A trip into east iceland (lots of photos)
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Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:11 pm quote
I took a 1000km trip into east Iceland on my S125 and I just got back tonight. I travelled mostly on "road#1" which is the main road that connects most of Icelands towns and villages. In some parts the roads are difficult, but I managed. One of the turn signal lights got cracked when a bus passed me on a gravel road and I got showered with gravel.
The drive was exhausting, but absolutely worth it.

Here are some of the photos I took on my way there.








Going up the mountains. The white things on the fields that look like giant aspirin tablets are bales of hay wrapped in plastic.


In the mountains.




Crossing some lava fields.


According to folklore, you are supposed to make a small pile of rocks before you travel across the black sands below the glacier for the first time. One of those piles is mine. I forget which one...I made it 24 years ago.


Entering the sands, looking back towards the mountains. Above the sands is Vatnaj÷kull, the largest glacier in europe. Under the glacier is a volcano. In 1996 it erupted, causing parts of the glacier to melt and flood the sands.


On the sands. It's a huge black desert.


Crossing a long bridge on the sands.


The glacier.


Wreckage from a bridge that was destroyed in the 1996 eruption.


More glacier.


The bridge across the river that falls out of the glacier lagoon.


At the glacier lagoon.


Me and my S.


I didn't see any though.


Seriously isolated. There was a note in the window saying "if you need service call this number" and then there was a phone number. I called the number and a fat lady in an apron came running from a nearby farm to unlock the pumps. She seemed disappointed when it only took 3 liters to fill up my Vespa.


Going up the mountains again. The last 10 km's were gravel roads. The going was very slow.


These guys are more dangerous than they look. They rival alcohol as the leading cause of car crashes in the Icelandic countryside.


I wouldn't have a look in that bag for all the tea in china.




Finally there. I spent 3 days there before heading back.

Last edited by Varaflame on Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
Enthusiast
2007 GTS
Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Sugar Land Texas
Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:23 pm quote
Looks like a great trip. What is the tempature there this time of year? Is the glacier growing or shrinking? I would love to be riding a scooter there right now. We are having one hell of a hot summer here in Texas.
Hooked
2006 LX150
Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 145
Location: Oklahoma
Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:31 pm quote
Breathtaking! Thanks for posting your pics!
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:41 pm quote
TonyMusc wrote:
Looks like a great trip. What is the tempature there this time of year? Is the glacier growing or shrinking? I would love to be riding a scooter there right now. We are having one hell of a hot summer here in Texas.
It was an excellent trip. Though I wouldn't mind a bit of the kind of weather you've got in Texas after this trip. I'm still shivering.

The temperature has been unusually low these days. It's been around 15 degrees celcius (I think that's...uhm...60 degrees fahrenheit?) but usually it's around 20 degrees this time of year.

The glacier is shrinking. The lagoon in the pictures is made of water from the melting glacier, and the icebergs are broken-off pieces of glacier. If you stand near the lake for long enough you can hear, and sometimes see, bits of glacier snapping off and hitting the water. It sounds like thunder followed by a big splash.
Ossessionato
ET2, PX150
Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 3410
Location: Denver CO
Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:51 pm quote
Ok, those are just some damn cool pictures! Really impressive!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 8590
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:57 pm quote
Iceland is an incredibly strange and hauntingly beautiful place.

Really nice photos!
Hooked
LX150
Joined: 25 Feb 2008
Posts: 403
Location: Lincoln, NE
Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:06 pm quote
Thank you so much for sharing...

Now where did I put that bucket list, I think I have a new addition?
Hooked
P200e
Joined: 08 Mar 2009
Posts: 115
Location: Australia
Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:14 pm quote
Remminds me of the sigur ros dvd, spectacular country.
Enthusiast
LXV 150 (Avio Grey)
Joined: 04 Nov 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Pasadena California
Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:17 pm quote
Paradise.... Breathtaking.... Are you native?
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:33 pm quote
emillkim wrote:
Paradise.... Breathtaking.... Are you native?
Yes. Born and raised in Hafnarfjordur, which is just outside the capital. But my fathers side of the family is in the east. Most of them live in a small town called "H÷fn" just south-east of the glacier. I go there to visit every summer.
I love the area, the landscape and the people.
Moderator Australis
2014 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, 2014 Vespa 150 Primavera (sold) 2003 Vespa GT200 (sold)
Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 5652
Location: New Zealand where it is already tomorrow..
Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:37 pm quote
Wow!!!
Thanks for sharing - great images.
I like the white Vespa against the landscape - seems no other colour would have suited so well.
Cheers
Enthusiast
LXV 150 (Avio Grey)
Joined: 04 Nov 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Pasadena California
Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:01 pm quote
Just curious. How much (locally) was your Vespa?

