The next day we got up with a few sun rays shining through the clouds. Instead of the short route we took the 250 Km long scenic road to Saudarkrokur. We drove along the coastal area with it’s beautiful sights and lighthouses. The conditions were so good we had to park for a while at one of the lighthouses to get through a long list of Japanese stations. The weather improved so much that by the time we got to Siglufjordur we were able to have a picnic in near the small harbor.

Car wash in SiglufjordurThe local road were often just dirt roads. It doesn’t take long before a car looks like this.... Fortunately most of the gas stations have a free do-it-yourself car wash. Most of the time it took just a short drive for a clean car to get back to looking like this....

The Siglufjordur HerringmuseumIn Siglufjordur there’s a herring museum. People used to come here to work in the herring industry from 100’s of kilometers away.

Glaumbaer farmLate afternoon we arrived in Saudarkrokur. We unloaded our luggage in the hotel and since there was nothing more to do, I went to park very close to the waterside in view of the small light. 200 QSO’s later it was time to head back to the hotel. Tuesday was going to be a long day. We had to drive 400 Km to the next guesthouse. The Glaumbær farm gives a good impression on life in ol’ days Iceland.

The 'outhouse'the 'outhouse'.. or the 'john'..(right) If ‘nature calls’ you might try to find one of these cabins along the road.

StykkisholmurStykkisholmur is located on the north side of Snæfellsness peninsula. In the harbor is a ferry terminal for crossing to Flatey Island. On top of the rock is the Stykkisholmur lighthouse (ICE-090). Maybe propagation was bad at that moment because I hardly made a few QSO’s here.

Stykkisholmur lighthouse ICE-090

Snowmobiles on the top of the glacierWe continued our way via Olafsvik to guesthouse Brekkubaer in Hellnar. For the following morning we had booked a ride with a snowmobile on top of the glacier. Once again the drive up the mountain was on a road that was better suited for a 4x4. We got to the edge of the glacier without problems only to discover that the fog was so thick we could hardly see 30 meter. The road downhill on the other side of the mountain was a little better to drive on.

Ondverdarnes lighthouse ICE-099Once back at sea level we drove the scenic seaside road to the tip of the peninsula where we found the lighthouse of Ondverdanes (ICE-099). We had a late lunch close to the lighthouse and I once again had a nice pileup with stations wanting to work the lighthouse or just the TF2 prefix.

View of ReykjavikThursday August 16th, we left for ‘the big city’. We were heading to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. The main road now had a shortcut close to Akranes. By making a (toll) tunnel travel time is cut considerably. The heavy traffic in Reykjavik needed some getting used to. The first two weeks we hardly saw a traffic light nor did we have to look for a parking spot. Hotel Fron in the center Reykjavik had it’s own small parking lot. That made life a lot easier for us.

Blue LagoonAfter settling in the hotel we went to Keflavik, south of the capital, to take a dip in the Blue Lagoon. This hot water basin has therapeutic effects for certain skin diseases.

Club meeting in ReykjavikWhile we were in the planning stage of the holiday I made several QSO’s with TF8GX, Gulli, and TF3HP, Halli. We had made arrangements to meet during the club meeting on thursday evening. A phone call to Gulli was made only to find out he had to work that evening. Halli was going to be at the national shack so he gave me directions on how to get to the club station. Meeting the locals is always a good way to learn about a country and this was no exception. Most of the conversation was about ham radio of course. Thanks to TF3VG, TF3HP, TF3MA, TF3GB and TF3JX.

Hofdi HouseReykjavik had a lot to offer, we went to see city hall, the house of parliament the cathedral and Hofdi House. Here, Michael Gorbatchev and Ronald Reagan held their talks in 1986. All these sights were within walking distance of the hotel. Afterwards we drove to the open air museum on the edge of town. When we left there it was closing time for the museum and time for dinner.

Reykjavik City HallWe make it a point to visit as many Hard Rock Cafe’s as possible. Iceland has just one, it’s located in the Kringla shopping center, so that’s were we went. We left Reykjavik on the morning of the marathon. It was overcast and only 12°C. Before leaving the city we went to a gas station along Seabraut. My mobile antenna attracted the attention of the pump attendant who said he was also a ham, TF3VET.

ThingvellirThingvellir is the place where the European and north-American tectonic plates meet. This place is the continental divide. In old times this was a sacred place where rulers of the old Iceland met. Now it’s used for special celebrations.

