15 photos that will make you want to visit the Island of Heimaey Vestmannaeyjar
SEA STORY TO HEIMAEY
It was time to venture out of the mainland, to a small island named Heimaey. Heimeay is the biggest island in Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. A volcanic eruption In 1973 destroyed half of the town but increased the total area of the island. As aware as we were of Iceland's unpredictable weather, we were not prepared for what awaited us. The day was cloudy with the wind slowly picking up strength as we waited to board the ferry in our fun bus. A crew member greeted us, with not so stellar news: "due to the choppy water, the bus cannot cross the ocean in the Ferry." This was a bad omen!
You can book your trip here but pay attention to the harbor as they may sail from different harbors depending on weather and season.
You can also bring you car (in good weather that is) just make sure you book the ticket "passenger with car."
We boarded the ferry, sans bus, with all of our luggage and settled in the dining area. Two minutes into the trip, our group began to dissipate due to motion sickness; two seconds later, another and yet again, another. They all gathered on deck holding onto the rail spewing out what once was a delicious lunch. At this point, Heimaey didn't seem intriguing anymore. Only five remained in the dining area until one more became consumed by the plague, grabbed a small bucket (that reminded me of Chinese takeout boxes; not the best visual at the time) and simply hurled away another meal. Even now, the image of that bucket sends chills to most of our group. You might be asking yourself if Heimaey was worth enduring all of this; just keep reading. A few went to lay down in fear that they too, would succumb to the vomiting tragedy. In case you're wondering, I remained one with my lunch. The crew was extremely attentive, with the Captain constantly checking on us. She had informed us that the conditions were very unusual for this time of year yet not the worst she had ever experienced. Some locals from the islands were trying really hard not to laugh but we could tell they were thoroughly entertained.
CROSSING TO HEIMEAY VESTMANNAEYJAR
I found bravery amid a sea of regurgitation (visualizing this yet??) to go on deck and find that three people recovered after the overboard food episode. I had to go to the other side of the deck just to make sure I didn’t encounter the aftermath. The ferry was crashing against the furious waves as if they were in a duel of death. The rain had finally come to a halt while wind gusts remained strong. Amid the tumultuous surroundings, I found myself enjoying the great sunset over the Atlantic.
We finally arrived at the Island and hibernated in our rooms; needed to be refreshed for the early morning start! New day, sun was shining so we had a quick breakfast and headed out begin our excursion. First stop, the lava field. As you venture further, you will see houses that were engulfed by the lava. Many created signs to identify whose house was underneath the ashes. The sight was impressive; it was a very raw feeling of witnessing what Mother Nature is capable of.
Eldheimar museum is very close to the lava field. Check it out if you're interested in viewing the complete aftermath of Heimaey's volcanic eruption.
After roaming amid nature for a few hours, I found myself back on the main street exploring some...boutiques (Sometimes a girl just can't help herself!) The town is a very small and the houses are super quaint. Headed back to the hotel (Hotel Vestmannaeyjar) and met with some of the group for dinner. Unsurprisingly, everything was delicious.
On our last day on the island, before heading back on the dreaded ferry, we came across a place that had one of the best views of the island. This place is not for the faint of heart! I sat there and enjoyed as much as I could and took in all the beauty of Heimaey. Driving back, we made an impromptu stop to play with Icelandic horses. How can you say no to such fluffy horses?!
The ferry only took an hour to get us back to the mainland, rather than four. Luckily, everyone kept their food where it belonged.