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  1. #1
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Iceland and Faroe Islands - Bridge Between Continents...




    18 days in Iceland


    8 days in the Faroe Islands

    Background story:
    Empty-nesters. Our two kids have moved out of the nest. For the first time, in the last 24 years, it’s just the two of us. Just my wife, Chantil, and me, Travis. We're just a normal 45-year-old couple scratching our heads and wondering how our kids grew up so quickly.

    We sold off the cushy life we had in San Diego, California and are moving to a new life in Germany. Yes, the Europe Germany. This has included liquidating our vehicle possessions: A Nissan Xterra SUV, a Mazda Miata sports car, two Honda Ruckus scooters, and our home - our 36 foot Hunter sailboat. We’ve sold it all…

    The plan started around early spring of 2017, when I mentioned, “Why don’t we make an adventure out of moving to Germany?” Fortunately, Chantil is as adventure minded, if not more, as me. The plan was hatched to try and visit somewhere on our way to Germany. But where? Perhaps the USA? Route 66? Canada?

    A quick view of the world map shows a small country located between the Americas and Europe. A country smaller than the size of my home state of Colorado. A country that has recently experienced a ‘boom’ in tourism. Iceland!

    I visited forums, like this one and Horizons Unlimited, and googled “shipping motorcycles USA to Iceland”. It turns out that getting to Europe from Iceland is easy. A ferry, operated by Smyril Lines (http://www.smyrilline.com/) sails from Iceland and the Faroe Islands to Denmark every week.

    Getting the bikes to Iceland - a bit more problematic. Shipping bikes from the USA to Iceland can be done via air or by sea. One cargo company that offered air services is Icelandic Air Cargo. I’ve heard that shipping a motorcycle via air can be expensive but I made the call and was told that no cargo planes would be available for shipment of motorcycles during the months of August or September due to a broken plane. Onward to shipping via a ship…

    The only option I found that makes regular shipments to Iceland from New England and Canada was EIMSKIP (http://www.eimskip.com/offices/north-america/usa/). There may be others, but EIMSKIP was very helpful and offered a English website detailing their shipping schedule. Originally, we had plans to ship our motorcycles from Canada, but after talking with a shipping agent, she felt it would be easier to clear customs for US registered bikes from a US port. Portland, Maine was the port of exit we decided on. Now to get the bikes to Portland…

    We survived a 4,100 miles, 13 days, 12 US states, two Canadian providences, 13 relatives, and 151 gallons of gas trip from San Diego to Portland, Maine. The trip was too fast and furious to do a proper ride report, but we did meet our goal of visiting with family, and getting the bikes to their destination of Portland, Maine.

    The bikes, both BMW G650GSs, and titles, were dropped off in the confident and professional hands of EIMSKIP on July 27th. We wouldn’t be seeing them again until we arrived in Iceland on August 21st…

    ...Here is a just a small preview of our Iceland and Faroe Island motorcycle adventure:


    Beautiful waterfalls. So many waterfalls...


    Reykjavík - there is no capital city further north.


    Getting into some dirt via the F-roads.


    The two mules - both BMW G650GSs


    Two adventurers. A rainy day but still smiling.


    Exploring a new country


    Art and sculpture


    F-roads offered isolation and a bit of a challenge.


    Traditional viking homes


    There's some ice in Iceland. No kidding!


    Relaxing Iceland style


    Gorgeous landscape


    Breathtaking views
    Last edited by travisgill; 12-03-2017 at 02:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Breakdowns and fixes


    Seaside views


    Good eats


    Churches


    The land of fire and ice


    Offroad adventure


    Incredible scenery


    Sunsets that last quite a while.


    And, of course, motorcycling...

  3. #3
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Iceland Day 1 - Sunday, 20 Aug 2017:

    Purple planes, a bus, and bit of sight-seeing. We arrived at Keflavik Airport at 1:45PM. I didn't sleep at all during the all-night flight from San Francisco. I'm ready to crash once we reach the hotel however I know the best thing to do is stay awake until evening so I can adjust to Iceland time easier. Grey Line bus services provided a 45 minute ride to the Icelandair Hotel in Reykjavik (https://www.icelandairhotels.com/en/hotels/marina). It was after 3PM before we arrived at the hotel and I just wanted to sleep. We set a 1-hour alarm and took a little nap before leaving the hotel to scurry up some dinner.