I'm thinking one day when I get sick of California, I could see myself zipping along in a vespa elsewhere. But do I buy it locally or bring my baby along.

Peace
Banned
29,000 miles on my atlantic pastel green 2007 GTS 250
Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 4332
Location: Utah Valley
Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:03 pm quote
Stunning, just stunning! And so icy everywhere, just like you'd expect, hehe.

Now all we need to find is the right opportunity to go.

Thank you for the awesome pictures and write-up.
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:14 pm quote
emillkim wrote:
Just curious. How much (locally) was your Vespa?

I'm thinking one day when I get sick of California, I could see myself zipping along in a vespa elsewhere. But do I buy it locally or bring my baby along.

Peace
When I bought it new, about a year ago it was about 400.000 Icelandic Kr. Which comes to about 3100 us$. Since I bought it, the price has gone up. I'm not quite sure how much it is now. However, due to the big bank crash over here, the value of our currency is in freefall. If your money is in $ then it might be the same...Or actually get cheaper.
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:21 pm quote
OnePrairiePiston wrote:
Thank you so much for sharing...

Now where did I put that bucket list, I think I have a new addition?
You're welcome. All these nice replies have made my day.

But what's a bucket list?
Enthusiast
px200
Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Posts: 72
Location: Wellington New Zealand
Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:44 pm quote
great countryside! love the fuel stop!!!!
would love to travel to iceland someday
Banned
29,000 miles on my atlantic pastel green 2007 GTS 250
Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 4332
Location: Utah Valley
Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:46 pm quote
Varaflame wrote:
what's a bucket list?
http://thebucketlist.warnerbros.com/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0825232/
Gobshite Shiva
Kymco Downtown 300i the 'Dolphin Noise'
Joined: 16 Mar 2007
Posts: 14958
Location: London UK
Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:17 am quote
absolutely stunning. cheers for posting. i'm really looking forward to seeing even a bit of iceland when i visit this november
Hooked
05 gt 200
Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:29 am quote
thumbs waywaywaywayway up
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Honda NC700D Integra
Joined: 04 Oct 2006
Posts: 5003
Location: London, UK
Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:41 am quote
Gorgeous! On the list now

I don't fancy that gravel though.
Banned
GTS250 - GT200 - XJR1300
Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 1424
Location: SW London, UK
Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:51 am quote
Loved looking through all that! Iceland is much greener than I expected! Few questions:

*Can you give any idea of prices (food, fuel, accommodation)?
*Longest distance between petrol stations (do they warn that it might be a long way to the next stop)?
*What type of accommodation is available? hotels, B&B, camping?
*Can you camp anywhere?
*You mention gravel sections - is this deep gravel or just an unsurfaced road?
*Are insects a problem?
*How long would it take to ride all the way round (obviously stopping to look at everything and stopping at the bars along the way)?
*Best time of year to go (assume now)?

Mods : should there be a travel section - either giving people ideas of where they could travel to or just a chance to dream? Perhaps split by continent.
Ossessionato
2008 Teal LX125 ... 2007 Red LX150 ... 2010 Yellow LX125ie
Joined: 12 Jul 2008
Posts: 3311
Location: Tortola, BVI (Caribbean)
Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:52 am quote
I spent a night in Reykjavik having been fogged in at the airport on a flight from New York to Luxembourg. When we finally took off the next morning, it was a lovely clear day and we were able to see just how beautiful the place really is. I always thought it would be a neat place to visit on vacation.

Great photos and I don't think I have ever seen any place quite that green!
Addicted
Piaggio Fly 50: "L'Escargot Rouge" (the red snail)
Joined: 12 Jul 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Northern Virginia
Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:49 am quote
Dude, I know those roads pretty well after living there for 3 years, and I have to say you have BIG BALLS to ride them on a scooter!!!

GREAT pictures and they make me miss ═sland very much. Takk, ■akkir!!
Hooked
(11)GTS300/(81)P177Vespa2/(61)ACMAtypeN'77rally200 powered
Joined: 03 Nov 2008
Posts: 212
Location: Paris, France
Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:43 am quote
thanks for sharing
what a nice trip you did,
beautifull place, beautifull white vespa S
thanks for sharing these pics, this land is just marvelous,
never seen something like that!
enjoy your ride
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:15 am quote
mike_bike_kite wrote:
Loved looking through all that! Iceland is much greener than I expected! Few questions:

*Can you give any idea of prices (food, fuel, accommodation)?
*Longest distance between petrol stations (do they warn that it might be a long way to the next stop)?
*What type of accommodation is available? hotels, B&B, camping?
*Can you camp anywhere?
*You mention gravel sections - is this deep gravel or just an unsurfaced road?
*Are insects a problem?
*How long would it take to ride all the way round (obviously stopping to look at everything and stopping at the bars along the way)?
*Best time of year to go (assume now)?



