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Old 18th November 2014, 12:05   #31
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Wow, just wow!

I can't be jealous enough as I don't find myself near to you in any which way, but I'm deeply moved Tsk! What captures! What narration!

And I thought Norway was the best!
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Old 18th November 2014, 13:07   #32
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Fantastic pictures Tanveer. Its a good coincidence I was just reading another blog by a ex-colleague who toured the Iceland ring road anticlockwise along with Westfjords, on a VW polo(since it was in summers).
Every picture you have truly shows the beauty of Iceland. Thanks for sharing
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Old 18th November 2014, 13:40   #33
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Spectacular images! What a trip

Very beautiful place. Can't wait to see the rest of the trip unfold.
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Old 18th November 2014, 14:31   #34
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

As rightly said by a fellow member. You imbibe a sense of jealousy in us less fortunate souls. Not only is your narration and pics fluid but your choice of destinations is somewhat unique and displays your sense of adventure!

Plus the fact that all your holidays are on a DIY basis which inspires people like me to hang up on my travel agent and start doing research myself.

What you do is commendable but I would request you to kindly give more details about your bookings and planning of the itinerary so that it helps people like me to get courage of doing such DIY trips to such off the radar locations.

Keep on writing and travelling. You travelogues are a treasure troves in themselves.
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Old 18th November 2014, 14:49   #35
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Thanks for your comments!
It was truly a memorable trip, and this log lets us relive the memories.
This time, I also took timelapse footage from mobius camera, so will be processing that and posting that too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by abbey4u View Post
This is just brilliant narration with beautiful pics all around. May i ask one thing, since you have taken multiple driving holidays in europe, can you put something on driving requirement for different nation. In the meanwhile i want to know if we need IDP or a Indian paper driving license in English is allowed?
Most of Europe does not require IDP. It is said, Italian cops can give you grief, so if Italy is on your radar(or Eastern Europe), its good to have IDP.
Your Indian license needs to be ID card type with photo. All new India DLs are that type. If you have an old license, get a new card type one with picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abs182 View Post
As rightly said by a fellow member. You imbibe a sense of jealousy in us less fortunate souls. Not only is your narration and pics fluid but your choice of destinations is somewhat unique and displays your sense of adventure!

Plus the fact that all your holidays are on a DIY basis which inspires people like me to hang up on my travel agent and start doing research myself.

What you do is commendable but I would request you to kindly give more details about your bookings and planning of the itinerary so that it helps people like me to get courage of doing such DIY trips to such off the radar locations.

Keep on writing and travelling. You travelogues are a treasure troves in themselves.
Details are always there in the logs. Europe is easy to plan because everything is online, and most booking engines cover every destination. For villages its best to go to local site of the village area and then click on the "accommodation tab", which has email addresses of local renters.

For cars economycarrentals, or other similar sites can give good rates. But there is no short cut. You often have to go to many different sites, put in your dates, and then decide what suits you. For example, I went with a local rental company and not one of the big chains as this was the best deal on a 4x4.
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Old 18th November 2014, 14:54   #36
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Default Day 3 #1: The Storm

Iceland is known for microquakes, i.e. small earthquakes barely felt by anything other than instruments.
Sometimes, they do reach mag 4.5+, and you get some shaking. Today morning, its shaking. Non stop. No. Its not an earthquake.
The phone display says "Windy, 25m/s".

I sleepily navigate to the weather website, and its not cheerful. Wind gusts upto 30m/s, and rain full day, except for some respite in the evening for maybe a couple of hours.

I decide to test what does a 30m/s wind gust feel like. Bad idea. The door is literally ripped out of my hands and hits the rubber stopper with a loud "whack". Suddenly, its Katrina inside, and the 20 degree+ cottage is now freezing.

I wrestle the door back, and we decide its a good idea to stay indoors. Right outside is the very very famous black beach of Vik. And guess what tourists have started coming.

