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Campervan Adventures in Iceland: On our way!

Hello again! Time for another update - this time from Iceland! Iceland is somewhere I have always wanted to go, but never got around to. Why? Well, I figured one of these times flying back to the states I would find one of those magical tickets that lets you have a layover there and doesn't cost a fortune, but up until now that never happened. So why did we go now? I'm glad you asked. Early this year I was planning vacation time out and Raymond still had a lot to use up before June so I was looking for somewhere fun to go in May. Somewhere not too far, somewhere we didn't have to fly to. Somewhere we could rent a campervan here in Berlin again and drive to. I really loved our last adventures in one and was excited to try out a different model. I also wanted hiking adventures, but in most of the big mountainous places May is too early as they are still covered in snow. 

So then I was all well what is around us? Denmark? I don't know much about Denmark outside of Copenhagen but let's look into that. I do love the water and camping on the beach would be amazing, but is there enough for a month-long trip? So I searched for the most beautiful places in Denmark and found some beautiful mountain pictures and was like wait...where is this? Because this is not right here near us...and it was the Faroe Islands! So I searched for where exactly they were located. They weren't that far away so I looked to see if there was a boat or something that could take us there. Well there is, but the first website to come up was ferry to Iceland and the Faroe Islands! We could take a boat to Iceland! With a camper! So we discussed it and decided that is what we would do. Take a ferry to Iceland! The boat takes 2.5 days, leaves from Northern Denmark and has a long stop in the Faroe Islands where you can get off the boat and wander around. Sounded perfect! No flying, not too long, should be a fun adventure! The only thing I worried about was being seasick for 2.5 days, but I was hoping it wouldn't be too bad. 

The ferry leaves Denmark once a week and we wanted as much time in Iceland as we could get so we booked the April 30 ferry with a return ferry set for June 1. That gave us a full 30 days in Iceland for adventures! I picked up the car the Thursday before and started packing it up and instantly we both loved it so much more than the VW California. It was so spacious and everything was so easy! And comfortable! I really don't know why everything was so difficult in the California as it didn't need to be...and they were the most uncomfortable car seats I have ever sat on. There is absolutely no way I would have been able to do this trip in a California. My back would have killed me as we drove so much every day. 

This time we rented a Fiat Ducato camper and it was great. These photos are from Iceland since I forgot to take inside shots earlier. Once we got to camp it was so easy to set up - just plug the electricity in, turn the chairs around and put up the table. Easy peasy! We even set up the table for lunch when we were eating in the car as it was so simple. Not that the California is so complicated, it was just harder than it should be to pull the table out.

The stove and sink were along the side with a normal mini-fridge which I much prefer over the chest fridge in the California. Plus you can stand to cook! No awkward table in the way have to lean over to the side to stir the pot cooking. Raymond kept saying we were eating such fancy foods, which we ate things I normally make at home that only need a pot or two, but when it is this easy to cook you can eat whatever. 

On the right of the photo behind the chair is also a small bathroom. Now at first we were both like that can go, but after our trip we agreed a toilet is really nice to have especially in places like Iceland where finding a public toilet can be difficult. We used it way more than I thought we would, but it was also easier to clean than I expected. It was also nice to hang up any wet clothes in there to dry. It was SUPER tiny though. At one point Raymond was like I don't know how you sit down to use it as I can barely stand in here, which is true. It is supposed to be a shower as well and I have no idea how you would actually shower in it. There is NO room and if you were a bigger person I have no idea how you would be able to use it at all. I mean I occasionally had to open the door to get situated after using it as there was really no space to move around, but it worked for us. 

The bed was also fixed so it was always set up and ready to go. You could lift up the one side to get into the area below it where there was so much space to store things. There was also storage above the bed along the edges where we kept all our clothes. Really there was so much storage in the car it was wonderful! Everything had a home and was easy to get to. No more pulling out a billion bags looking for the right one from the giant hole you keep everything in. Everything was so organized which in a camper is important. The space is so small it can get messy quickly. 

Looking back at the front from the bed - this van did have a pop-top roof which you can see hanging down at the top of the photo, but we didn't use that. Iceland is cold and the bed in the back was just big enough for us to sleep comfortably so why bother? Oh that was the other great improvement from the California - the heating worked so much better! You turned it on and it heated up the van so quickly and nicely. There were multiple points where the warm air came out - one in the back for the bed as well. It would stay warm enough that we didn't need both blankets to sleep! And unlike the last trip, my feet didn't freeze in the van even though it was much colder outside. Really it was very comfortable and I loved it! So much easier to keep clean as well as it was just the floor to sweep off and took two seconds. 

