From Munich to Iceland and back

After a few shorter trips to Iceland, we've decided to load again everthing we need into our Jeep and do a roadtrip from southern Germany to northern Denmark. From there, we'll take the MS Norröna via Färöer to Seydisfjördur, go counterclockwise around Iceland, visit friends and be back home in Bavaria almost one month later. That's the plan.

We start at August 12th from south of Munich and spend four nights at beautiful camp grounds during our trip to Hirtshals / Denmark. In northern Iceland we sleep in our Jeep again for two nights until we approach Dominik's wonderful Villa Fjordblick at Hvalfjörður. After almost one week at Hvalfjörður, we travel around South Iceland for a few days to get back to Seyðisfjörður. You'll see all descriptions below the following pictures.

So, if you like, please enjoy the photos!

Geiseltalsee Camp near Leipzig (Germany)

Rising moon at Geiseltalsee beach

Our car...

...is a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee WG 2.7 Diesel especially modified for all terrain driving and for ferry loading. It has a 4'' lift with modified drivetrains, 32'' tires and an overall hight of 1.9 meters incl. roof rack but without roof load. That hight matches the cheapest cathegory on ferries. So before we go on board, we put our heating module, kitchen box, Hilift and extra diesel can inside the car. That's the best way to save money!

With our solar system incl. redundant charging batteries, winch, awning, 20 liters of water, air compressor for tire preasure regulation, roof-mounted diesel heating and cooking module as well as a 26 liter fridge we're really "off grid and outdoor proof".

As you can see, we have no roof tent. We sleep inside the car on a 1.84 x 1.4 meter mattress.

We drive between extensive agricultural fields and wind farms in Sachsen-Anhalt

Beach at the ElbeCamp in Hamburg directly on the river Elbe where the big vessels pass

Sunset at Elbecamp beach

Rosenvold Strand Camping in Vejle (Denmark)

The public East Sea beach is just in front of the campsite

Evening mood at Vejle Fjord

Hirtshals Camping right on the North Sea directly below the light tower

MS Norröna is approaching the ferry port of Hirtshals

The ferry "swallows" us in its hull

MS Norröna was completely renovated in 2021

Compared to before, it now looks more like a cruise ship than a ferry

We approach Färöer (Faroe Islands) for a short 30 minute stop - leaving the ship during this short stop is not possible

Färöer consists of eighteen separate islands

Nólsoy is right in front of the port entrance to the capital Tórshavn

Nólsoy Lighthouse

Tórshavn / Capital of the Faroe Islands / Population 13.083 (2017)

Old town with turf-roofed wooden houses on the Tinganes peninsula

The cathedral church was built in 1788

Some of the islands rise out of the water like steep green cones

The horizontal structures were caused by glaciers in the ice ages

We approach Seyðisfjörður (Iceland)

Seyðisfjörður / Population 676 (2018)

View from Ringroad No. 1 near Möðrudalur/Fjalladýrð

Námaskarð sulfur field

Sulfur was mined here until the 19th century

People doing the "Sulfur Dance" (just kidding)

Dimmuborgir lava field

Myvatn with its pseudo craters which are formed by water vapor explosions when hot lava meets moist soil or water

Goðafoss at the river Skjálfandafljót

We visit our friend Sverrir Ingólfsson - Owner of the Ystafell Transportation Museum

Sverrir's museum is the oldest automotive and transportation museum in Iceland

It was founded in 1998 and opened in 2000

Ystafell is located in Kaldakinn valley between Akureyri and Húsavík

The mix of Western and Eastern European cars as well as US cars is very unusual

You would never expect this high quality of a car collection in such a remote place in Iceland!

Visiting Sverrir's museum is a must, if you visit Northern Iceland

Impressions from the backyard

"Harmony of nature and technology"

Entrance door to the first exhibition hall

Evening mood at the Varmahlíð campsite

F35 - Kjalvegur/Kjölur connects North to South Iceland passing Hveravellir hot springs

Junction near Hveravellir

Hveravellir hot springs

Southern Kjalvegur/Kjölur

No comment

From this perspective, Strokkur (Geysir) appears like a tornado eating tourists...

