【Whale Watching, Husavik】

2010.8.17

This is the frist time that I feel quite cold when I sleep in my tent.

Maybe the latitude of Husavik is higher than other place.

Maybe the rain is still dropping.

The sleepbag could still keep me warm, but I have to say that the sleepbag is not so "Big" for me that I didn't zip it up.

If I did, I will sleep like a Worm. Oh no, I just want to feel Warm, not be a Worm.

 

Besides, the weather keeps bad for a few days already, and I worry about washing my clothes a little bit.

Not every campsite provides washing and drying service.

If the weather is sunny, that will be okay. Because I could wash my clothes by hand, and dry them with the hot air in my car.

Sometimes the inner space will be quite hot as I parked my car and close all the windows. It is thanks to the Big Sun.

But in the raining days, it doesn't work at all.

Though I still have two suits for changing, if I could not find the facilities, I think that I have to take the bath every two or three days.

By the way, the campsites that provide washing and drying service are at Hofn, Egilsstaðir and Myvatn.

Thus, it means that the campsites at Hella, Vik and Husavik don't provide these facilities.

 

Because the weather is cold and raining, I stay in the kitchen, charge my cellphone and take a hot soup for breakfast.

About 8 o'clock, I drive and park the car nearby the ticket booth. I just could not stay in a place too long. That's quite boring.

The time for the tour today is 9:30. I take some photos around here, and then get my ticket from the booth.

The staff give me a seasickness pill that is quite important if you don't want to throw up on the sea.

The main companies that run the whale-watching are North-Sailing with yellow flags and Gentle-Giants with blue flags. They provide these tours with different schedule times, and you could join the tour depending on your needs.

Today, I join the tour served by North Sailing. This tour includes whale-watching and puffin-watching.

Although the day is not good for watching puffins already, I just don't want to give up this slim hope.

After I get the ticket, I spend my time around the harbour.

The time is still too early, and the tourist center doesn't open yet.

The tourist center is also the entrance to the whale museum. The admission is about 1000 ISK, but I'm not interested with the dead things.

If you could see the live whales, why do you want to spend the money watching these showpiece.

There is a whale painting outside the museum.

The scene of the harbour is fine. If in the sunny day, it will be better.

I could not find other places for visiting, and the only place where I could keep away from the rain is the restaurant.

The boring time is always too much, even only a few minutes.

But the good news is that the time of the tour is coming soon.

I go to the ship with a yellow flag on the mast. The staff gives me a suit like I wore in the skidoo tour which could keep you warm and is water-proof. Thus, you don't have to wear your Goretex coat and you could store your coat or backpack inside the cabin.

The captain tells us a joke: We don't mind that you leave some money in the ship, but don't leave your camera here because we have collected a lot and we don't know how to handle these.

The ship is not as big as the ferry that it shakes quite violently.

We find the first whale in the sea as sailing for about half an hour.

Finding the whale is depending on how luck you are.

Even you find a whale, you also have to wish that you are lucky enough to see the Show of that whale.

This whale emerges from the surface once, and doesn't show again as he dives into the sea.

After that, we see a small group of dolphins swimming in front of us. They don't jump out of the sea like we watch the show in the aquarium. They just swim.

As I take photographs during the sailing, I find that It's quite hard to stand stably. Therefore, I decide to sit at the stem. Though the stem is the most violent-shaking area, the space is narrow and you could take the photos with a wide-range angle. The most important thing is you could hold your camera stably as you put your arms on the edge.

Beside, the movement of whales or dolphins is quite fast. So you have to set up your camera into the mode of multi-shots, or you may try to record the video. I don't know how many pictures I took during this tour, but only a few works reach the quality I want. The biggest problem for me is focusing. That is not easy to get a focus when you see the whales or dolphins. 

As we search the whale on the sea, I find some small puffins on the surface. It's a pity that it's their time for eating. When I try to take the picture of them, they already dive into the sea.

Then, we find a whale again. I really don't know how could the staffs find the whale far away. That is not a easy job. This time, the whale is a little close to us, and I'm very excited that I could see the tail weaving.

I think we are lucky today. The experience of the tour let me appreciate the value of the nice postcards more than before. As for the programs we could watch easily on TV, such as Discovery or National Geographic, that is much  treasurable than we though.

This picture below displays the breathing of the whale. Originally, I thought that the whale will spurt a water column as he breaths, but actually, that only appears in the cartoons or the professional programs.

And the whale sometimes emerges the surface both with the head and tail.

By the way, our ship is an old sailing ship and we are the last tourists who take this ship this year. The captain try to open the main sail to let us experience the real sailing, but the wind is not strong enough, even the day today is a raining cloudy day.

In summary, the experience of this tour is good. We saw whales, dolphins and some small puffins. Although I don't have any knowledge about the whales and dolphins, watching these creatures in the nature could not be substituted by going to the aquarium.

We come back to the harbour in the noon. Because I'm not interested in the museum, I buy some ingredients in the superarket, and then drive to Goðafoss.  As for the ingredients I bought, the most important thing is a pack of frozen lobsters. In Iceland, you should try some lobster. The famous town for lobsters is Hofn, but the dish is expensive. Many restaurants also provide lobster soup. If you buy lobsters and cook by yourself, it is the cheapest way to enjoy lobsters. I think there should be more than a dozen of lobsters in the pack, and my spaghetti will become rich.

