to the waterfall, spectacular views. We then returned to highway 1 and turned off down a long gravel road taking it slowly to the farm campsite we were to stay at that night, called modrudalur farm, the highest campsite in Iceland. What a lovely yet quirky place, clearly a tourist mecca, we were greeted with goats at the site office chewing their way through campers back packs, hilarious. Checked in, it was both a restaurant, shop and café as well as the campsite office, all very helpful. Found ourselves a level pitch , parked up , had a cuppa and then went off for a bit of a walk. This road is closed in winter, snowed in obviously as so high up.
Saturday 22nd – Tuesday 25th June 2019
Left the farm campsite, nice weather, travelled slowly up the gravel track avoiding the coaches travelling too fast and spraying grit and stones onto my window screen, don’t need it broken. Rejoined highway 1 and travelled back to Egilsstadir in just over the hour stopping on route to have a look at the river from a picnic viewing spot, sadly graffiti has even made it to Iceland. In Egilsstadir we filled up with diesel , went shopping in the supermarket buying some gifties for family and friends, and went again to have a look at the campsite we had looked at on day 2 of our Icelandic adventures, we decided it was not for us, and took the decision to return to the lovely campsite at Reydisfjordur so we travelled back through the magnificent valley cut by glaciers , eyvindardalur, to get there, river , huts and viewing points for photo opportunities, we stayed for 4 nights relaxing and going for walks into town and along the harbour, just so pleasant there and hugely relaxing. Parked up in the same spot as we had before and paid the lady for 4 nights when she came around in the evening. We walked around the lake, saw lupins, waterfalls, newly born chicks, info boards, bought some stuff at the local garage and just generally lapped up the good weather, suntans all round.
Wednesday 26th June 2019
Did dunny man, filled up with water. Left our lovely home for the last 4 days at Reydisfjordur and travelled back through the spectacular valley to Egilsstadir and then back to the Seydisfjordur campsite we had started at as we arrived on the ferry in Iceland, what a whole different day and a month’s advance of weather makes, the views up over the mountain tops on the fabulous highway 93, the Seydisfjordur mountain pass, were breath taking, we stopped at Heidervatn, which we couldn’t even see last time for a photo shoot. There was still snow on the mountains and iced lakes on either side of the road but you could see them all, we stopped at the Gufufoss waterfall for a good look around and took some pictures. Wonderful and warmish.
We went through the village of bjolfsvirkjun as we descended once more into Seydisfjordur. Went to the campsite which was already hugely busy, the ferry was in, and everyone was obviously either there to catch it tomorrow or had just arrived on it, we got one of the last electric hook-ups cramped in between two vans close on either side, if fire regulations were an issue this would have been forbidden. Anyhow once set up we went for a lovely long walk around Seydisfjordur in the sunshine, what a nice place it is. Even saw the gardens. There was also a cruise ship in the harbour, so the place was full of American tourists. After a fab walk, a visit to the shop for more Skyr and chocolate we came back to the van for a meal. Early to bed as an early start joining the ferry queue 3 hours before departure. The van next to us had diesel heating so quite noisy all night, I did ask him what it was the next day as not come across this before, I know now, the disadvantage is its shared with your driving fuel obviously so if you are travelling long distances in remote areas it is an issue.
Thursday 27th June 2019
Up early packed and joined the MS Norrona boarding queue at 7.30 a.m. Boy it was busy, way more so than when we came across from the Faroes. When they collected our ticket we told them that Annie’s legs were not great, which is true, so they let her stay in the van with me this time. Eventually we drove on about 20 past 10, reversed into position in the hold and slid across to the passenger side to climb out with our overnight bags and headed up in the lift to our room. Had a nice lunch and evening meal, walked around the deck for exercise and views. Slept reasonably well.
Friday 28th June 2019
At sea all day, knew we stopped in the dark at about 3 a.m. at Torshavn but that was quite a quick stop of about 30 minutes just to onboard and offboard a few vehicles.
Saturday 29th June 2019
Had a nice breakfast on board and then went up top to watch as we went past Sumner head off the Shetlands and later started to see the Danish mainland past some of the outlying rocky islands. We eventually docked at Hirtshal and after a while we were able to go back to the van and disembark. Now we had a long journey driving all the way through Denmark on the motorway, to near Flensburg and turned off back to the nice campsite we had been at in Medleby on the way up. Pitch 2 this time, it was 1 last time, I think. Sadly, Annie was not well overnight and was sick a couple of times, we cleared up the damage on the duvet and she drank a lot of water which helped. It was not great as we had a lot of driving tomorrow.
Sunday 30th June 2019
A long tedious drive back through Germany past the massive usual hold ups around Hamburg but the good news was Annie was slowly recovering, not feeling so bad she was able to take on a little food. We arrived at our campsite Osnabruck on Bullerby lake, which doubled as an outdoor swimming pool for locals, quite a nice site, good pitch with views and very hot weather so we were able to set up outside and have dinner out there. Keef strolled down to the lake to see what was going on and although it was hot decided against a dip, it didn’t look that clean.
Monday 1st July 2019
Left the Bullerby lake site and travelled the 170 miles onto Leiden in Holland, the early home of Rembrandt a hero of mine. We got to the town about 2pm and drove around looking for somewhere to park, even though there was a festival on, there was nowhere, very frustrating would like to return one day and go in by bus for a long look around. Checked in at the Acsi campsite at Leiden, a huge site with full restaurant, café, shop and a free mega swimming pool. After setting up we walked back out of the gate and into the village of Rijnsburg, named after Rembrandt. A lovely village, many flowers nice posh houses and lots of waterway channels and all seen in lovely sunshine. After returning to the site, we sat out in the café and had an ice cream.
Tuesday 2nd July 2019
The ferry back to the UK wasn’t due to leave until 2.35 p.m. so it was a leisurely breakfast , did all the usual motorhome chores, packed up and left in good time for the hour journey from Leiden to the Hook of Holland i.e., Hoek Van Holland port at Rotterdam via the Hague, a very interesting area of mostly large embassies. Joined the queue for check in reasonably early. Got on the ferry and then heard the announcement that sailing was delayed. Finally got back into Harwich at 7.45 p.m. The A14 was a nightmare and closed in many places, so we finally got back home about 3 a.m. Knackered but happy, a lovely time, can well recommend the Faroes and Iceland.
The calendar here shows our day by day activities and whereabouts… enjoy x
Features our discussions, observations etc in our own words... covers both the Faroes & Iceland
Covers both Faroes & Iceland, not talkies but all the images from our old windows phone and the antequated iPad at the time
Full Image Slideshows with Audiobook intro
Part 1 is 53 minutes long and covers from home to all our time on the Faroe Islands i.e the period 5th to the 26th May 2019 and includes that audiobook
Part 2 is 42 minutes long and covers from arriving in Iceland at Seydisfjordur in the snow to arriving outside the heritage church at Hvammstangi in the north of Iceland, i.e. its Iceland part 1 with audiobook for the period 27th May to the 15th June 2019
Part 3 is 29 minutes long and covers from visiting the harbour area in Hvammstangi Iceland to mostly the northern and eastern areas of Iceland to returning home i.e. its Iceland Part2 17th June to 2nd July 2019