nostromos bLog






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  `-bruxelles_07 (8)
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  `-iceland_10 (14)
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07(03), 06(03), 05(02), 04(02), 03(02)
12(02), 11(01), 10(08), 09(03), 07(17), 06(01), 05(04), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(06)
12(05), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(02), 07(04), 06(01), 05(02), 04(03), 03(02), 02(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(02), 09(09), 08(16), 07(02), 06(03), 05(04), 04(03), 02(03), 01(02)
12(03), 11(01), 10(02), 09(01), 08(23), 07(03), 06(02), 05(01), 04(02), 03(02)
12(03), 11(02), 10(01), 09(01), 08(23), 05(02)
09(04), 08(01), 06(01), 05(02), 04(02), 03(01), 02(01)
11(01), 10(02), 09(15), 08(01), 07(02), 06(04), 04(12), 01(06)
12(05), 11(01), 10(06), 09(12), 08(02), 07(02), 06(01), 05(01), 04(10), 02(01), 01(05)
12(02), 08(01), 07(15), 06(02), 05(03), 02(02), 01(03)
12(05), 11(01), 07(24), 06(06), 05(03), 04(02), 01(01)
12(01), 11(01), 10(07), 09(01), 08(04), 07(05), 06(04), 05(06), 04(01), 03(04), 02(06), 01(04)
12(04), 11(02), 10(03), 09(04), 08(03), 07(04), 04(01)
07(01), 05(01)
08(01)
10(01)

Sun, 26 Sep 2010
iceland, day 14 (0 comments)
our last day in iceland. too sad. but we had a very good start as there was a cute cat[01-03] in the hostel. it was happy to get cuddles and caresses. and we were happily providing that. then we headed towards reykjavík. the town was quite the opposite of what we expected. there were hardly any cars or people. so we walked pretty alone on the streets of the capital of iceland. we found beautiful graffiti[08-19,23], strange shops[07,22,25], strange bars[07,20-21], and a few cats[26-28,66-69,87-89]. maunz.
we came by hallgrimskirkja[31-44], a quite extraordinary church, and a pretty big one too. so far we always found small, or very small churches. then we had a break to have some coffee or hot chocolate in a cafe[45] right next to the church.
after a nice stroll around another part of the city we came to the town hall[70] which has a big park[51-52] and a pond[53-55] in front of it, home to a lot of poultry[56-65], like seagulls, ducks, geese, and swans. a few people were there, feeding them. and a cute black cat[66-69] was there too, also trying to get some food and attention. we - once more - provided the latter.
next we decided to go the zoo, since it was sunday and all shops were closed. there we could finally see seals[71-73,83-86] from close up. the zoo actually was, like reykjavík itself, very small and did not house many animals. but they had a very cute polar fox[80-82], a reindeer[77-79], and a cat[87-89,93]. a pretty cheeky one, actually. during the feeding time of the seals, the cat climbed over the fence and waited behind the animal trainer to get a fish from the full bucket. as the trainer at first didn't notice the cat, it then began to meow. finally getting hold of the trainer's attention, the cat got some fish. nomnom. as soon as all the fish were being fed to the seals, the cat was gone too. in the meantime it had started to rain again. so we had a closer look to a house that was meant for kids we guessed. inside they had a lot of fun stuff, like a place where one could make huge soap bubbles[90], a tangram[91] game, big fish tanks with crustaceans and fish, and other cool stuff[92].
as the rain got more, we decided to go and clean our car before we have to return it the next day in the morning. gas stations there provide nice equipment like a pressure washer trigger guns with a scrub brush, for free use. also they had the usual vacuum cleaners, like they have in every country. they, of course, were coin operated. but after about half an hour the car was cleaner than ever before (in fact, i'm really not sure if it was as clean as when we got it). we also examined the car paintwork for dents and small scratches. but i guess we didn't add any new damage to the surface. good. it already got dark when we got back to njarðvík to the same hostel we have been at on the first day of our trip. it ends, where it started. again, no one was there, and again we used the telephon at the reception to book our room. funnily enough, we even got the same room number again - eight. we were pretty surprised we made a good estimation of all the stuff we needed during the trip. we didn't leave behind much stuff for other travellers (usually in each hostel there's a shelf for stuff that is not needed anymore, and thus free to use for anyone in need of the stuff available). tomorrow we have to return the car, get on the plane, fly to helsinki, to finally land in munich again several hours later, again hopping from timezone to timezone. i'm actually looking forward to the moomin shop at helsinki airport. cute trolls, maybe i buy some stuff there... let's see. iceland is still as fascinating and pretty as i remembered it. the landscapes, flora and fauna provoked a constant level of awe overload. nature's most wildest place i've ever been to i guess. always windy, sometimes even pretty stormy, bleak regions, rough mountain landscapes, and - luckily only on the last few days - heavy rain showers. pristine nature and unique sceneries. to sum it up: recommendable to a high degree, or actually... a definite must see. thanks also to my travelling companion ninsti[87]. it really was a very wonderful trip...

