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Thread: Iceland and Faroe Islands - Bridge Between Continents...

  1. #61
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travisgill View Post
    We currently live near the borders of Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium.
    I lived in Bitburg, Germany from 1968-1972 during my high school years. Very nice part of Europe. Great ride report. Keep it coming.

  2. #62
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikegalbicka View Post
    I lived in Bitburg... Very nice part of Europe. Great ride report. Keep it coming.
    Definitely rural here but it's quite and nice. Thanks for the comment. Faroe Island Day 5 inbound...
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  3. #63
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    Faroe Islands Day 5 - Mon, 11 Sep 17:


    Map of Day 5. Today we explored the island of Eysturoy and enjoyed some sun and a little bit of rain as we passed over the higher mountain passes.


    We awoke to the early morning light and this caterpillar crawling on the roof of our tent just under the rain-fly.


    Buttercup roads are more fun and take you to places less traveled by most. We took a left here towards the wind farm.


    The beginning of the trail is marked with this unique pipe and bench sculpture.


    The drone giving a unique perspective to the pipe sculpture.


    It was nice to see so many flowers this late in the summer season.


    Apache on it's side-stand. Notice how much the bike leans over (despite the tires being on lower elevation that the side-stand)? The lean angle has always been too much for the Sertao model of the G650GS. Later today this lean angle along with the luggage weight on the rear will cause me problems...


    The morning was especially nice with sunny but partly cloudy skies.


    The Faroe Islands are successfully using wind powered generators to assist in the production of thier electricity. This wind farm was near Ă­uvÝk.


    Wind farm with Nˇlsoy Island in the background.


    Leaving the wind farm behind and then topping up on groceries at RunavÝk before continuing the journey.


    The pretty, grass-roofed, Church of Strendur.


    More sheep. This one is the color of pavement. Perfect.


    Minimal traffic and a sunny afternoon. Life is good.


    A unique home in ElduvÝk.


    A curvy section of road on the way to Oyndarfj°r­ur gave us a chance to practice turning our heads and looking well past the turn.


    The road and cliffs across from Oyndarfj°r­ur provided an opportunity to film Chantil riding along some of the most incredible roads and scenery we've ever come across.


    Incredible!
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  4. #64
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    On our way to Gjogv the road climbed into the clouds with a bit of rain. Sheep in the road, of course.


    Bucktoothed chalk drawing on the way to Gjogv.


    A late lunch of Vegetable soup at Gjaargardur Guesthouse in Gjogv.


    Gjogv is a delightful town on the north side of Eysturoy.


    Enjoying the open road.

    On our way to the island of Vßgar, we stopped at the gas station to fill up. While I was inside paying for the gas, a gust of wind knocked my mule over. It was parked on it's side-stand but still managed to fall over. No problem, it wasn't the first time the bike has fallen over. This time, however, PROBLEM!

    After surveying the damage we had:
    1. Clutch lever was broken in half.
    2. Turn signal cover busted.
    3. More scratches on the Barkbuster hand-guards.
    4. More scratches on the bodywork.

    You've got to be kidding me?!? The bike has been dropped countless amounts of time on rocky trails without a problem. The Barkbuster hand-guards always did an excellent job of protecting the levers. Not this time...

    I was mad (even yelling out loud in frustration) but what can you do? The side stand on my bike had always been too short; it needs to be about 2 inches longer. Don't know why BMW didn't design it longer?


    Busted turn signal. An easy fix with a trusty zip-tie.


    The fix for a broken clutch lever - a spare 10mm wrench, used as a splint, and two hose clamps. Hope it holds together until I can get a replacement in Denmark or Germany...

    Still mad, but happy with the jury-rigging, we continued along to our home for the next two days - ┴ Giljanes Hostel & Campsite in Sandavßgur.

    I highly recommend this hostel. It's got a great lounge area and kitchen. The grass field campsite offers great views of the ocean and the morning sunrises. Oh yea, hot showers!