We can see them driving to the parking lot, getting out of the car, trying not to fly, and then again getting back in the vehicle and going.

Its quite entertaining, esp watching an a busload trying not to take wing. The bright yellow and read long overcoats suggest its a far eastern group. Its welcome change from the drab black and brown European dressing, and matches with the Icelandic rainbows.Bracing themselves, they take their load of pictures and then scamper inside the bus. This circus will continue whole day.

As for us, no local food means today its noodle time. And.... we do have a problem. A problem very very grave and serious. There is no sieve for the tea. And the cottage does not have one either. In all the lists and stuff, this got missed out!

But tea needs a sieve, and guess what, there is a carrybag made of cloth(thanks to the "no polythene" policy in Delhi).

Breakfast done, its time to laze some more. The weather report says it will get better around 3pm or so.

That is good, because we do need groceries.

And as predicted, the wind dies down a bit, and we set off to the town of Vik, about 15kms away.

The supermarket is open till 6pm today, since its a weekday. On Sunday its just 12-4, Saturdays are 11-5 and rest of the week its 8-6.

I am expecting Norway-ish prices, esp since this is a small town supermarket, and not a big chain like Bonus, but we are in for a pleasant surprise. Things are pretty decent price wise. Chicken is just about 30% more than you would pay in India, and onions cost about 80rs/kg if you talk about Indian prices.

Time to fill up the Duster. Don't know how good or bad an offroader she is, but as a mall roader, this is the perfect wagon.

What next, is the obvious question as the sky starts to clear up a bit? Well how about an air crash?

63.459228N 19.364771W

If you fly to this location on google Earth, you will find an airplane. Its a US Navy Douglas DC3. On a cold winter day in 1973, this bird came down as the pilot had to crash land after running out of fuel. Nobody was killed, which is quite a miracle in itself.

For countless years, this site has been very popular with 4x4s, making their own road. But anybody who's been to beaches knows, these places are not kind, and I guess the authorities became annoyed with people getting stuck.

So now, there is a marked F road leading to the plane. Its 4x4 only, however, with careful driving even a 4x2 can make it here.

I was expecting some navigational challenges reaching here, but the marked trail, and the exact trail marking in OSM meant, we reach here without drama.

The sky is overcast, the wind howls, and light rain chills us to the bone. Its a perfect setting for this spectacle. With clear blue skies and sun shining this would have looked like some amusement park attraction gone wrong.

But now, it looks like what it is.
An air crash.

Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000496xl.jpg

Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000498xl.jpg

Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000497xl.jpg

We climb what's left over, and admire the machine, still majestic in its death. Somebody stole the tail a long while back, and graffiti adorns the fuselage.

Try and imagine, running out of fuel over a wild sea, and seeing all black sand down below, with no idea about the terrain. Its your one shot. If the black turns out to be rock, everybody dies.

AS we circle the plane, it feels colder than it actually is. The whole setting is pretty chilling, and the clouds are closing in again. It feels like rain, and so, we decide to hit the beach before the weather becomes totally uncooperative.
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Old 18th November 2014, 14:55   #37
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

incredible...simply stunning...the quality of shots are equally impressive as well might I say! Kudos Chief.
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Old 18th November 2014, 15:03   #38
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Tanveer,
Pics are surreal.

Can something or some place so beautiful exist!!
Lucky you.

After your post, just out or curiosity checked out the flight fares to Reykjavik.

It was a joke:

Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-untitled.jpg
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Old 18th November 2014, 15:10   #39
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
Tanveer,
Pics are surreal.

Can something or some place so beautiful exist!!
Lucky you.

After your post, just out or curiosity checked out the flight fares to Reykjavik.

It was a joke:

Attachment 1310034
Funny
. Tickets to Reykavik are usually around 55K return for 1 person.
Often you can get them for 45K also in off season.
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Old 18th November 2014, 15:16   #40
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Funny
. Tickets to Reykavik are usually around 55K return for 1 person.
Often you can get them for 45K also in off season.
Well, thats very reasonable!!