Ok, it doesn't eat tourists, but some of them will get wet for sure in a few seconds

View from Eyrarbakkavegur to the north (Reykjanes Peninsula)

Strandarkirkja

Skátalaug Hotpot (Krýsuvík)

Krýsuvík geothermal area

Brimketill

Reykjanes Lighthouse seen through steam from Gunnuhver

Brú Milli Heimsálfa - Bridge Between Continents (European continental plate to the left - American plate to the right)

We finally arrive at Villa Fjordblick (Hvalfjörður)

Dominik's Villa Künstlerblick and Villa Fjordblick are in the first row with an indescribable view over the fjord

Sunset over Hvalfjörður seen from Villa Fjordblick's terrasse...

...and of course directly from the natural pool!

Þingvellir National Park

Þingvallavatn

Þingvallakirkja

Silfra fissure - one of world's most clear diving spots

Langjökull seen from Gullfoss visitor center

Gullfoss on the Hvitá River

The waterfall can carry up to 2000 m³ of water per second

Hallgrímskirkja with art object - the only photo of Reykjavík on this trip

The sale of these figures finances a small part of the icelandic rescue teams

Hraunfossar

Kaldidalur with Eiríksjökull

Kaldidalur with Langjökull

Þvottahellir on the way to Glymur Waterfall in Botnsdalur (Hvalfjörður)

View over Botnsdalur and Hvalfjörður in the background

Glymur Waterfall

Glymur is Iceland's second highest Waterfall with 198 meters drop height

We're still on the way...

August, 25 - Tomorrow, after our stay in Villa Fjordblick, we continue our journey from Hvalfjörður via Vík í Mýrdal, Höfn and Egilsstaðir back to the Seydisfjördur ferry port in the east fjords.

We spend five more nights in Iceland and three nights on the MS Norröna in direction Hirtshals (Denmark). Perhaps a short walk in Tórshavn (Faroe Islands) is possible, as this time the ferry stops there for four hours.

The second part of our little documentation will be published here end of august or at the beginning of September.

In the meantime: Kveðja og allt það besta!

Second part of our journey

August, 31 - Today in the evening we'll leave Iceland again on MS Norröna from Egilsstaðir.

We've been to Iceland a lot, but we've never had such consistently nice and warm weather during our stays in the past.

The temperature is between 14° and 20°C and in the last two weeks we have only had a few hours (rather minutes) of rain.

As already written, there might be a small third part in our documentation if we can visit the Faroe Islands briefly tomorrow.

Another thing: some will say "But there are many more sights on the route!" That's right, but we already know them or just didn't have time for them anymore!

But for now I wish you a lot of fun looking at the next pictures! (August, 25 - 31)

Eyvindarhólakirkja seen from Ringroad No. 1

Drangurinn í Drangshlíð with old cowshed to the right

Skógafoss from the distance with rainbow colors

Sólheimajökull (approx. length 10 km)

Sólheimajökull is a glacier tongue of Mýrdalsjökull (Iceland's fourth largest glacier)

Black enclosures in the glacier are volcanic ash

Sólheimajökull glacier lagoon

Another interpretation of Reynisdrangar seen from Dyrhólaey

Rock at Reynisfjara beach

View from Dyrhólaey Lighthouse to Eyjafjallajökull

Looking west from the Dyrhólaey lighthouse over "The Endless Beach"

Dyrhólaey rock arch also photographed from the lighthouse

Dyrhólaey Lighthouse with Reynisfjara / Reynisdrangar

Víkurkirkja - Vík i Myrdal Church

Vík i Myrdal with Reynisdrangar in the background

Reynisdrangar seen from black sand beach in Vík i Myrdal

Reynisfjara

Puffin (at Reynisfjara) flies off the slope - Part I

Puffin flies off the slope - Part II

Puffin flies off the slope - Part III

Dyrhólaey with Reynisfjara in the foreground

Kirkjugólfið (Church floor) - Ground level basalt formation in Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Skaftafellsjökull (part of Vatnajökull) seen from ringroad

Svínafellsjökull directly below Iceland's (here not to be seen) highest mountain Hvannadalshnúkur (2.110 m)

Svínafellsjökull is also part of Vatnajökull

Svínafellsjökull glacier lagoon with Skaftafellsjökull in the background

Jökulsárlón is a glacier lagoon right at the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier tongue (part of Vatnajökull)

If you want to see far more photos of Jökulsárlón, please click "Austurland" in the Top Menue

Curious seal in the glacier lagoon

Small icebergs float under the ringroad bridge into the open sea

The small icebergs are washed back onto the "Diamont Beach" by the waves

Abstract forms are created by the clash of waves and ice

A second after this shot, my feet were wet...