    Why a military issue Swiss chocolate bar? We had quite a diverse group of folks at the hostel that night - a German girl, a Swiss guy, and an Italian guy. The German and the Swiss were having a friendly debate on who made the best chocolate. I was surprised at how proud and somewhat brash the Swiss was describing how great his country was. He, of course, claimed the chocolate from Switzerland was superior to any other chocolate in the world. The German pulled out a Milka brand chocolate bar with Tuc crackers. The Swiss pulled out this military issue chocolate bar...

    No contest. The military Swiss bar tasted like a 10-year-old Hersheys bar. The Milka with Tuc cracker was actually a nice combination. It turns out that Milka, although made in Germany, originated from Switzerland and is marketed by the US based company Mondelēz International. It's a global world...

    Tomorrow we'll go for a hike to S°rvßgsvatn Lake and make our way up to Gßsadalur...
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  5. #65
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    I am loving this thread! The pictures are fabulous (thank goodness for the drone, eh?) and the narrative is amazing. The only downside for me is that I recognize I will not likely ever ride these islands--I am beyond my capabilities and nerve in terms of years (I am 72) and I have a considerable dislike of flying in airplanes (comes from a lifetime of being a "road (travel) warrior" in my job before I retired). Anyway, keep up the stories, Travis!
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  6. #66
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    I am loving this thread! The pictures are fabulous (thank goodness for the drone, eh?) and the narrative is amazing. The only downside for me is that I recognize I will not likely ever ride these islands--I am beyond my capabilities and nerve in terms of years (I am 72) and I have a considerable dislike of flying in airplanes (comes from a lifetime of being a "road (travel) warrior" in my job before I retired). Anyway, keep up the stories, Travis!
    Royce, I'm glad that you can enjoy Iceland and the Faroes vicariously through the pictures and narrative. Thanks so much for the kind words. Cheers, Travis
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  7. #67
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    Faroe Islands Day 6 - Tue, 12 Sep 17:


    Map of Day 6: Today we took it easy on the mules and spent most of the day enjoying a hike out to S°rvßgsvatn Lake.


    Just some of the art that made the hostel feel homie.


    This very content cat, named Felix, seemed to enjoy the company of the hostel guests.


    The hostel even has an aquarium. Is it cat proof?

    After a relaxing morning we casually packed our hiking gear and saddled up the mules for the short trip to the traillhead.


    The only dirt roads we rode on during our Faroe Island adventure.


    There's always a black sheep in every family.


    S°rvßgsvatn Lake rests just above sea level by about 40 meters.


    Overlooking the cliffs that drop hundreds of kilometers to the ocean.







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  8. #68
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    S°rvßgsvatn Lake flows to the Atlantic Ocean via a small falls.




    Earth and Water. Yin and Yang.


    We came across these rock bricks. Previous hikers had moved a lot of them to make their initials.


    We moved some bricks around to spell "FO17" - Feroe Islands 2017.




    On our way back we found a nice spot on the grass and had a snack. I enjoyed taking pictures and then eating these Skittle candies. Afterwards, I wondered if the sheep were using this same patch of grass recently? Yuck.

    After the hike, we rode the short 20 km to Gßsadalur to find a late lunch at the cafe.


    Passing through the small village of B°ur.


    Traditional homes in Gßsadalur. Unfortunately the cafe there was closed for the rest of the year - I guess we visited the Faroes a bit late for the tourist season.

    On our way back from Gßsadalur, in the town of S°rvßgur, my clutch cable (the one we replaced in Iceland with a bicycle cable) broke.


    Fortunately I had a spare! The spot we broke down was a large parking area with the warming afternoon sun and the sounds of kids playing soccer nearby. We replaced the cable, strengthened the jury-rigged clutch lever, and were riding again after about 30 minutes.

    Before long we were picking up groceries for our dinner and heading back to the hostel to relax for the rest of the night.

    Tomorrow we plan on returning to the capital of the Faroe Islands - Tˇrshavn. We'll sight-see the capital before we board the ferry on Thursday to Denmark...
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  9. #69
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    What an absolutely beautiful place. Good job on the jerryriggin to keep the ride going. I've done my share.

  10. #70
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Faroe Islands Day 7 - Wed, 13 Sep 17:


    Map of Day 7: Today's plan was to visit more of the main island of Streymoy and finish the day at the capital city of Tˇrshavn.