Mods : should there be a travel section - either giving people ideas of where they could travel to or just a chance to dream? Perhaps split by continent.
1. Prices are changing every day now because of the banking crisis. This is still pretty accurate: http://www.visitorsguide.is/practical_information/185/default.aspx
You can see the exchange rate here: http://www.xe.com/ucc/

2.I thought petrol might be a problem, but I fueled up at every stop and my tank never got below half-full between fill-ups. It still might be a problem in the parts further north east.

3. There are hotels, but they are monstrously expensive. In some places there are hostels which are cheaper. But the cheapest way to travel is with a tent.

4. There are camping places all over the place, plenty enough to travel anywhere. Also, many farmers will let you camp in their fields. I've even sometimes just camped in remote areas behind hills or in mountainsides not visible from "road#1" and far away from any dwellings, and nobody has bothered me so far.

5. The gravel section in my pictures is not part of road#1, I took this road to get to a cabin my family owns. Most roads in the countryside that aren't part of road#1 will be loose or compact gravel. There are some parts of road#1 that are compacted gravel and are pretty difficult on a scooter. But they aren't very long stretches. It's probably best to go slow and not go above 30kmph though. Also, the road-repair crews use the summer to repair roads and sometimes tear up the asphalt in places to repair it. It happened to me on my way back and I hit a few km stretch of loose gravel where a road repair crew had removed the asphalt. I went very slow, but ended up with a broken front signal after a bus passed me doing at least 70 and I got hit with some gravel. There's also other stuff to look out for even if the road is paved, like sheep, which are everywhere and sometimes run into the road when they see you coming and panic. I had several close calls with birds too.

6. No, insects aren't really a problem. The worst you get here is wasps (the only insect that will bite or sting) and gnats. I had a summer job far north near "myvatn" (english translation, literally: "Lake gnat") where the air is full of them. But they don't bite, just annoy.

7. In a car, it can be done in 2 days without stopping. It's probably best to take at least a week, if you intend to see everything. By scooter, this trip took me about 11 hours each way. With lots and lots of stops for food, cigarette breaks, tea and photos...etc. Also, my scooter is 125cc, so in places I couldn't get above 80 kmph. And going up the mountains, sometimes 70 kmph. However, because it's the summer, the sun doesn't set, so driving by night isn't very difficult.

8. Yes. The best time of year is now. It is possible to travel in the winter (though not by scooter), but it will be very, very cold. And in places covered in snow and ice. Some remote places are not accessible sometimes and roads will be closed. It did get very cold though. You can't tell on the photo, I was wearing 3 layers of clothes and two layers of woolen socks and still got cold at times. I could barely close my corazzo jacket. I'm surprised that it didn't explode

Last edited by Varaflame on Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
Member
2007 LX50
Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Baltimore
Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:16 am quote
this is awesome. I love the little black piles of rocks. Very stunning - in hawaii, on the big island(kona) there's a tradition to do the same thing at pololu, the black sand beaches. Maybe there's something about black sand and rocks that makes people want to leave their mark?
Member
PX 200, T5, PX 125, GL, PX 150, PX 200
Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 21
Location: Viareggio
Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:17 am quote
Finally good road in Iceland!!
I've been with my PX 200 in Iceland in 1991 but riding on A1, only from Akureyry to Sellfoss was asphalted in good condition!!!!
I hope one day to come back.
I'm very glad Piaggio is in Iceland also.
Can you have also spare parts for PX? In my trip I had all parts with me on my carrear!


This was my trip to your wonderfull land!
Keep in touch, I had only some old guys that knew a vespa and just in Reykjavik.

http://www.vespaclubviareggio.it/viaggi/islanda1991.pdf

islanda 1991.pdf
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My vespa in Reykjavik as big as a wheel of a van!!

