Friday, August 15, 2003


Arrived Faroes at 5pm and was off and through customs etcetera in 5 minutes. The time is a bit early for any arrival, but with sunshine it really didn´t matter. Torshavn is a surprising town with a distinctive culture. Rain and fog this afternoon has discouraged too much exploring, but have been to the Viking farm ruins at Kvivik, as well as checking the ferries for the bird cliffs. With luck weather will be better tomorrow.

A very different range of plants to Iceland - far more English in fact - and different birds.


Over the hills (and they are hills!) to Seydisfjordur. Boarding the ferry was more or less straightforward, though lack of signs made it unclear where to go for car boarding. Got my tax refund on a wolly jumper - at least I was given a 10Euro note for over 1100 Icelandic Crowns refund, but at least is something.

I was very positive indeed about Smyril Line on the way out. Not so good on the return. They had a certain hygiene problem with flooded loos which they seemed to be making no effort to resolve and which was beyond a joke. This is like the grim tales people tell about the old ferry on this route - the one they had last year. Also noted with Damian that there is no vegetarian option in their restaurants, which really isn´t good enough for 2003. A short night - the wake up call was at 3.30am, an hour and a half before docking - which is 2.30am Icelandic time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


Visited Hengifoss, which is Iceland´s third highest waterfall. I´m in danger of getting an overload of waterfalls, but they really are magnificent. Britain and the continent are too weathered to have the big falls. Off to see another fall this afternoon, one we can walk under.

Next post should be from the Faroes, not before Friday and possibly not then. NB the archives should now be working


From Grimsstadir to Egilstaddir. The road is better than the southern road, and in view of the volume of roadworks will all be surfaced in a couple of years. But there are still some rough stretches, and the car grounded once, briefly, and pulled free with an interesting scrunch. Accommodation in the Egilsstadir school building is okay.


Left Reykjavik at 7am. Lunch in Akureyri. Stopped at Godafoss, and at Myvatn for a quick look at the birds. The flies are a little less than a couple of weeks ago (but only a little). Birds seemed to be further out on the lake. Saw another Great Northern Diver. Lots of Barents Goldeneyes.

Also stopped at the Sulfaterra, and on to overnight at Grimsstadir, staying in an Icelandic farm. This farm really is out in what the Icelanders call the central desert, a desolate area that covers much of NE Iceland. A remarkable spot. A family are making a living farming there.

Went on to Dettifoss. This fall is very powerful, the water dark with basaltic dust. There is a sense of power here - this is Europe´s most forcefull fall after all, and it is beautiful, but also raw. The dark water contrasts with the white spray. Thought of going to Asbyrgi, but the road was just too ghastly.

Sunday, August 10, 2003


Around Reykjavik. Last day at base.


To Blue Lagoon. Raining, and therefore a very different experience. Indeed all in all a very wet day.

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