    --------------------
    Sidenote:
    Camping in Iceland and the Faroes is A LOT different than in the USA. In the USA you find camp in a designated camp area assigned to you and then you generally stay in that area unless you have to use the bathroom which is usually a porta-pot. In contrast, here there is just a large grass field where you find a spot and set up camp. The shared facilities are set up like a hostel where people can come together in a shared lounge, kitchen and sometimes laundry. The toilets are flushable and clean with hot water and a shower. Cost is very reasonable and you get to meet some interesting folks who enjoy traveling as well. Personally, I like this way of camping more.
    --------------------


    This was one of our first mornings without clouds blessing us with an incredible sunrise. The circular rings are fish farms.

    We had one more place we wanted to visit in Vßgar - Tr°llkonufingur or Trollwoman's finger.


    The gate to Trollwoman's finger.


    A pretty falls along the trail. This hike is turning out not to be very scary considering that we're hiking to an OLD TROLL FINGER.


    Whatcha think? Does it look like an old troll-woman's finger?


    Some Faroe horses enjoying the green grass and the sunny day.


    Overlooking the town of Sandavßgur and saying our goodbyes to Vßgar Island before returning to the island of Streymoy.


    The tunnel to Streymoy Island.

    The highlight of the day was reaching the top of the Sornfelli overlook. This provided some
    of the best views of the entire trip. At the top is a parking area and just around the fence there is enough room to park a couple bikes. What a view!!




    My mule Apache.


    We travel enough to know that views like this, with favorable weather, and without crowds are a rare thing. We did our best to enjoy and capture the moment.


    I rested my helmet on this pile of rocks but then realized that it made for a great picture.


    The hill going down (and up) to the Sornfelli overlook is quite narrow with limited visibility around the high-cliffed corners.


    On our way down from Sornfelli overlook we quickly realized the view on the other side is also great. Time for another picture opportunity.


    On the way to Nor­radalur we got to experience some nice twisty roads.


    At the bottom I figured it was worth launching the drone to capture the memory. Chantil did the flying while I rode the curves.


    Coastal views.

    We arrived in Tˇrshavn in the hopes that someone might be able to fabricate a more permanant solution to my broken clutch handle. The motorcycle shop guy recommended a place outside of town and was even nice enough to show us the way by being our guide vehicle as we followed him to a go-kart place. The owner of the go-kart place was also really nice but could not provide anything better than what we already had. Oh well, at least he had go-karts! Chantil and I rode 9HP go-karts around the track for about 10 minutes and had a blast. An unexpected enjoyment of our day!


    Chantil getting briefed on the art of go-karting - "Don't use the gas and brake pedals at the same time or you'll spin-out."


    Go Karting!! Who knew 9 HP could be this much fun!
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  11. #71
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    I wish I had remembered to write down the name of this great guy. He was the owner of the motorcycle and go-kart place. He even joined us for the last portion of our race. I hope that his business does well and he introduced a whole new generation to the enjoyment of go-karting.

    We moved along south to the ferry port village of Velbesta­ur where we saw a unique way of loading vehicles...


    ...the entire bow of the ferry lifted open and a hydraulic ramp lowered to the brow. Cool stuff.


    A Faroe flag painted rock marks the turn to the ferry terminal.


    Ocean views abound when you're on an island.


    Narrow "buttercup" roads.

    Continuing south, the quite town of Kirkjub°ur offered a relaxing evening of walking around while enjoying the setting sun.


    Kirkjub°ur is at the south tip of Streymoy Island.


    The red-trimmed windows seemed to set the homes in Kirkjub°ur apart from the other Faroe villages.


    A seal providing a nod to the sheep? The Danish word FŠr°erne reflect an Old Norse word fŠr (sheep). Faroe Island can be literally translated to "Sheep Island".


    For what the St Olav's Church lacks in character it makes up for in it's history - the oldest church in use in Faroe Islands, built in 12th century.


    The church had a unique stained glass decorated gate. Elegant!


    Close up of the stained glass design.


    Magnus Cathedral ruins dated from about 1300. This rock wall was placed more than 700 years ago!

    A 700 year old Cathedral is impressive but not as impressive as...


