A day at sea

March 24.

Breakfast around 8.30am. After breakfast, I inquired at the reception desk to get an opportunity to visit the bridge. Due to the weather conditions, it is not clear whether this will be possible today.

Due to the weather, some of the areas of the ship remain closed and some shelves got wrapped up in the shop.

I spent some time sitting at the open deck in the wind and weather protected space, watching as we passed some oil rigs.

The weather later calmed down as we passed the Shetland Islands – beautiful view with the sun coming through the clouds. And I even got some internet reception from these British islands.

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I enjoyed the day at sea not doing much – free time to read up on Iceland, chill, taking some notes for the blog and listening to music.

Tomorrow morning we will come to the Faroe Islands where I plan to explore the island during the few hours that the ferry will stop there.

Onto the ferry

March 23.

I enjoyed the morning sun at Lokken beach – having my breakfast there in the van. Left around 10am towards the ferry harbor in Hirtshals. I stopped on the way to fill up the tank a last time before sailing to Iceland. Also used the opportunity with Wifi to update the blog.

Finding the ferry terminal was really easy – Hirtshals has a small harbor and following the Smyriline signs took me to the checkin. I was there around 12pm with the ferry scheduled to leave at 3pm. In my queue, cars with height between 1.9m and 2.5m were other vans and some offroad vehicles. I got into chatting with some other drivers during the wait. Parking on the ferry with mirrors folded up was so tight that I had trouble to get our the van with my pack.

On the ferry, I met again some of the drivers – Herbert, a retired German guy traveling with his wife in a restored G class Mercedes with corresponding offroad trailer. He plans to leave the car on Iceland for a year or two and will fly in and out for his trips. He is a world traveler – and has another G class parked in Mongolia waiting for the next trips there in Asia.

James, a British guy traveling with a old Landrover. He is visiting for six weeks – as a professional sailor, he has this time now. He has been transferring sailing yachts all over the world – including a recent trip from Iceland to Norway by sailing boat.

And there is Luise, a German girl traveling with her restored VW T4 for two months in Iceland.

Had my pre booked dinner at 6pm – after realizing that the ship’s time is already on Iceland time, i.e. one timezone to the West. Went for the movie theatre at 8.30pm – finally a chance to see Bohemian Rhapsody. Great movie. The ship increased its rolling in the waves towards the evening – it was a kind of special effects for the movie.

Went to bed around 11pm – not easy to fall asleep since I was rolling back and forth in the bunkbed. Looking forward to tomorrow – a whole day at sea.

Into Denmark

March 22.

I headed out not too late and passed trough the rest of Northern Germany quickly. Stopped in Schleswig-Holstein, the most Northern state, in the little village Fleckeby where I grew up.

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When they write plattdeutsch (local dialect) on the signs… you know you are really North 🙂

That was also an opportunity to give it a try with the drone – thank you Lars for borrowing this gadget!

This is the low resolution video that is captured directly on the phone during flight. Not too spectacular, but I am excited to try this in Iceland vastness.

I continued through Denmark to the town of Løkken at the sea.

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Tomorrow is just about 1h drive left to the ferry terminal.

Going North – To Iceland!

March 21.

Since I returned from the trip through Spain and Portugal, I have been looking forward to the next journey. The idea has been growing to discover Iceland – right now, at the end of winter. I will be driving about 1200km to Hirtshals in Denmark and take the ferry from there to Iceland. I plan to drive the ring road around the Island. I expect wide and open landscapes, lots of snowy hills and mountains, glaciers, waterfalls… and of course hotpots to soak in!

I left around 2pm, made good progress driving North through Germany. I made about 500km until 7pm. Found a nice remote spot for the van next to a small lake for the night.
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Checking the Iceland weather on their very useful Vegagerdin app, the road conditions have turned bad within the last hours.

 

The red roads are closed for traffic due to weather conditions. While it is normal that the mountain roads in the middle of the island are closed in winter, the once marked with the yellow bubble are actually part of the popular ring road.

I am really excited to see how the weather turns out once I arrive in Iceland. The ferry going via Faroer Islands is nearly a 3 days trip.