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Sat, 25 Sep 2010
iceland, day 13 (0 comments)
penultimate day in iceland, and it finally started to rain. according to the weather forecast this should have already taken place over one week ago (so, actually on day one). but we were lucky so far, so no complaining about really heavy rain showers. also, our first stop was skogafoss[002-007]. really bad conditions for our cameras. the spray of the waterfall and the really heavy rain. and although we both had water proof jackets and trousers the humidity got underneath the clothes and affected our cameras. so we avoided taking out the camera to take pictures as much as possible. too bad, because skogafoss was really an impressive and wonderful waterfall. next stop was another waterfall, namely seljalandsfoss[007]. less spectacular, still very nice and definitely worth the stop. after break at an N1 gas station and a N1 burger we drove to another waterfall. this one was called urriðafoss[010-018]. in the meantime the weather has gotten way better. no heavy rain any more.
next stop was the must-see touristy place called "geyser". i do still remember it as a very stinky place because of all the sulphur in the ground. this actually hasn't changed at all. but the rest has: there were now souvenir shops, a gas station, some hotels, a restaurant, and other things especially built for tourists at this place. good thing: the entrance to the geothermal fields was still free. there were some smaller geysers[020-023,052-062], and the big one, which erupts[024-051,076-085] approximately every 15 minutes. once it does, it takes only a few seconds and the show is over again. a huge hot water fountain of around 20 metres of height shot up into the sky with each eruption. was quit hard to guess when it starts at first. but by the time we could easily predict it and thus take pictures at the right time to capture this awesome event. there's also a strange flora[088-090] in the small sulphur rivulets.
the area[063-075] around the geysers was deep red and pretty muddy. so our shoes were all covered with the red clay. we also found a ladder that helped us to get over the fence around the geyser area. so we took a short walk up a little hill that provided us with an awesome overview of the area there. autumn already started to paint the landscape. all the deciduous trees gave a really wonderful view.
as we got thrown out of the souvenir shop there as it was already closing, we got on the car and headed for the next waterfall, gullfoss[093-122]. another very big and impressive one. there were several "platforms" around the waterfall. one was actually off the usual visitor's path but we decided to go there anyway. so we climbed over the cordoning and got pretty close to the waterfall[099-105]. then we went back again to see also the rest. this was actually one of the rare times when there were also more people around. same with the geothermal area around the geysers. but that was good practice for the days when we get back to crowded places again. after all we're heading for reykjavík, the capital of iceland. so we actually expect a lot of people there.
it already was dark outside, so we headed to selfoss to get a room in a hostel there. on our way there we suddenly noticed the dark sky turned orange. it was also pretty foggy and it just had started to rain again, so this looked really strange at first. we soon found out it was one of the glass houses[123-127], we have already seen several times near geothermal fields, but so far only during the day. they are heated with the steam from hot springs. and during the night they are all lit up as it seems. after a long day we finally arrived at the hostel. we both were pretty tired and got to sleep soon.