The diameter of this natural ice sculpture is approx. 35 cm

Road from Húsey near Egilsstaðir

Geirsstaðakirkja - Reconstruction of a church from the eleventh century

Unusual for this time of year: northern lights over our hut near Egilsstaðir!

Northern Lights are not that intense as it is not yet getting completely dark in August

This time, their shape changes in very slow movements

Waterfall near Hofteigur seen from ringroad

Basalt formations at the lower end of the Stuðlagil Canyon

Stuðlagil Canyon is more or less a new attraction in Iceland

In 2009 the water level decreased about 8 meters due to Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant

It changed into a touristic spot after it was featured in a promotional video in 2017

The basalt walls are about 30 meters high

No matter how small a church is, it always has its own signpost on the street

F907 from Möðrudalsleið to Laugavallalaug

Laugavallalaug hot waterfall (after a bumpy ride over F907 from Stuðlagil)

River crossings are not dramatic this August as the rivers mostly don't carry much water

View across the reservoir at the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant to Vatnajökull

Summary

Iceland is still as unique as it always was, but in the meantime you have to share it with more and more visitors. Although the maximum of tourists from 2019 has not yet been reached again, almost everything seems very crowded.

Yes, we are tourists, too and everybody has the right to visit this beautiful country. The only problem is that certain groups of tourists have absolutely no respect for nature and the people here.

Examples that we have directly experienced: Although off-road driving is strictly forbidden, you can see more and more cars and tire tracks in nature. Barriers are also gladly crossed and rare vegetation destroyed. Bird nests are attacked by drone pilots.

I thought twice about writing this in my small summary, but decided to do it, because it really annoys me.


Nevertheless, Iceland is still one of the most exciting and wonderful places in the world, but like in every touristic hotspot it has to be prevented from being completely trampled down.

Important: this is all just my personal opinion and based on my own experiences in 22 years of travelling to Iceland. Things changed a lot.

As an interested visitor and photographer in some places you need a lot of patience and the right perspective to be able to see and show the original beauty of Iceland, but it is still possible.

It's up to the guides and tourists to experience the beauty here and still preserve nature and respect the people.

This is how it could work in the future...

It may sound different at the moment, but it still was a wonderful journey across a dreamlike country!

Sjáumst fljótlega, Jörg

We cross the 620 meter high pass from Egilsstaðir to Seyðisfjörður (Jeep is already packed in "ferry mode")

MS Norröna is already waiting for us at Seyðisfjörður Port

We leave Iceland looking back from the quarterdeck towards Seyðisfjörður's church

And then it happens...

The sun comes out again and covers the mountains in warm evening light

During our departure from Seyðisfjörður, Iceland shows us again all it's beauty

Epic...

Tórshavn - Färöer

September, 1st - on this passage to Hirtshals, you can leave the Norröna for three hours to go for a walk in Tórshavn. And that's exactly what we do.

The port is the center of the city. Tórshavn is an interesting, densely built mixture from historical, private and business houses or shops. There are more pubs and restaurants than we expected. Even the shipyard is more or less directly in the town center.

The city makes a very friendly, clean and idyllic impression.

With the photos of Tórshavn we close our small picture story. Thank you for your interest!


Another Summary

Our negative experiences with impudent tourists are slowly fading into the background. Only the huge amount of indescribably beautiful impressions will remain!

Bless og gangi þér vel, Jörg

Historic fortress Skansin (built in 1580) with Tórshavn lighthouse

Tórshavn harbour with waterfront

Cathedral church (1788) with houses at the harbour

The perspective is actually correct!

Details of grass-roofed houses

The colors red and green are dominanting the historical houses

Famous red houses on the Tinganes peninsula

Backyard between the Tinganes houses

MS Norröna awaits us right next to the historic houses to depart towards Denmark