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Ossessionato
No Vespas, but I gots some VW's
Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 2018
Location: Springfield, Illinois.
Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:29 am quote
Thanks for the pics of your trip. I read through the other posts to see the questions and answers given and the only question I have is the weather. Is it usually cloudy like that or do you have very many sunny days too and which do you have more of? Beautiful country.
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:32 am quote
InventiveInvective wrote:
this is awesome. I love the little black piles of rocks. Very stunning - in hawaii, on the big island(kona) there's a tradition to do the same thing at pololu, the black sand beaches. Maybe there's something about black sand and rocks that makes people want to leave their mark?
Interesting. Though there are actually practical reasons for this.
Before there were roads in iceland, as recently as the early 1900's even, people used piles of stone (sometimes piled high as a person) to find their way in the wilderness between farms and towns. You'd walk up to a pile of stones and look for the next one, then walk over there...and so on, until you arrived.
So these piles of stones are a symbol of safe travel for icelanders.
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:38 am quote
Re: Finally good road in Iceland!!
Gianluca/VIAREGGIO Italy wrote:
I've been with my PX 200 in Iceland in 1991 but riding on A1, only from Akureyry to Sellfoss was asphalted in good condition!!!!
I hope one day to come back.
I'm very glad Piaggio is in Iceland also.
Can you have also spare parts for PX? In my trip I had all parts with me on my carrear!


This was my trip to your wonderfull land!
Keep in touch, I had only some old guys that knew a vespa and just in Reykjavik.

http://www.vespaclubviareggio.it/viaggi/islanda1991.pdf
Wow! Thanks for the pictures.
I remember these days. Driving anywhere in a car meant holding on to your kidneys because of the shaking. It must have been difficult? The roads have gotten better since then. Almost all of A1 is paved now.
I want to do the A1 on my vespa some day too. You went to seydisfjordur on a PX in those days! That is incredible!

I've never seen a PX in Iceland.
The Vespa dealership only opened in reykjavik last year. I doubt that they have parts for the PX. And needing parts would probably mean a long waiting period.
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:19 am quote
Dillinger-63 wrote:
Thanks for the pics of your trip. I read through the other posts to see the questions and answers given and the only question I have is the weather. Is it usually cloudy like that or do you have very many sunny days too and which do you have more of? Beautiful country.
You're welcome.
I was unlucky with the weather. It was unusually cloudy. In the summer it's usually sunnier than this. The weather is very unpredictable though. But june, july and august are usually pretty sunny...In the winter, not so much.
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:58 pm quote
genie wrote:
absolutely stunning. cheers for posting. i'm really looking forward to seeing even a bit of iceland when i visit this november
How much time do you have? There's lots you can see, even in a day or two. And the reykjavik centrum is quite nice too.
Ossessionato
2010 BV TOURER 500ie
Joined: 03 Jul 2007
Posts: 4399
Location: Lakeshore, ON, CANADA
Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:12 pm quote
Those are very beautiful pictures. Iceland is a destination I would enjoy.

As an aside, your command of English is excellent. Have you been educated abroad, or is English a major language in the Icelandic education system??
Hooked
S125
Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 414
Location: Reykjavik, iceland
Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:31 pm quote
EN82pg wrote:
Those are very beautiful pictures. Iceland is a destination I would enjoy.

As an aside, your command of English is excellent. Have you been educated abroad, or is English a major language in the Icelandic education system??
Thank you.
Apart from the Icelandic language, we have to study english and danish in school here. Most icelandic people speak pretty decent english. I also lived in brussels, belgium for 3 years and got education in english there. I lived in a french speaking part of brussels and got by speaking english before I could manage a bit of french.
World Traveler
2007 LX150 Daring Plum Leonardo Da Vespa
Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 29304

Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:55 am quote
VARAFLAME awesome pics. I haven't been there yet but it's on my list My attire is shorts and a t-shirt so i might be in trouble In saudi i worked with a few nurses from Lapland. Talk about cold but the pics they had were awesome also. Being from America we don't tend to learn other languages. Sad really.Altho i had latin, and french in school i didn't use them so i've forgotten them years ago. My dutch friends speak 5 languages well. I did manage to learn arabic which i still remember. It's easier to learn a language when you live in the country since then you are forced. Enjoy your S
Ossessionato
Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 2017
Location: Palmdale, California
Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:36 am quote
Amazing pictures and wonderful story. Thanks for posting them.
Ossessionato
GTS 300ie
Joined: 14 May 2009
Posts: 2009
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:38 am quote
Those are awesome pics. I have never thought about visiting Iceland, but I definitely will be putting it on my list. Ah. So many places to see, so little time
Hooked
GT200 "the blue hybiscus", BV350 "green giant"
Joined: 29 Oct 2005
Posts: 475
Location: Temecula, Ca
Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:43 am quote
WOW! Breathtaking photos! It is absolutely gorgeous and the pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
The Host with the Toast
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Posts: 7198
Location: SoCal
Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:03 am quote
very nice
Nice pictures thanks
Enthusiast
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Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 94
Location: St. John's Newfoundland, Canada
Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:18 pm quote
What a magic place.
I've always wanted to go there.
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