Queen Victoria 9 – Torshavn

The final port on our two-week jaunt around a bit of the north Atlantic enabled us to see surprisingly photogenic, almost ‘chocolate box’ landscapes even though for most of the day it was low clouds, misty and damp on the high ground. For the second time this week we had docked fairly early and timing required us to start an excursion at 9a.m. The first part of the tour was intended to be scenic taking us around fjords and lakes on mainly high placed roads. The following few pictures indicate the possibilities of seeing incredible landscapes but the mist did conceal the best of the views.

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Late morning we stopped at a village called Gjagv, pronounced Jack, for a light repast which included  a local dish known as pancakes, pictured below they did look and did taste yummy. The later photograph shows they were appreciated.

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Time was allowed for us tourists to take in the views offered by the bubbling stream and the surrounding Faroese architecture set in a misty, mountain backed terrain. The vivid green flora and the richly coloured houses all came together to give us a very pleasureable hour of sightseeing.

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The shoreline too held more than interesting views, Jane can be seen investigating the corpse of a stripped to the bone fish, a good sized meal no doubt for one of the many terns and gulls observed here.

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Back on the coach it only took a short time for us to see a few more waterfalls and the view acroos the city before we finished the four and a half hour tour.

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The mist had still not cleared by sailing time which, unfortunately meant we never did get a proper look at the high ground surrounding Torshavn, but for that the day would have been perfect.

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Still taking pictures and getting lucky when the schooner passed a sea worn cave. Time now for the two full days and three nights journey back to Southampton; nobody has seen or heard the fat lady yet.

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Queen Victoria 8 – Klaksvik

The visit to this first port of call in The Faroe Islands was only found out about at the last minute; we were scheduled to stay two days in Reykjavik and then straight on to Torshavn. This second change to our itinerary involved leaving Iceland at lunchtime on the second scheduled day and reaching Klaksvik after a full day at sea. The stopover was only for the evening and we were then due to wake up in Torshavn the following morning. As an added bonus the new port had a very significant link to QV in that the captain was born and raised in an adjoining village to Klaksvik and this also was the first time a Cunard ship had come to the Faroes. The town put on special events for the visit including a hog roast, dancing and various singing groups in different venues; a dancing group and a folk singing duo also appeared on board as an addition to the day’s entertainment.

The approach to the Faroes was through a narrow fjord with many twists and turns; the manouvring to dock was  a quite time consuming challenge, but the crew and pilot got us there safely.

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It’s no wonder the culture in these parts concerns a fear of trolls when you see above the faces embedded in the cliffs; the rows of teeth look particularly menacing. There is a story told to us as we passed by about the rock pillars seen below; apparently Iceland sent over two wizards to drag the Faroe Islands so as to join onto their home. They ran out of time and were turned to stone, maybe someone should have sent for Doctor Dolittle and a pink snail?

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It can be seen that these rocks were not lava based and no smell of sulpher either, if I was an Icelander maybe this could be a prefered home of choice? As is visible here the approach to the port was particularly overwhelming with the high peaks all around us.

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Seeing the Viking ship one wonders whether we should join in the local sport here of going raping and pillaging as did their ancesters?

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‘C birds’

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This is the Island’s dancers with the local girl made good who joined in the dancing and singing, a very entertaining interlude. Then out on deck to see the half past eleven sun; this was the nearest to the midnight version we could get.

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We were told QV sailed at about 4a.m. to travel twenty miles and get to the port of Torshavn, we didn’t stay up for that journey.

Queen Victoria 6 – Isafjordur

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What a difference a day makes? Our second Sunday of this cruise, clear skies, only a gentle breeze and soaring temperatures about to peak at 14 degrees C. No place to park alongside so it was down to getting on shore and back using the lifeboats as tenders; about a hundred passengers at a time. Not that there was so much to see in the town, some were doing excursions and others, like us, hunted souvenirs and admired the colourful landscape.

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The local sculpture showed what a delicate hand can produce when carving look alike waders. The large four chimneyed building behind is the old hospital which has now changed its use to being a library; a scenario that possibly suggests reading keeps you healthy and hospitals are not needed?

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The fully flowering daffodils really did take us by surprise as there had been none seen further north in Akreyri.

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The amount of traffic seen was quite minmal and the two highly polished classic vehicles being admired here had pride of place in the high street. Only a few shops were open, two souvenir shops, a bakers and a few clothes outlets selling hand made woolen sweaters for at least a £100 each; we noted not many were being sold but most of the locals were wearing them.

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QV looked as if it was time to take the brochure photograph so we duly obliged; then we got tenderised returning back on board for our roast beef and all the trimmings.

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When we sailed back out to clear waters the darkening wall approaching at speed made us wonder if the other side of the cloud may not be reached till the day after tomorrow?

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Will we survive this impending deluge, will we come through to clear skies ever again, was Queen Victoria amused?

Behind the Camera 22-3

Birds of a Feather

Once we had met and photographed the alpaca and friends it was time to concentrate on the chickens, a wide range of colours and fashioned feathers collected as a hobby by Nigel, a very helpful keeper allowing us unfettered access.

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Finishing with a final feathered flourish from the phantom of the cottera.

 

Garden Visitors 3

Mid September has arrived with several varied visitors to our back yard, the following photographs taken over two days.

Starting with a Great Spotted Woodpecker on a dead Yukka tree about 100m away.

This morning on the roof seen behind the woodpecker, a young Sparrowhawk came to have a look for some food.

 If only he had come back ten minutes later.

A varied menu would have been available: Great Tit, with Blue Tit on the side, and juvenile Goldfinch for dessert.

As always the nectar hunters make a Bee line for the flowers.

With this being such a topsy turvy year we don’t know whether to be surprised or not that there is still so much colour in the garden.