Between glaciers and geysers -
Crosswise by Iceland
13 - 26 July 2006
Goðan daginn! (Good day!)
Afsakið, ég tala ekki íslensku. (Excuse me, I don't speak Icelandic.) Therefore I continue to write this lines into English. Amateur radio operators always ask: Where do we go next? Since I have for some time a special destination as favorite, I fulfilled myself in the summer a dream: Iceland - the country of the glaciers and geysers. But it had to offer still more!
As always I will go crosswise through the country. This time with the Icelandic travel enterprise Guðmundur Jónasson Travel, which undertakes routes in Iceland for 77 years. Even the space travel authority NASA and Sir Edmund Hillary selected a guidance in Iceland by their - no bad quality certifications as I find.
Photo: Our cross-country bus with the kitchen car during crossing a river
Today the firm founder does not sit any longer behind the steering wheel, but the service and the offer which Christina Böhner as tourist guide, Grímur as driver and Hanna as cooky mete out to us did not become worse. Look around on its webpages. The correct participates intended also for you! The whole organization in order to come only once to Iceland took over the German company Rotel Tours.
July 13: Reykjavik
July 14: Geysir/Haukadalur
July 15: near Akureyri
July 16/17: Lundur near Ásbyrgi
July 18: Askja
July 19/20: Skjólbrekka at Lake Mývatn
July 21 - 24: Hella
July 25: Reykjavik
Partially the individual places serve as starting points for daily routes to objects of interest in the proximity. I was be on the way with a small group of 27 tourists in a cross-country bus and by foot.
Of course there is an QRP station in the luggage! Such a thing fits contrary to QRO stations comfortably also into the luggage and the wight was under the 20 kg baggage allowance at the airlines. In addition Iceland is member in the CEPT, so that a pedantic requesting of a license was void and I could become active as TF/DK3RED/P.
CW Transceiver Spatz (Sparrow) for 30 m with 5 W output
Z-Match Antenna Tuner ZM-2 from Emtech
two 7 m wire, 7 m mast, lines
Accumulator 1.2 Ah with charger, straight key Minkey, headphone
I did not know there, what would expect me at the individual places, I had in wise foresight the 7 m long telescope fishing rod in the luggage. The first evening I tried it with an "Up and Outer" as antenna, but did not come however to the goal. In the next evening I plugged together the 2 wires to diagonally upwarded long wire and adapted him as a Fuchs antenna. The mast came me as called. There are already trees in Iceland, but also after some decades the old trees are only some meters high. There substantially more highly a tie point can be created with a mast.
Geysire particularly are in the southeast - one can see and also mount glaciers in the entire high country and in the west.
The Strokkur on the photo left spits punctually all 6 to 10 minutes. The photo right shows the Gígjökull, one of the glacier tongues of the Eyjafjallajökull, with the glacier lake Lónið in the foreground.
Iceland is geologically seen a young country. Nearly everywhere one can see therefore the effects of the volcanic activities.
Photo left: Over an old lava tube; The photo right shows the from 1975 til 1985 developed lava field near the Krafla.
How many waterfalls are in Iceland the Icelander probably does not even know. Some are breath tender, others should one approach only with caution. But beautifully and partially spectacularly they are always.
Photo left: Seljalandsfoss in the south at the Eyjafjallajökull; Photo right: Dettifoss in the north at the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum
Because Iceland in such a way is supplied with water, one comes inevitably on the idea to bathe in a lake or river. Into the hot pool left one should not set oneself, whereby one can even swim after a steep descent in the crater lake on the right with its pleasantly warm, but after sulfur smelling water, which can be seen in front.
Photo left: Solfatar field Námafjall near the Krafla; Photo right: Crater Víti at the Askja
Offside of the roads and runways shows Iceland its true beauty. In a deep ravine or of the many summits and mountain courses - hiker come here fully at their expense.
Photo left: Ravine south of the Katla; Photo right: View of the Bláhnúkur in the Landmannalaugar
At the entrance of the dragon ravine to the Askja gives it beside the place to tents an old, but good hut. Since one year a new, larger hut is in addition, in which we could stay overnight.