Our dinner table. I loved this van so much we are definitely now looking at buying our own. We have a few things we want slightly different, a little longer van so the bed in the back is a little bit bigger, maybe a bit different bathroom layout, but overall this was so nice. Which is great since we were living out of it for so long. The seats were comfortable for long drives, the bed comfy for sleeping, and everything was so easy to use! Plus we really put it through its paces and nothing broke! Unlike the California where we tried to be super careful with it and it seemed like something small broke every day. So yeah, the California is small and looks like a normal minivan, but this one was infinitely nicer and well worth the larger size. At least for us. By the end of the trip I was sad to be leaving the van. 

The Friday after picking up the van we got up early and finished packing everything and hit the road for Denmark! The plan was to camp close-ish to where the ferry was as we had to be there by 1pm for a 3pm sail time. I found a campsite you could reserve online about an hour away from the ferry that looked nice so we headed off. After 7 hours we arrived and got a space overlooking this lake. 

There was a nice walking trail from the campsite down to the lake and town which was perfect to stretch our legs after a long day of driving. 

The next morning it was time for the ferry! There were a lot of cars getting on, but it didn't seem super busy once we were actually on. 

We splurged and booked one of 3 suites on the boat and it was huge! The bedroom is the door to the left in the photo above and behind Raymond on the left is the living area and on the right the dining area. 

The bathroom has a bathtub and a shower

The bedroom (which ended up being really nice it was separate as the outer rooms got very warm in the sun, but the bedroom stayed nice and cool)

The dining area

And the living area

The lights on the walls were fun

As I said above I was a little worried about seasickness as I do get motion sick easily, but I tried to come as prepared as possible. I got a pair of SeaBands acupuncture wristbands to try, these ginger patches, and of course pills. Now last time I took Dramamine it knocked me out and I slept for 14 hours straight and was so foggy the next day so I wanted to try not use them. I needed to be able to drive after getting off the boat as we need to at least get out of the fjord where the boat lands to camp. You can't get the Dramamine name brand here, but I did get my Reisetabletten which have the same active ingredient.  

We were super lucky on our trip over as the water was pretty flat most of the way. And when it wasn't my SeaBands really helped and I didn't get sick at all! I did sleep one night without them and took one of my reisetabletten then just in case didn't make me sleepy. At all. Which was so odd. When we got back I realized the dosage is half what Dramamine is, but still I figured it should make me a little sleepy, but it was good to know that if I needed to I could take it and still drive off the boat no problem. 

Now prepare for all the boat photos! Lots of water coming up!

There was an area right at the front with lots of benches and tables that had plexiglass windows all around so the wind didn't get you which was perfect.

The days were absolutely gorgeous on the way to the Faroe Islands, but the clouds rolled in at night. 

Passing by a Scottish Island on the way! So we left Hirtshal, Denmark at 4pm Saturday, Sunday was a day at sea - this was difficult as I was not going to try and read as I would for sure get sick, so the only thing to do was wander the deck and watch TV. The TV had National Geographic channel and a channel that showed a lot of PBS shows so we switched back and forth between the two, but it was kind of a long day. Especially since we were at the start of our trip and excited to get to Iceland! Although the rocking of the boat did make me really sleep and I slept most of the morning that day. I kept getting up and walking around, coming back to the room and turning the tv on and falling asleep which is not normal for me. It would be great if I could get a bed to simulate the gentle rocking of a boat! 

Monday morning bright and early we arrived in the Faroe Islands and had the morning to wander about until the boat left once again to arrive in Iceland early the next morning. But that is for another post. The boat was really comfy, it didn't feel super crowded, and there were lots of nice places to sit out of the wind and enjoy the sun. Next up Faroe Island photos then on to Iceland!


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The end

So it started raining on us for days and we cut out to come back to Seattle for a few days and wait for it to clear up.....and then Raymond decided he really did not want to go back out. So I at first was pretty upset cause I really wanted to get to Canada, or at least as far as we could while the weather was still nice this weekend. And I was feeling really like we were giving up for no reason. Like if one of us were injured or if I was hating it or something then I would have been better about it. But instead it was like the forecast called for gorgeous weather this weekend and we were just going to sit at home. I figured we could have at least gotten to the next stop and then only had one more chunk to do next year, but Raymond really didn't want to go back out so we decided not to. But hopefully by this time next year we will get the last 2 sections done, and maybe go back and do the section from white pass to snoqualmie as we went RIGHT by Mt Rainier and it is supposed to be g