This ticket rates are for 2 Adults and 01 Infant. Even at 45K per person and 50% infant ticket, it would be about 1.2 lacs.

Tanveer, you are a lucky man. The pics were just too awesome. Have loads of office stuff to do. Yet, cant just get over it!!
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Old 18th November 2014, 15:19   #41
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
Well, thats very reasonable!!

This ticket rates are for 2 Adults and 01 Infant. Even at 45K per person and 50% infant ticket, it would be about 1.2 lacs.

Tanveer, you are a lucky man. The pics were just too awesome. Have loads of office stuff to do. Yet, cant just get over it!!
I checked for 7th march to 15th march, and tickets are 50,000/person. Its best to try multiple dates.
With 50K, return will be around 1.25 Total
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Old 18th November 2014, 16:32   #42
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Beautiful indeed. As soon as I saw the title I figured a trip to a Parsi Tower of Silence would then need to be called "A Feast for Crows"
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Old 18th November 2014, 16:56   #43
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Default Day 3 #2: The beach(es)

The beach is black. Black sand. You will see many people looking for white sand beaches in tropical paradises, but trust me, a black beach is something else totally.

There are a few tire marks here also, but we refrain from driving till here for two reasons. First, the rental duster has a good chance of getting stuck. You need big tires, and loads of flotation. Secondly, offroading is illegal in Iceland, and you are supposed to stay on marked routes and trails. Now, its another matter that some of these marked roads and trails can make a LC weep.

Anyways, its just a short walk from the trail head. The sea is truly wild here. From Antarctica to Iceland, there is no landmass, so the breakers have a free run before crashing into Iceland.
They also bring interesting artifacts.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d70008451xl.jpg

I cannot figure out what this is
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d70008449xl.jpg

Towards the east lies Vik and "our" black beach, but the howling wind and the stinging rains mean the visibility is not too great
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000486xl.jpg

As time passes, the storm gets stronger. Its quite scary, watching high waves crashing. But its always stormy in Iceland. Well, not always, but a lot of time.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000487xl.jpg

Towards the west, the sun has finally set, and the sky glows orange
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000492xl.jpg

But from the east, the storm-front is ready to burst, so we walk back to our steed
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000494xl.jpg

Another shot.
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000499xl.jpg

We have spent an hour here, and seen just one other vehicle. Most of the time, we are alone here. And south Iceland is supposed to be densely populated.

As the rain pours down, we make our way back. The weather report says we will have clear skies for probably an hour at night.
Will we see the Aurora? Who knows!

For now, we head back to the cottage, and unload groceries. Chicken always lifts up the mood, no matter how strong the storm. Having eggs(very expensive ones through) in the fridge means even more mood upliftment.

Dinner done, we wait for the clear sky window, and as predicted, it gets "sort of clear" around 11. Time to head out! The wind is howling, its 1 degree C, and it can rain any time. Perfect night to head out I guess...

Jackets buttoned, tripods ready, and cameras armed we venture to the very famous black beach of VIK.
We have been here a full day, and this is the first time on our native beach.

Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000502xl.jpg

And we get a faint Auroral Glow also, but it lasts a mere seconds. The sun is not angry enough
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d700000507xl.jpg

Never mind, the stars are good enough for now
Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire-d70008455xl.jpg

And that's all it takes, and the storm is here again. Time to scoot to the car, and get back to the cottage. Tomorrow? Well haven't planned yet. Will do...
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Old 18th November 2014, 20:42   #44
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

Fantastic travelogue.Wonderful photographs and what lovely writing!!I am just amazed.
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Old 18th November 2014, 22:20   #45
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Default Re: Iceland: A song of Ice and Fire

I am mesmerized and spellbound by the pictures and the captions.
Those are the best Auroras' i have ever seen.
Thanks that we could see a part of Iceland through the photos.
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