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Author Topic: Between Iceland & Hebrides  (Read 353 times)

Two23

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Between Iceland & Hebrides
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:47:14 PM »

It's time for my wife & I to decide where to go for summer vacation.  It's my turn to pick.  I was thinking of going back to Iceland for a fourth time, but the recent photos I've seen show hordes of people.  We first went in the late 1990s and had places virtually to ourselves.  I don't like crowded places all that much, cities are OK.  We haven't been to the northwest peninsula  area yet, but I'm not sure what's up there.  Also haven't been in the center.  I do like desolate places and am not afraid to go in there.  My off road/bad road driving skills are pretty good and I've owned  4WD vehicles for the past 35 years.  I know there's nowhere to stay in the volcanic desert in the middle but my wife could rough it for a day or two.  All in all I've cooled to Iceland a bit.  It seems to have become too "touristy."  Also thought of going back to Scotland--we loved the Hebrides!  There are other islands we haven't been to--Orkney, Shetland.  We like "adventure" vacations.  I generally pick places that are cold, rugged,  and desolate.  In the summer I get to missing the snow & ice and that makes a return to Iceland a plus.  It has a few glaciers. :)

Looking at the map I noticed some big rocks sticking up out of the ocean between Iceland and Scotland.  They have a name--The Faroes.  In the past I thought they were just grass covered lumps with a bunch of sheep on them.  I took a look at Faroe Island images and hey, not bad!  Looks like Iceland without the crowds. 8)  Is anybody familiar with the Faroe Islands?  I've watched a few Youtube videos and the people there seem just like the people in the Dakotas.  What I don't know is how easy it would be to get around since they are islands (I do intend to rent a vehicle of some kind.)  What about places to stay?  Since it's an island I expect food and everything else to be a bit expensive, but that's OK, I guess.  I would like to photo landscapes, towns, and birds & sea mammals.  I'm not normally a bird guy, but I do like puffins.  They seem good natured and I think it's cool to see birds coming out of holes in the ground.   I'll likely go fairly light on camera gear--Nikon D850, Nikon 24mm PCE, Sigma 50mm f1.4, Nikon 105mm Macro, and either a Nikon 300mm f4 PF or 300mm f2.8 VR plus a TC-14 or TC-17 (1.7x).  Feisol travel tripod 3441T and a Voigtlander Bessa 67 (with HP5.)  Would love to bring my Chamonix 4x5 & three lenses but I think that would be too much stuff to haul around.

So, anyone been there?  As a plus for Faroe Islands most there seem to speak understandable English, unlike Scotland.


Kent in SD
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: Between Iceland & Hebrides
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 03:22:31 PM »

I've just recently been looking at the Faroes. The scenery seems to be similar to Iceland and it is as yet untroubled by hordes of tourists.

Coincidentally, just yesterday this advert appeared in The Times.

Jeremy
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Between Iceland & Hebrides
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 04:47:45 PM »

I'd be very much tempted to try the Faroe tour.
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Hezu

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Re: Between Iceland & Hebrides
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 05:42:03 PM »

I visited Faroe Islands few years ago in autumn, this was primarily a birding trip and actually was combination trip of Faroes and Iceland with the connection between two on a ferry (yes, the ride across North Atlantic was somewhat bumpy). So, we arrived to Vßgar Airport in the Friday afternoon, spent few hours touring the neighbouring villages and then headed to Tˇrshavn, where we took the ferry to the southern-most of Faroe Islands, Su­uroy. There we spent the weekend touring that island quite thoroughly and early in the Monday took the ferry back and spent some time in Tˇrshavn surroundings and in the afternoon boarded the bigger ferry heading to Sey­isfj÷r­ur in southeastern Iceland, from where we continued next day to the west and couple days later took airplane from Keflavik to back home.

The scenery is fantastic, plenty of sheep all around and there even was some birds to observe, although for seeing puffins on their nesting sites the time of the year (late September, early October) was too late since these birds had already headed to the sea for the winter. Also the most hectic tourist season was certainly over, I guess in Tˇrshavn there was few tourists - at least those who were traveling on MS Norr÷na all the way from Denmark to Iceland, but I would guess we were about only foreigners on Su­uroy that weekend. I would assume that Faroes might be still clearly less crowded than Iceland even in the height of the summer when there is more visitors. I think probably most people would have been able to communicate in English, although we were joined by a local birder (if I understood correctly there is about six serious birders in Faroe Islands), who helped us with the communication. Also knowing the second official language of Finland, Swedish helped to decipher some of the texts in Faroese since these two languages are related (but not really mutually understandable). The signage and such seemed to be primarily in the local language.
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