Page 5 of stephenturner Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Iceland » South » Vík October 11th 2009

10:00PM As predicted, the ducks turned up around 9.30 looking for food, and the world appeared to be heading back to normality after the storm (talking to various people since, these storms happen a couple of times a year, though not with quite the same ferocity). Not long after the ducks had waddled back to the pond, we were on the road. The landscape had completely changed from a couple of days before, the wind and rain wiping out the snow and ice that had covered the ground for miles around, showing the miles and miles of lava fields that had been sitting beneath. The whole area had been farming land until 1783, when the nearby volcano Laki erupted in catastrophic fashion, destroying the whole area, killing up to 25% of the population and 80% of ... read more
Above Skogafoss

Europe » Iceland » South October 10th 2009

Day 11: 10th October 2009 9:10 AM I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of nothing. No howling winds that had battered us for the previous 30 hours or so, just a quiet calm. I’m not sure if it was the silence that woke me up, but it was the first thing I noticed. I didn’t write a song in the end last night, but John did beat me at chess and we whiled the night away playing games, reading books and eating. It was quiet, but pleasant. This morning it is as still as when I woke up at whatever silly hour it was, and the stillness was also the first thing John and Lyndsey commented on when they got up. Losing a day shouldn’t be a major problem for us, ... read more

Europe » Iceland » South October 9th 2009

Day 10: 9th October 2009 6:40 PM It’s difficult to describe just how strong the winds have been today, but I’ll give it a go. The ducks on the pond outside were blown sideways this morning and disappeared not long after. The pond itself resembles a particularly stormy ocean, the wind whipping up waves that crash against the sides. Even the sheep, those most hardened of weather-beaten animals, have taken refuge outside the front door of the hostel where they are sheltered from the worst of the wind. Perhaps the best way to describe its power, though, is by describing the waterfall in the distance, which appears to actually be travelling upwards, or at least it has stopped and the water is doing nothing more than spraying about at the top. After our cup of tea ... read more

Europe » Iceland » South October 9th 2009

Day 10: 9th October 2009 1:30 PM After a week of fairly good, if cold weather, with only the odd exception, Iceland has today given us a taste of the unpredictable extremes that we had read about. The winds that seemed pretty strong when they cracked Lyndsey’s head against the car door last night were, it seems, just the beginning. After arriving back at the hostel last night, we decided to make tea out of the leftover remains of everything else we had bought, mainly because we were heading back to Reykjavik after this, stopping for a night in Vik to break up the journey, so it seemed wise to use it all up. As a result, dinner ended up as a traditional Icelandic/English/Chinese soup/stew, which tasted much better than it sounds. Three Americans, Joe, Lesley ... read more
The Pond Looks Stormy
The Sign on the Door
Playing the Organ in the Hostel

Europe » Iceland » South October 8th 2009

10:15 PM There was no big rush for the shower this morning like there was in Vik. There are five people staying in Hvoll, including us, meaning we are actually outnumbered by bathrooms. This meant that this morning I was able to shower and shave without the pressure of thinking that I need to move quickly just in case somebody had to miss a bus or something just because I wanted to be clean. Not that anybody would be catching a bus from Hvoll, as it was a good 5km or so to walk to the main road, after which they would probably need to hitch a lift if they didn’t want to spend the rest of the day walking to the nearest bus stop. The plan for today was to drive out to Skaftafell national ... read more
The Beginnings of the Glacier
Twisted Metal

Europe » Iceland » South October 7th 2009

10:00 PM A strange thing happened last night. We were just cooking our tea, having finally got into the kitchen around 9.30, when a bearded bloke came up to me and said “Excuse me, are you from Wolverhampton?” I was slightly confused as to how he might know this, so I gave him a look that said “Yes. Explain” and started chatting to him. It turns out that he is a friend of a friend of mine called Dan who I have met a few times. The last time I saw him I don’t think he had the beard, or at least he was in the early stages of bushy growth, which I count as a reasonable excuse for not recognising him until he actually told me who he was. It’s strange how we can come ... read more
The Beach at Vik
The Hostel in Vik
Lyndsey Wears an Animal

Europe » Iceland » South » Vík October 6th 2009

8:20 PM By the time the car had crossed the south coast’s flat plains, gradually moved in an upward direction and then back down a steep slope into Vik, it was starting to get dark. We quickly checked into the hostel, which was more like a family guesthouse on the hill, and went straight out for a walk into the town before the light completely failed. The others seemed a bit dubious of going out for a walk at first, mainly because the howling winds seemed to be threatening to rip the hostel away from its hillside residence, but I think we all silently agreed that if that did happen, it was probably best if we were elsewhere at the time. On the way down, we took the main path that we had driven up, crossed ... read more
A View of the Town from the Beach
Looking Windswept

Europe » Iceland » South » Vík October 6th 2009

8:20 PM Whenever we have been off on trips to foreign parts in the past, we have always made the best use of the public transport available, mainly, across Europe, the formerly bargainous Inter Rail tickets which enable us to jump on a train anywhere in Europe and jump off anywhere we want (I say formerly bargainous because the price shoots up once you hit the age of 26, and the collapse of Sterling against the Euro in the last 12 months has now made it doubly expensive). The problem with Iceland is that there aren’t any trains; the landscape doesn’t make building them particularly easy or cheap, and given the population of the island outside of Reykjavik, it almost doesn’t seem worth the effort. The lack of trains meant that if we wanted to go ... read more
The Travel Bible Guides Us
Cruising on the Highway
Good Warning Again

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík October 5th 2009

Day 6: 5th October 2009 11:15 PM The ferry trip back to Þorlákshöfn was calm and we cruised into the dock bang on time, which is more than can be said of the bus back to Reykjavik, which appeared to have been hijacked by a loony bus driver that insisted on getting us back at twice the speed, whether that meant that we bounced around for the entire journey or not. Once back in Reykjavik, we tried soup of the day (broccoli) in the sheep’s head cafe, which was surprisingly good, and not something I would have considered eating at home, then headed to the hostel. Reykjavik still had the same below-freezing temperatures as when we had left a couple of days before, but now the sun was gone and the arctic winds back. Once we ... read more
Writing the Travel Journal
John Relaxes at City Hostel
Bank in a Snowstorm

Europe » Iceland » South » Vestmannaeyjar October 5th 2009

9:30 AM The trip back down from the volcano was a particularly quick one, which was partly because it was steep and running seemed the only course of action, but mainly because Molly had told us the night before that there was a bar in town that had a big screen that played the football, convincing John that he could watch the Liverpool game this afternoon. After walking around the town for a while, however, it became clear that nowhere was open, and John would have to make do with text updates from his dad (they lost). Instead of watching the match, we decided to do something much more interesting, and promptly headed for the Natural History Museum. The museum’s odd opening hours or 3-5PM on a Sunday were perfect for us, and we had been ... read more
The Pufling
Puffins (stuffed)
An Ugly Fish

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