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Fri, 24 Sep 2010
iceland, day 12 (0 comments)
for starters today, two unnamed waterfalls[008,011-021] and a good-morning troll[019]. next we crossed a lava desert covered with moss[022-038]. absolutely strange landscape. very soft to step on, you almost bounce on the moss.
next we came to vík í mýrdal[039-064], the southernmost village in iceland. right next to the center is the reynisfjara[040-064] beach, a black pebble beach. the sea was rough and there were pretty big waves. yet i thought it's save to walk along the beach, as i clearly saw how far the flotsam (and thus the water) usually got. but my observation had a flaw, because for one moment, when i was distracted, a big wave flooded the place where i was standing[051]. of course this was the only spot the water got that far on the beach, and of course it didn't happen again at the time being at the beach. i think i can consider myself very very lucky. i put off my totally wet shoes[052,064]. of course there were trolls[040-041,050,057,058]. according to a folk tale the three trolls were caught by sunlight when they tried to pull a ship to land. poor trolls, but i guess those bastards are responsible for my wet trouser legs and shoes. rumour has it, the beach is one of the ten most beautiful beaches on earth, and vík is the wettest place in iceland.
back to the car we were heading for the campsite þakgil. on the way there we found an abandoned small village[065-082,139-140]. the guidebook it was most likely some film set once. metal hooks in the ground made this sound pretty plausible. in any way, it was a wonderful place with an awesome overview[068,071,073,077,083-084,140] of the surrounding area. heading on to the camping site we crossed the - to me - most beautiful place[087-116] in iceland i have seen so far (of course again with trolls[074-075,085-086,111] along the road).
also we had to cross our first ford[115]. just a small one, but yet, pretty exciting if our little toyota would make it through the small rivulet. also we were concerned if we would get back again, since it was raining and the water level might rise too much, so our car wont make it another time. but we took the risk and it was worth it. our guidebook already told us the campsite has a heatable lava cave[125,128-129,132] and an abri[128,132] for grilling. since the camping site was already closed for winter we were - once more - they only ones there (besides the obligatory sheep group of three, of course). we guessed this must be a great place to camp or stay in one of the huts[117-118,126-127,133] available there. also the swings[120-123] were great - hehe.
on our way back we enjoyed the small abandoned village we already came by earlier again. it's really impressive and so awesome to be all alone in this landscape[140] :) but by now it already got pretty late and we still had to get to a hostel. we decided to spend the night in the HI hostel in vík. so we drove back there, booked a double room, and drove on to the cliffs of cape dyrhólaey[141-146] with a lighthouse[144,146] nearby. the gravel road that leads there was one of the most bumpy ones we've seen so far. pretty shaky. but the sea in the twilight was amazing. also the sound was, as usual, overwhelming.
pretty late we got back to the hostel. what a wonderful day.

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Thu, 23 Sep 2010
iceland, day 11 (0 comments)
day 11 started very good: when we checked out from the hostel, guess who was there waiting for us outside on a bench. the tomcat[001-008] of course, looking for someone to pet him again. so lovely and cute... it was hard but we finally bid farewell and got on the car to drive[009-012] to some nearby beach with a huge rock, which most likely was just another troll[013-025] that had turned to stone because sunlight hit it. a lot of seagulls where there too because there was a nesting place right there.
we then drove on when we spotted some old abandoned small houses next to the road. so we stopped and went there. it turns out the small huts were actually stalls, for sheeps most likely. around the area[029-063] we found a lot of great things like an old rusty car[038-045], old farmer's machinery[053-062], and all kind of bottles[044-045]. we really enjoyed this place. but it should get even better... ninsti liked those ducks[082,103-105] (or swans?) very much, and there was a place where there were hundreds of them spread all over some lake (or fjord?). so we stopped again. while ninsti enjoyed the living animals, i found loads of dead ones[066-086]. it turned out to be almost some kind of duck cemetery there - death in all it's beauty. also, close by was a small group of huts[087-093] which we examined more closely. their roofs were covered with grass and from the backside they are really hard to spot because they perfectly fit into the surrounding.
then we drove on to the þórbergssetur museum[110-111]. þórbergssetur was a writer and the outside of the museum is a huge line of books with all his titles. very nice idea and also pretty impressive. at the museum cafe we took a short break and had a cup of coffee. then we drove on, around the vatnajökull[106-107,109,113,184-188] glacier, europe's biggest icefield. pretty impressive. but it should get even better...
we soon came to a bridge that brought us over a river flowing from the end of the glacier to the sea. it carried massive icebergs[114-183]. an absolutely amazing, impressive, and remarkable place. ninsti had to go back to the car twice to copy the files from her camera's memory card to her laptop to make place for new pictures. and also i took a massive amount of pictures. besides the icebergs there were also seagulls and seals flying and swimming around the huge masses of ice. jökulsárlón is definitely a place to see.
it was hard to leave this awesome place, but we had to, as dusk was already falling and we still had to get to a accommodation. we found one in hvoll, the biggest hostel we've been to so far. it reminded us more of a hotel rather than a hostel. large corridors, several kitchens, and a huge mess room. puh, we are not used to that...

