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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Iceland 2014

We have been in Iceland for 16 days and this is the first opportunity to put anything on the blog as the wifi at campsites, if it exists, is unreliable. We are now, however, taking refuge from the awful weather in a B&B that has a good connection to the internet so heres the update.

Our trip here was fairly uneventful. The ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg was good and the sea was kind. We drove through Denmark to the port at Hirtshals for the ferry to Seydisfjordur in Iceland. Campsites were excellent everywhere and hundreds to choose from. We had a couple of days to make the journey so took the long way round via the coast road and very beautiful it was too (if not a little flat!!!).

Arriving at the ferry port early in the morning we joined the organised chaos that accompanies boarding the ferry. Hundreds of campers and 4x4s crushed onto a makeshift car park awaiting instructions for boarding. It appears we are all in the hands of the Captain of the vessel who will decide when we start. That decision wasn't made for several hours (even though we all appear to be here!). When we received our invitation to board we inched forward and once on the dock there was a surprise for us all. Boarding staff came round all the vehicles with the instruction that all passengers in vehicles must board the ferry on foot, with their luggage. Only the drivers could stay with their vehicles! When we asked why, staff just shrugged their shoulders and said "it's the Captains instructions." Now this seemed a strange anti-terrorism measure to me, if indeed that is what it is. I think it more likely that this Captain has a psychotically perverse sense of humour because within a few minutes the dock resembled a scene of desperation as holidaying refugees exited vehicles, kissing loved ones farewell and carrying suitcases, bags and children onto a bus. The bus then drove a few hundred yards, disgorging the refugees onto the ferry via the foot passenger entry point. The only people missing from the scene were the Red Cross and the United Nations! Once reunited with Looby on the vessel we found our cabin and the facilities on board were excellent.

Our trip to Iceland was a little more exciting with a bit more rocking and rolling on the sea, especially  after the Faroe Islands.

The wildlife here is amazing. Birds that are harder to find in the UK are here in large numbers. And the landscapes are pretty amazing too.....even in the bad weather. Hopefully we'll get a chance for more of an update but here are my favourite birdy pics so far. I've put the landscapes on a seperate page.