Goðafoss is also the famous waterfalls in Iceland. I've seen many waterfalls in Iceland and in my life.

Goðafoss means the waterfall of the gods. The name could be traced back to year 1000. The Icelander choose Christianity as the official religion and throw the statues of Norse gods into the waterfall. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goðafoss)

I wonder, why didn't they throw the statues into the volcano. If they did so, there will be a famous volcano of Gods in Iceland.

Ha, that's kidding.

Goðafoss is not as high as Dettifoss, and the water is not clear as Gulfoss.

I think the scene of Goðafoss is much better than Dettifoss, but inferior to Gullfoss.

The viewing position is nice that you could watch or photograph very easily.

When taking photos of waterfalls, I will always try to slow down the shutter speed that could makes the water flowing smoothly. I think I should put my camera on the tripod for the picture below is not clear.

This one is much clear.

Driving westwards from Goðafoss for less than one hour, I arrived at the second biggest city in Iceland, Akureyri.

Since Akureyri is a big city, the house and people is more than other town, and the roads are much wider, too.

I didn't see any traffic lights as I left Reykjavik. In Akureyri, I see these traffic lights again.

Besides, one-way roads are also the sign of the big city.

Though Akureyri is indeed a big city, it's not as bustling as Reykjavik.

There is nothing special, except for the tourist center and the church.

Maybe I just get used to the surroundings in Iceland. These things that may be special at first sight become normal to me.

The tourist center of Akureyri is also the place where buses depart from.

Tourist information is for sure available here.

They also provide internet access with charge, and there is a special booking machine for accommodations.

You could use your credit card to book the accommodation in this machine. (shown as below)

Lots of parking spaces are around the tourist center. I park my car here, and visit around by walking.

The attractions nearby are Akureyri church, botanic garden and an art museum. The rest are shops and restaurants.

If you are interested in the old buildings, you could visit them according to the map that you can get from the tourist center. This map also indicate many restaurants and accommodations.

Walking for five minutes, I see the Akureyri church, named Akureyrarkirkja, at the corner. The shape looks like a twin towers in the front, but is geometric precisely.

It's bad that the church is closed for recording inside on Monday to Wednesday. So I just photograph outside the church, and could not see the church inside.

I look around the streets for a while, but I don't find anything attractive. Though five o'clock is not my time for dinner, I go to a restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet and backpackers.

Sometimes the delicious dish is the best remedy for the bad mood.

The restaurant, Grefinn, is close to the Akureyri Hostel.

Because the weather is cold and I get a cold too, I order a hot tea first.

The next is lobster soup and breads with mince source. That's delicious.

The main dish is grilled lamb with stewed vegetables and two potatoes.

The portion of the lamb is 400g or 200g. I choose the 400g lamb that I could enjoy myself to the full.

The source is a little salty, but still fine.

Whenever I look at the picture of that lamb dish, I always feel hungry, especially in the night.

The total is more than 7000 ISK that could pay for a night in the hostel.

I think it's worth because I'm so full that I don't want to eat anything more.

 

While I enjoy my dishes, I also think about the itinerary tomorrow.

The time for the ferry to Grimsey is at 9:30 tomorrow. Although I always get up very early and I could arrive at Dalvik in time, I'm not familiar with the streets for the map in Lonely Planet is not detailed, and I'm a little worry about I will get lost that I could not catch the ferry.

I think It's still early to drive to Dalvik and camp there. If I do so, I could survey the whole town and not be so nervous tomorrow.

Therefore, after the dinner, I drive slowly to Dalvik.

It takes about forty to sixty minutes to drive from Akureyri to Dalvik depending on your speed.

When I arrived, there is no tourist, even a resident, on the street. This town is quite sleepy.

I drive around the streets for finding the harbour and the campsite.

It's not beyond my expectation, I get lost as I look for the campsite, and I find a church here.

The location of the harbour is easy to be found, but I could not find anyone for asking the location of the ticket office. The good news is, the harbour is not so big that I could look for the ticket office tomorrow.

As I continue finding the campsite or the tourist center, I really get confused about the indications. I always pass the same road again, but I just could not find the place.

Finally, it's thanks to the obvious building of the Foss hotel that I find the campsite. The campsite is behind the hotel.

In the campsite, I find a detailed map of Dalvik. The red line means the main road in Dalvik. Harbour is located in the center-north, and the four green areas are the campsites. The campsite I'm now is No.1 where you could find some red areas marked with "Hotel" and "WC".

The campsite office is at a swimming pool located between campsite No.1 and No.2.

Though a indoor swimming pool is nice for the cold town, I just wonder how many people will go there.

Besides, you could find some snow on the mountains nearby, and it means that the weather is cold with no doubt.

As for the facilities of the campsite, They only provide toilets, bathrooms and the sinks. The kitchen or outlet is not available, and so is the washing facilities.

After taking a bath, I stay in the car because of the rain.

I try to rest in the car, but that's not comfortable.

Setting up the tent becomes a difficult job as I struggle with the bad mood in the car for half an hour.

It's pretty bad that why do I meet the bad weather in Iceland so often.

 

Attachment:Travelling Route Map

 

A:Húsavík

B:Goðafoss

C:Akureyri

D:Dalvik

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