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Wed, 22 Sep 2010
iceland, day 10 (0 comments)
another day dedicated to covering distance. so there are only this day not much happened. we got up, had breakfast, checked out from the hostel, put our stuff into the car, had a look at the area[01-04] around the hostel (since it was dark when we arrived the day before). the huge ferry[05] was still there. then we drove on southwards (since we arrived at the eastern part of iceland). we stopped at a beach[06-16] which we thought would be as pretty as all the other ones we've seen so far. but unfortunately this one was pretty dirty[12-13]. so we drove on, came by a house with loads of garden gnomes[17] in the front yard, a huge metal factory[19], and cafe "margret" [23-24] where ninsti had a greek salad and cake, and i had a coffee and also delicious cake - nomnom. also the interior was very exquisite. the owner was a german lady which we had a nice talk with.
then we drove on to berunes where we decided to stay at a HI hostel this night. they had a lovely tomcat[25-28] there with really huge paws, always purring, always looking for someone to pet him. in that case, that someone was us - meow. also there was a little church[29-31] and a cemetery[29-30,32-33] right next to the hostel.
since there was still bright sunlight, we went down to the nearby beach[34-57]. we found a wonderful place[48-54] underneath the cliffs where there was total silence. no sound of wind, no sound of the sea - nothing. very impressive. also, as it was totally windless, it was pretty warm. ah, and we saw another cute troll[51].

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Tue, 21 Sep 2010
iceland, day 09 (0 comments)
another day dedicated to covering distance. so there are only two highlights for today (although the landscapes are an on lasting highlight every kilometre you drive further around this great country). first one was dettifoss[02-24]. dettifoss is the biggest waterfall in europe (in terms of volume discharge), and the waterfall is around 100 metres in length and the water falls down for approximately 44 metres. again there's so much spray everywhere and it's so loud and impressive. dettifoss is also famous for the double rainbows[11,13-14,17-20] due to the plume of spray. we were lucky and the sun came out for a few minutes, so we could witness the double rainbow.
then we drove on and had to go over some high pass. we got pretty near to snowfields. as i wanted to have a snowball fight with ninsti from the first day on, this was the perfect chance. so we stopped in the middle of nowhere[31,35] and headed towards a small snowfield. but it was big enough to have loads of snowball fun[32-34] - yippieh! just for the record: ninsti won, but only because she was a little sick, so i was gentle and did not rub snow in her face. well... but she did. of course.
later that day we arrived in seyðisfjörður, a small bay with a bigger harbour. at the hostel we got the last free room, as there just arrived a ferry. puh, lucky us. we rarely have seen so many people in one hostel. pretty unusual.