Photo: Evening near the Askja
Plants and animals
Nevertheless who now thinks that there are plants nor animals in so a rough area neither, has itself disappointed.
Photo left: Puffins near Dyrhólaey; Photo right: Snow chicken
Straight line, where one does not expect it, colourful flowers are to be discovered.
Photo left: Arctic Willowherb; Photo right: Gentian
Useful, spare and dangerous things
On that altogether 2300 km, which we were on the way in Iceland, I noticed some things, what should be absolute in the luggage. In addition, I saw much things that is completely dispensable or even lethal.
Rain-proof clothes, which should reach if possible from the head to the feet, is already nearly a must. It rains usually not for a long time, but if it rains is one straight in remote areas without protection and other yields one is completely wet. There also no umbrella helps. Such a part is useless, since the rain falls anyway always horizontally and from constantly changing directions. In addition it could seize the user and whirl over the edge of one of the many ravines trough a gust of wind.
The ladies can leave its high-heeled shoes confidently at home. Also the fine patent-leather shoes for the Gentlemen do not belong to Iceland. Who ran the first time over a stony level or a not completely dry way, who will know what I mean. Weatherproof hiker boots should be the first choice. One must located it in huts and lodgings inside at the entry, but that disturbs nobody.
But in Iceland there are not always cloudy sky. Often there is also bright sunshine. Then a protection in form of a not easily flying away hat is usefull, particularly since the sun in the summer in the mountains some strength developed. Otherwise a sunburn is pre-programmed.
Iceland has for each traveler something to offer. No matter whether one likes now the lonely tracking routes or rather the informal life in the cities loves. A few things I however particularly recommend to you.
The first is a bath in a "hot pot". If one is only in the south on the way, for it the Bláa Lónið (Blue Lagoon) offers itself south of Reykjavik for example. A according to my opinion equivalent alternative represents in the north the Jarðböðin við Mývatn (Nature Baths of Mývatn) between Reykjahlið and Námaskarð. Who lies after a cool day in the free air and generously put on pool and which enjoys the beautyfull view over the underlying lake Mývatn, who don't want to go outside the water for the next hours. But is not sad: There are hot baths scattered over the whole country, if also not everywhere in lava basins. Photo: Jarðböðin við Mývatn
A further attraction are ride outs to horse, which is offered everywhere in Iceland. No, I am not a rider. I have still an old photo, on which you can seen me as little boy sitting (not riding) on a sweet-tempered pony. But I cannot remind me of it. But now I wanted to try it again, particularly since the Iceland horses are smaller than our domestic representatives. After a short briefing into the controlling of such a vehicle by a traveller of our group (Thanks Andrea Mollet!), I went for one hour. It drizzled somewhat, but did not disturb. Iceland horses are much despite uneven underground. In addition they know 2 further gaits, so that one is not through-vibrated. A very pleasant travel kind. Who got desire on more, who can spend also days and weeks on the horseback and ride crosswise by the country.
Now will someone interest, with how much QSOs in the logbook I went home. On altogether 8 days I could develop my station and reached in approximately 16 hours altogether 21 QSOs from Europe on 30 m. Stations from EI, DL, EU, F, G, HA, LA, OK OM, RAeu, SM and UR were in the log at the end of the journey. On one day no QSO came into the log, otherwise between 1 and 6 QSOs.
Too few for a DXpedition? Is correct, there must give I you quite. But I was on vacation. Therefore no QSO per hour values interested me. What counted was the fun at the hobby! And that I had and hopefully also my QSO partners. I always called CQ. In addition I am not a lover of QSOs after the style "599 TU" and wanted to know always therefore realistic rapports from the QSO partners. And the name always interested me. If the conditions were better, also still informations about the location and the station was exchanged. Thus it came that a contact lasted already times somewhat longer.
I thank all, which could received my quiet signals! The QSL cards for all contacts are already on the way over the bureau. Since printing special cards with minimum quantities of 500 or 1000 pieces was not economically, I has already bought in Iceland beautiful postcards and with a label provided and dispatched after my return to Germany.