The sign says it al... it's HOT, very hot.Next place was Geysir. The volcanic activity of Iceland can be experienced from up close. Several of the pools have hot water pouring out and one of them is a very active geyser called Strokkur. Every few minutes hot steam is blown 10’s of meters in the air.

Strokkur geyser

Another 30 Km of driving brought us in Sydra-Langholt. A guesthouse annex horse farm. After a tour with the horses we were ready for dinner with the family. Johannes, a retired teacher was the perfect host. With worse weather than the previous day we went on our way. Seljalandsfoss along the road north was one of the sights we visited. This waterfall has a path behind the tumbling water, because of the rain the path was very slippery and dangerous. And the weather made the view less spectacular than it could have been.

In Skogar There’s another big waterfall. Legend has it that a chest of gold is buried underneath.... we did not find anything though... Close by is another open air museum we visited this in the short time the weather cleared.

Stormy weatherDyrholaey, near Vik has access to the sea. We just had to get closer to see the strength of nature.

From guesthouse Geirland in Kirkjubaejarklaustur (glad we didn’t have to ask directions) we followed the ring road again to Skafatell. In the visitor center we saw a movie about the volcano that erupted a few years ago. A lot of damage was done to the ring road then and several bridges had to be rebuild.

JokulsarlonThere are also a few hiking trails that take visitors to the edge of the glacier Vatnajokul.

Jokulsarlon is a lake with ‘icebergs’. Big amphibious vehicles make tours of the lake but because of the weather we decided to wait until the next day to go on this trip. We continued to the guesthouse Arnanes in Höfn about 45 minutes further up the road.

Guesthouse ArnanesThis was the only location from where I was able to set up my 10 meter FTT (Fiberglass Telescopic Tower) with wire antenna. At least I could operate indoors for a change instead of the car.

Water is flowing where the road should have been.We booked a snowmobile ride via Internet before we left home and this was the day we would go up the glacier. At sea level it was raining but we were told that ‘up there’ it might be different. So we shelled out and drove to the parking lot at the foot of the mountain. After a while the 4x4 bus arrived and we started the climb to the top. We could hardly see 30 meter and instead of rain we now had hail. We were given special overalls, boots and a helmet and got an explanation about the do’s and don’t ‘s of the snowmobiles.

We just got seated on the snowmobile when a cold and wet feeling came down on us. The overalls were leaking everywhere and we got the freezing cold melting water on our clothes. The ride was in full contrast of what we did on Snæffelsness, we had to at drive 5-10 meter at a slow pace. The bus took us back down. We had some dry clothes in the car and decided that it would be better to change into something dry so we could warm up.
In combination with the glacier tour we had bought tickets for the Jokulsarlon lake tour. This was a short drive along the ring road. However we soon found that the road was blocked near a place where roadwork was being done. The day before there was no problem in driving the short detour but now it was impossible. 4x4 ‘s were driving through deep streaming water but for us, in our ordinary car, there was no way to get to the other side. We turned back and were given a refund without problems. It seemed the lake tours were canceled because of bad weather anyway. Later that evening we saw on the television news that at different places the ring road was swept away by the heavy rain.

Stokksness lighthouse ICE-085We left Höfn via the harbor. I saw two lighthouses that were not on the list yet so, I made notes of their exact location. A few kilometers further is Stokksness, a NATO radar base and lighthouse where we were supposed to see a seal colony. We found no seals there however.

Breidalsvik lighthouseInstead of taking the shortest road to Egilstadir we took the coastal road. I activated 14 lighthouses during this day bringing the complete score for this holiday to 43.

Waiting to board the m/s Norrona.Thursday at 12.00 o’clock the ferry was scheduled to leave Seydisfjordur to bring us back to the mainland in Denmark. The m/s Norrona was late in arriving so with a 4 hour delay we sailed away, back east.

on4bam/mmOnce in open sea we went to dinner. Since I had permission to ‘play radio’ on board I went to the information desk to ask where on the ship I could setup my antenna and radio. The seas were getting very rough so after about 45 minutes I gave up and went to te cabin.

The ‘shack’, a small equipment room used to store tools and maintenance stuff for the ship’s machines

We were still 4 hours late when we arrived in Torshavn the next morning. While loading the crew gained some time and with 3 hours delay we left the Faeroe Islands.

Saturday evening around 8 we docked in Hanstholm. One hour later we drove off the car deck for a 9 hour nonstop ride home.

We once again had visited a country that left strong impressions. A place were people can witness the strength of nature and where it’s not hard to find unspoiled quiet spaces. A place to go back too, but next time, we’ll need a 4x4 :-)

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