    ... this wooden home. Kirkjub°argar­ur continues to be a livable home and was built in the 11th century!! Even more remarkable is that this home is build from wood. Since there are no forests in the Faroes it's believed that the wood came as driftwood from Norway.

    It was getting late so we left Kirkjub°ur and made our way back to the capital of Tˇrshavn where we were one of only three tent campers there that night.

    Tomorrow we will explore a bit of Tˇrshavn, enjoy a nice dinner, and then board the ferry sailing to Denmark...
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  12. #72
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barryg View Post
    What an absolutely beautiful place. Good job on the jerryriggin to keep the ride going. I've done my share.
    Thanks Berryg for the post! I call it "Desperation is the mother of invention!". The Faroes don't have much in the way of parts for our BMWs due to it's remoteness. Sometime you just gotta make due. The rigged clutch handle made it to Germany and then another two more weeks before parts came in.
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  13. #73
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    Faroe Islands Day 8 - Thursday, 14 Sep 2017:


    Map of Day 8: Our final day in the Faroe Islands. We relaxed most the morning and then went sightseeing around town. We treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner and then boarded the ferry for Denmark...


    Chantil walked to the local grocery and found bacon! I know it looks like a simple breakfast however it had been some time since we had a breakfast like this. When we travel, breakfast is sometimes an afterthought so having a place, and the time, to cook a breakfast like this is a real treat.


    From the campsite lobby you could watch the ferry arriving right on schedule at 14:45. Wow, where did our day go? Perhaps we should see more of Tˇrishavn before we have to board the ferry tonight?


    Before we left the camp, Chantil wanted to show me something... It turns out there is this large papasan-styled swing made out of rope. We had fun pushing each other in it while smiling like little kids.

    Our first stop, the Nordens Hus.


    Sheep are a vital part of the Faroe Islands and are even found in their art and sculpture.


    A sculpture just outside the Nordens Hus contrasts well against the lightly clouded blue skies.

    We then rode over to the Listasavn F°roya, the art museum containing mostly permanent exhibits of Faroese artists. These are just a few of my favorites:


    Gomul bygfah˙s by Elimborg LŘtzen.


    Close-up of Gomul bygfah˙s by Elimborg LŘtzen. It's remarkable how much thought was put into each pen mark.


    Heyst by Trˇndur Patursson. The bright primary colors appeal to me.


    Closeup of Heyst by Trˇndur Patursson. You can see where heavy black paint was dried and then followed with a lighter spread of black creating a colored silhouette around the heavier paint.


    Nation Building by Edward Fugl° is the Faroe Island flag made from mixed media items found in a grocery store.


    KÝkurin by Jˇgvan Sverrason Biskopst°. This sculpture is completely made of wood! The organic and natural look of the foundation is especially interesting.


    Vindur by Torbj°rn Olsen.
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  14. #74
    Registered User travisgill's Avatar
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    After the art museum we walked through the Vi­arlundin Park and enjoyed the leaves...


    ...trees...


    ...and outside art. Unnamed sculpture in Vi­arlundin Park.

    After walking around Vi­arlundin Park we rode to the Skansin area for some more sights and dinner.


    Skansin Fort was built in 1580 to protect against the increasing number of seaborne attacks and pirate raids.


    Lighthouse at Skansin Fort.


    I wonder when these rocks were originally cut and laid for this beautiful walkway?


    Chimney on top of a traditional home near Skansin.


    M/S Norr÷na sat tied to the pier while trucks and forklifts were busy offloading all the supplies from Iceland.


    Aarstova Restaurant - A well designed logo on a traditional Faroe architecture should give some insight to the cost of our dinner. It was expensive... however we felt a celebration dinner after traveling across Iceland and the Faroe Islands would be an appropriate ending to our 26-day vacation.


    The restaurant was traditional and well designed with this large sheep's head on one of the walls.


    Simple decorating paid respect to the traditional meals served.


    After dinner, the ferry was ready to board. We efficiently checked in and managed to ride up the ramp and under a cargo trailer where we then strapped down the mules for their 1.5 day trip to Denmark ...
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  15. #75
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    A great story with incredible photos. You excel at both.

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