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Mon, 20 Sep 2010
iceland, day 08 (0 comments)
ninsti absolutely wanted to do some whale watching, and today was the day. so we got to the harbour and bought two tickets. then we got on a boat and started the whale watching tour[001-029]. we left the bay and were navigating out to the open sea. we got some special clothing[013,021] to keep our bodies warm and dry. the wind got really cold on the open sea, and also the weather was not so good. nonetheless ninsti and i had pretty much fun in the front of the deck. there was the most action with boat rocking, almost like on a roller coaster. while we had a lot of fun the other attendants sat around on the boat, it seemed like some of them got a little sea sick. others seemed a little bored. so we navigated for about two hours and still had not seen a single whale. there was a french researcher on board too, who climbed the lookout[007,011,014], and also kept looking for whales. in vain. unlucky us[025]. the tour guide served hot chocolate, and we had a nice chat with christian (he is german), our tour guide. he was quite surprised we still had loads of fun on the boat, even without any whales, while the rest of the crew got rather frustrated and/or pissed off. so, although we didn't see any whale, we had a nice (but pretty expensive) boat trip. the tour guide told us, we can come back any time with the ticket and get another free ride, since this rarely happens that there is not a single whale around. we were happy, and now have a good reason to come back to húsavík. one more good thing: we now know that we do not get sea sick (easily), as the boat trip was quite shaky.
next we wanted to pay a visit to the phallological museum[032-033] in húsavík. we have already planned that weeks ago. but, again we were out of luck, as it was already closed. poor us. no whales, no phalli. so we drove on and soon came to a geothermal power plant in bjarnaflag[041-083]. the ground was really warm and all over the place was a sulfur stench. it also seemed to me that i was on some foreign planet with all the steam clouds and the strange colour mixture of the earth, the water, and the sky. also the steam exhausting from the power station was making a lot of noise. this place was really impressive.
we didn't know that it would get even more strange. we just passed a little hill and got to another very weird place, namely hverir[086-130], a place with some big sulfuric fields with geothermal activity and mud pots.
next our guidebook suggested we go to the grjótagjá[131-141] rift. there's also a little cave with hot water along the rift. the lava ground around the area is craggy and quite fun to walk around it. after enjoying the warm air inside the cave we drove on and entered birkiland[142-143], a small strange area full of birch trees, most likely planted by someone to build this little place.
after leaving[144] birkiland, our next planned stop was dimmuborgir[145-182], the land of dark castles. and trolls. we decided to take the small round through the area since it was already a little late. we almost finished it, when we decided to take a different route as shown on a map. we thought this would be a shortcut, leading us directly to the exit. so we took this path. at one point the path split up and we thought both of them would show us the way to the exit. so ninsti took one path and i took the other one. well, so far what we thought... in fact we were led astray by a troll that somehow must have manipulated the map signs. because instead of taking a shortcut, we walked deeper into the dimmuborgir area. no people, no ninsti, not even the slightest sound. i was totally alone. it was an amazing experience in this awesome landscape. only once i could hear a crow. after walking for quite a long time i crossed the road we initially wanted to take, and headed for the exit. worryingly i was the first at the car, although i followed a dead-end path when we split up. so i thought ninsti was always in front of me and should have arrived prior to me. now i got a little worried, and walked to the nearby closed cafe, where they had a nice platform with a good view over a small part of the entire dimmuborgir area. i shouted, and whistled, but no answer. i waited and waited, and finally... ninsti also arrived at the car. what a relieve. ninsti accidentally took the wrong turn at the crossing point from our supposedly shortcut with the small round path. so she added a few extra kilometres to the dimmuborgir hike. i still think all this was done by a troll[154,179]. happy that we got out there safe, we decided to get to the next hostel.
it was already dark when we arrived at the HI hostel in kópasker. but they had a cat (yippieh!) and a very friendly and nice hostel owner who offered his huge collection of books and CDs to all the hostel guests in a big lounge. really a great hostel.