    WOW airlines sure has some pimpin' planes.

    We walked around the marine side of Reykjavik and established our bearings a bit. We grabbed dinner from a food cart that served fish and chips. They gave us order “number 1”. Our first meal in Iceland and we’re treated like #1. Good stuff.


    I think this says "Three door hatchbacks that look like a VW Golf will be towed."


    Þúfa is a sculpture by Ólöf Nordal There is a short path that spirals all the way up the top...


    ...where a small fish-drying shed stands proudly.


    It's not enough to have purple airplanes when you can have WOW rental bikes in purple as well.


    Even the octopus serving sushi is purple!


    This piece is titled Endurfæðing (Rebirth) by Karen Briem. It's designed such that you can crawl into the "womb" and hang from the netting inside. Interactive art


    Icelandic kids like to draw on the sidewalks with chalk as well. Are all Icelandic kids blond haired?


    Found some ice-cream. In ice-land. You don't have to worry about it melting when it's only 50°F outside. Yea, in August.


    As a graphic artist I find comfort in a world where things are well designed and colors are precisely chosen. It's just a bicycle locker but doesn't it look great?


    Some see graffiti, I see art.


    A round sculpture with a window to the marina.


    Sheep are a big part of Iceland and are bred for their meat, milk, wool, hides, and skins. I think this particular sheep would give you a hairball - Perhaps a better sweater?


    A map of Iceland at the hotel. Based on our experience, it's missing rain clouds.


    Art abounds in Reykjavik with murals at nearly every corner street.


    Even the bike racks are art!

    We made it back to the hotel at 8PM and it was still quite sunny outside. Sunset, even this late in the summer, isn't until after 9:20.

    Tomorrow is Monday. We’ll wake up early and walk along the boardwalk to EIMSKIP and see if our motorcycles are ready for pickup...

  4. #4
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Very cool!
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  5. #5
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Very cool!
    OM
    Yep, Cool Stuff. Makes me want to go see all that stuff.

  6. #6
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Iceland Day 2 - Monday, 21 Aug 2017:


    Map of Day 2

    Woke up after a great night of sleep at the Icelandair Marina Hotel. We walked around Reykjavik starting at 7:30 AM and quickly realized this town sleeps in; not much open. We wandered our way along the boardwalk, taking pictures along the way...


    The Icelandair Hotel had some really interesting art, collections, and books on display.


    Sailor Ashore by Icelandic artist Aðalheiður S. Eysteinsdóttir located within the hotel lobby.


    The Icelandair Hotel offered some interesting architecture and colorful balconies.


    Now THIS is a Sprinter Van! Big balloon tires seem to be a thing here in Iceland.


    Sólfarið - Sun Voyager is the famous sculpture by Jón Gunnar.


    Part of the Berlin Wall was given to Iceland and presented here. It's been repainted using bright neon colors.


    Unnamed sculpture near the Sigurjón Ólafsson Museum.

    We walked until we reached EIMSKIP where the mules have been waiting for us since Thursday. The process of finding our order, paying for the shipment, getting a security van ride to the warehouse, walking to the 8' x 20' cargo container, unstrapping and unloading the bikes, and connecting the batteries took about an hour and a half. After leaving the warehouse, we gassed up and then rode back to our hotel so we could check out before noon.


    Our bikes almost ready to go from EIMSKIP...


    ...but not before I add another sticker. Iceland, our first European country!


    Leaving EIMSKIP after being reunited with our mules.


    Riding through the tight streets of Reykjavik in search of a 10-11 store to buy a sim card.


    Australian artist Guido van Helten did this mural on the Loftkastalinn building which is a former theater that was converted into a film studio.


    Close up of another mural on the same Loftkastalinn building. The inspiration came from the film studios film archive.


    Colorful buildings on narrow city streets are typical in Reykjavik.

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