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Sun, 19 Sep 2010
iceland, day 07 (0 comments)
first thing we did today, after having a breakfast, packing the stuff, checking out of the hostel, and bringing our stuff to the car, was going down to nearby beach[001-011] to see the seal colony[013-014,066-075,078-079]. there really have been a lot of the seals, lying around. and close to the colony was a huge and impressive petrified troll[004-005,040-042,044-046,048-049,055,060,065,076].
another thing i noticed was the huge amount of dead creatures like jellyfish[007-010,022-023,025-026], birds[027-032,034-037,082], and others[019,033,038-039,059].
then we got on the car and found the gas tank to be pretty empty once more. it's really hard to do a good calculation of how far you get with tank contents. but we made it to the next gas station again. and again we were really close to an empty gas tank. fully refueled we drove on to blönduós. our guidebooks said there's an extraordinary church[088-094] there, so we headed towards the big building in blönduós that had a big stone cross on the green. unfortunately the church was closed, but it really looked different on the outside from what i knew about churches. after another free coffee at N1 we headed towards akureyri[123-125]. we especially loved the heart shaped red traffic light. very, very cute.
next sight we had planned to see today was goðafoss[135-161], a big waterfall. since the sun had already set and it got darker and darker we were the only ones at the waterfall. another very impressive waterfall. so loud, so full of spray, so full of power. it is said, that at this location iceland's law speaker had thrown statues of his former god into the river and the people of iceland converted to catholicism.
it was already late when we drove on to húsavík. there was no HI hostel, so we read in our "lonely-planet" guidebook to find a good and cheap accommodation. we found a guesthouse in the center of a housing estate. it was run by an old couple. very nice people actually. in the garage the old man had a huge motorcycle. right next to the garage with the motorcycle was our room and the shower. pretty strange alignment of the rooms. unfortunately they had no cat there in the guesthouse.

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Sat, 18 Sep 2010
iceland, day 06 (0 comments)
day 06 was even more dedicated to covering distance than the day before. so we were driving along the northern coast of iceland all day long. hm... we didn't even stop for a waterfall once. wow. but we had to stop for sheeps[07-10] and horses[18-20].
the former because they were collected from all over the region to one central place where they later on get split up again, according to their label. this way each farmer gets back their sheeps again (if they had not died somewhere in the rugged landscape). so we witnessed a small sheep drive, where people on horses and with dogs collected all the sheeps.
next was again a lot of driving, driving, and driving. we decided to go to vatnsnes to spend the night in a HI hostel. a few kilometres away from the hostel we saw a sign next to the road that had a seal on it. we stopped there, as our guidebooks said this is a good area for seal watching. so we got off the car, explored the local beach[41-83] there. it took us quite a while, but then we finally spotted one - a seal[80-81]. oooooh, sooooo cute. at first only i spotted it and told ninsti, but the seal had gone underwater pretty quick. thus ninsti didn't believe me at first, but then, after quite a while it came back, just as we had already decided to leave again. what a smart animal.
shortly after that we arrived at the hostel, and the lady at the reception told us that right close to the hostel there's an even better place for seal watching, since there are hundreds of them lying around. oooh, if only we had known! but we will go there tomorrow, that's for sure. totally awesome things we spotted that evening/night: a calico cat and - again - northern lights! so absolutely wonderful...

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Fri, 17 Sep 2010
iceland, day 05 (0 comments)
this day was a day mainly dedicated to covering some distance and getting on. but of course we stopped at a waterfall[001-010] not far from our hostel for a little warm-up. though an unnamed one, it was also impressive (as all the other waterfalls too). our way led us away from the coast and fjords over passes[014-033] again, on red roads[015,020-024].
we also had to pass through a single lane tunnel. it was pretty long and for the oncoming traffic there were turnouts every few hundred metres. funny thing is, we were pretty much the only ones going the eastward direction, while loads of cars (for iceland that makes a sum of around four) where driving westward. but we had the lane that always had the right of way. hehe. at the foot of a plateau we had a planned stop for the dynjandi waterfall[042-116]. ok, there is an increase in impressiveness for the waterfalls, from time to time. this one definitely is one example. actually dynjandi is more a collection of waterfalls. five smaller ones and a very big one at the top, where one has to do a little climbing to get up there. but it definitely is worth every effort one has to undergo to get up there. the cascades[092-108] are totally awesome. as always, we were totally alone up there (although some english guy[086] started to go up there too with us, but he soon gave up to climb all the way up - poor him, he really missed the greatest part of that site). a fact i really appreciate a lot.
for the rest of the day we were driving again. passing sheeps, passes, and fjords again, heading for the HI hostel in korpudalur. when we arrived, a family now living in the house told us the hostel had closed for winter break on the 15th of september. so we were two days late - damn. but the people now living in the hostel (i think they spend the winter there to keep the house in good shape) phoned some nearby accommodations.
very nice of them, but we decided to drive to ísafjörður (since we also needed an ATM, which is hard to come by in iceland, food and a gas-station). once more it got pretty close with the gas, but again we made it - lucky us. ísafjörður is a really huge town (around 3500 people), and i also spotted a black cat on our way from the car to the reception of the hostel. a good place to stay. as there were not many guests, we even got the six-bed room just for the two of us, so plenty of space for us.

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Thu, 16 Sep 2010
iceland, day 04 (0 comments)
day 04 started with a good breakfast at the hostel, then going on in our circular, clockwise round trip around the island. soon we stopped again to find a beautiful small river[005-025]. of course there were sheeps, the living[004] and the dead[009-010,019-022] ones. they are everywhere, and almost always in groups of three. this has always been this way, also already 15 years ago - just the way i remembered it. maeeeeh. actually it's quite amazing how good they can walk the grounds and climb up high mountains. quite often you see three small white (or black) spots in a very steep mountain side.
next we came to a emergency hut[065-077] on a mountain pass. the box was mounted with screws and steel-strings to the ground, so i guess this one is really a safe place, no matter what's happening outside, be it a storm, heavy snowfall, hail, rain, etc. since it was no emergency, we decided to not stay in this box for this night, but rather go on.
you see waterfalls everywhere here in iceland. another beautiful (though unnamed) one we spotted was this one[080-094]. there was also a place to rest there with benches and a table, and since the weather was fine and the sun was shining, we decided to have a break there and grab some food[099-100]. after passing by a strange statue[104] we soon found another unnamed waterfall[109-133]. again pretty impressive and of course beautiful.
it already got a little dark when, on our way to our next hostel, we found an outdoor swimming pool[145-150]. steam going up from the water surface we assumed it was filled with water from a hot spring. so we stopped the car and soon found the source[147] of it. since the natural hot pot was quite small we decided to jump into the pool. the water was warm, the wind outside was cold, but it was superb and wonderful. we were in there for almost half an hour, and only one car passed by. so we were totally alone (once more) and could enjoy the surrounding and the hot spring water.
after the refreshing bath we drove on to bildudalur, where we spent the night at another HI hostel.

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Wed, 15 Sep 2010
iceland, day 03 (0 comments)
today morning ninsti told me she has seen a little cat in front of our hostel. unfortunately i was still brushing teeth while she already packed the car with our luggage, so i didn't see it. too sad - maunz. it didn't take long until we spotted another waterfall[006-029] where we stopped to explore it and take pictures. then we drove on to ólafsvík where there was a bigger church[032-035].
driving on we drove through the glacier area around snæfellsjökull [036-045], a nearly endless area with extrusive rocks covered with moss and short grass. saxhólar[046-057], a small volcano crater which one can climb, was our next stop.
skaðsvík[059-077] a wonderful beach was our next unplanned stop. since there was almost no wind in the small bay it got pretty warm. we even took off our shoes[067-075]. as usually we were totally alone again, enjoying the wonderful beach. i also found an alien egg shaped stone[076-077].
our first planned stop was svörtuloft[081-106], a cliff where birds, such as puffins and seagulls, use to build their nests and breed. unfortunately the puffins were already gone (as always). i wonder if i will ever see one in real one day. so, besides a lot of bird shit, wind, spray, and a wonderful lighthouse, there was not much else at the cliffs of svörtuloft. nonetheless, a very nice and impressive place (but i guess that is for every little spot in iceland)!
next signposted sight was fálki[107-150], a place full of ruins, a water well, and another lighthouse.
when we left the place we soon found two hitchhikers along the road. they were a belgian couple hiking through iceland. so we took them with us for quite a while. on our ongoing trip we came by malariff[153-154], a lighthouse in the shape of a rocket, lóndrangar[155], two huge stone columns, which are said to be elven churches. unfortunately there was no road that got us closer to the rocks. we dropped off the two hikers at a N1 gas-station. N1 stations are all over the country and we usually take a coffee break at them, because on the airplane there was a brochure giving away coupons for free coffee. we collected some of them. at the station there was also a map of the nearby area, and we found a hostel on the map. since it was very close we decided to go there. but when we got there we just found a house with some people in there. we were pretty surprised when the lady who opened the door told us that this map might have been a little outdated, since there is no hostel any more for more than ten years now. hehe. oh well... so we drove on to stykkishólmur to another HI hostel.

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Tue, 14 Sep 2010
iceland, day 02 (0 comments)
after getting up on day 02 we drove to a shop to get some things we would need like food, some plastic dishes and cups, and other stuff that might turn out useful on our trip. then we found a lovely place[001-030] near the sea where we had breakfast. there was pretty strong wind and a lot of seagulls[024-030]. they found a place of endless food it seems, since there was a spot where the sewage was pumped right into the sea. stinky, but the gulls liked it.
then we headed towards snæfellsnes. on our way there we passed a small church with a cemetery[032-038], stopped at a beach[058-078], had a strange encounter with psycho-horses (some were staring all the time, some were trying to chew our windscreen wiper jet washer, while others were sneaking around at the back of our car - no idea what they did there. so we tried to break free when we were surrounded by the horses. bad thing was, this street was a dead-end street. so we had to pass them by once more. another strange thing we encountered was spindrift[102-109] due to the heavy wind. small lakes beside the road spread their spray all over the street.
we had a break at another beach[113-144] again. i had troubles opening the door of the car since the wind was so heavy. again a lot of spray on the sea, resulting in lovely rainbows on top of the waves[120,124-126,129].
we saw a lovely waterfall from the street so we left the main and took a gravel road to get as close to it as possible. at the end of the road we found old vehicles[151-155] like a volvo and a digger. then we headed on to the waterfall[156-168]. it already got late and the sun set[169-173]. we ended up in grundarfjörður where we got to a hostel. again there was no one at the reception but a phone to call some guy again. we did so and got our keys. unfortunately the doors to the rooms lock once you close them. and of course ninsti and i both ended up being outside of our room with the key inside the room while we were cooking dinner. so we had to call the guy again with a "those stupid tourists"-look on his face. surprising wonderful thing we saw that night: northern lights - yippieh! i was chasing them on my sweden trip and it took ages until i first saw them and here it already happens on the second day. so wonderful.

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Mon, 13 Sep 2010
iceland, day 01 (0 comments)
after a stop in helsinki (+1 hour) and all together eight hours of travelling, we - ninsti [33] and me - arrived at kevlavik international airport in iceland (-2 hours) at around 17:00 o'clock. there we fetched our car from the car-rental desk and packed our stuff into a lovely little golden toyota yaris. ninsti totally liked the colour, i would have preferred black i guess. since the journey so far was pretty strenuous and we didn't get any sleep on the train from vienna/linz to munich because of totally uncomfortable seats in the compartment we decided to go to njarðvík[01-04] and get a hostel there to get some decent sleep. the reception of the hostel was closed, but there was a phone next to it with a button labeled "reception", which automagically dials some number. on the other end of the line a lady was telling us we can have room number eight, she will be at the hostel shortly. great. so we put our stuff into room number eight, grabbed our cameras and were strolling around the harbour[05-47], which is just opposite the hostel, and njarðvík city[48-60].
later the lady showed up at the reception and convinced us to get a hostelling-international membership, since there are about 36 hostels all over the island and as a member you get rooms cheaper. so we bought it and already got our first discount on the first room. nice. the room was fine and we both went to bed pretty early.
after 15 years i'm back again to iceland. i wonder how much it had changed...

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