The Road Through Europe 1/3

If you combine a bunch of roads that have been taken in a strange, different and unique way, does that make it the road not taken? Maybe not, just an idea. 

So I decided to do something a little bit crazy; I decided to buy a Land Rover Defender in London, and then transport to Iceland. How? By driving from London to the White Cliffs of Dover, crossing the English Channel, driving through Continental Europe up to the north of Denmark  and taking the Smyril line ferry from Denmark all the way up to Iceland, via the Faroe Islands. Stopping at:

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Dunkirk, France
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Bremen, Germany
  • Hirtshals, Denmark
  • Thorshavn, Faroe Islands
  • Halfway across Iceland via the northern Route 1
  • Reykjavik, Iceland

This post is about the first part of my journey through Europe with the Landy, up until when I got on the ferry in Denmark. The map below shows the entire journey.

The Route Through Europe

I left first thing in the morning from London on Easter Sunday. It was a straight run with absolutely no traffic. The sailing from Dover to Dunkirk was at 10am but I arrived at 07:30. DFDS offered to put me on the 08:00. Absolute win! I was in Brussels by 14:00.

Once in Brussels, I men up with Frank who is also gearing up to bring his Landy to Iceland. In just a couple of weeks time, he will make the same journey that I made! We made some nice modifications to the Landy, like fitting a wading kit to allow the axels to breath, fitting a subwoofer, new stereo, spot headlight and an LED lightbar. After three days in the workshop, we were ready to roll out for Amsterdam

 Frank's (very) photogenic cat, Nolan

Frank's (very) photogenic cat, Nolan

Amsterdam was great. Awesome to arrive there and chill out for a day. The original idea was to go to the Rijksmuseum which is easily one of the world's finest museums. However, the weather was so fantastic on that day that we decided to laze around in Vondelpark instead and soak up some rays. Not a bad choice at all, and the Rembrandts will have to wait. It helps that I have already been there, and I will almost certainly be back so it wasn't too difficult to turn down.

And then, there were the tulips. They pretty much speak for themselves. Easily one of the highlights of the trip. What was tricky about setting up the shot that I had in mind was that I needed a road right next the tulip field. Mostly all you would find would be a ditch dug out around the field. Sure enough, we drove around for a while and eventually found this tractor access road arounf the edge of the one of the fields. The way was solid and dry, but dusty and slightly bumpy. No problem for the Landy, and this marked the first "off-road experience" for the Landy since I took possession of the Landy only 5 days before.

Quick day time stop in Bremen after landing there very late, left that afternoon for Hirtshals and it was in Bremen that the expedition ported ways. William and I continued to Hirtshals while Frank turned back around to Brussels. It was absolutely awesome to have him as part of the journey.

We set off from Bremen with a full tank of Diesel and 40l in the trunk in two jerry cans. We decided to push the Landy all the way to the end. It got into the RED zone of the reserve somewhere 70km outside of Hirtshals. Knowing that we had half a tank in the back as insurance, we pushed it all the way. By some miracle, we got the Landy ALL THE WAY THERE! We stopped at a nice hotel in Hirtshals at 2am (the only one that was open) and when we turned the Landy back on in the morning it huffed and puffed and made all kinds of noises. A quick refuel from the jerry and a quick shot of diesel through the engine and we were off!  

That morning, we had enough time to visit the lighthouse after a sumptuous breakfast before getting in line to check in for the ferry, where there were plenty of other Landys also waiting in line, I even managed ta make a few new friends!

And so, the journey was half over.

The next post will be about my 17 hours in the Faroe Islands. Stay tuned for more!

For your enjoyment,

Joe Shutter Signature

Joe Shutter

Photography by Joe Shutter and Frank Nieuwenhuis

Grammer's Delight

Its always nice to put a face to a handle. I was out with Icelandic Explorer in Snaefelsnes and he had mentioned to me that some Grammer's (Instagrammers) had contacted him regarding a possible meet up and shoot, which I thought was a great idea.

Gunnar and I  shot all throughout the night (which was really almost broad daylight since we had endless summer sun, see my last post Gram and White where we did a shoot far a new Toyota Hilux which we took through the Icelandic highlands. So, after a few hours sleep (with very thick eye masks to keep out the blazing sun) with met up with Alex and Arthur Broadstock.

We explored the wonderful Grundarfoss, (Google map link to nearby town) that had recently come on the radar, and we were not disappointed. You can see it in the distance fram the road, and thun when you approach it, it becomes this giant majestic thing. We stayed there far a few hours. One of the images that Alex took that day is being used on the Havin and Florin backpack website

Its very  tough terrain to get around: the spray from the fall lands an the rocks and makes everything wet and extremely slippery. The sun cut right through creating some amazing highlights but also some intense dynamic range which made the exposure difficult, but also a nice challenge. I managed to get myself into one of the shots, big thank you to Arther for helping me to press the shutter.

After that, we rolled on out to the A frame mountain shelter hut and continued aver to the south side of the peninsula to a beautiful cavern called Raudfelðsgjá, a narrow canyon where we went all the way to the end. After that, we parted ways

Touring Snaefellsnes is a great day trip from Reykjavik at all times of year. If you are interested in a day photo tour or if you might like any information about the locations I mentioned here, you know where to find me

Photography by Joe Shutter.

For your enjoyment, 

Joe shutter



Gram and White 1/2

For those that may be tuning in for the first time, I am Joe shutter: a blogger, photographer and photo guide based in Reykjavik, Iceland. I always go the extra mile to get the shots and get off the beaten track to my special off the map spots.  If you are interested in a photo workshop/tutorial whilst in Iceland, get in touch!

Ice cream comes as standard in all photo tours. As does fun, adventure and a tonne of awesome shots.


After the New Life post, Im going back to what I do best, at least better: that is to say, go somewhere great with a great shooting partner and take pictures.

So off I went with Gunnar  (Icelandic Explorer) one glorious evening to shoot. We left very late, but it was OK becuase it was the height of the long summer nights: more than OK, it was perfect. We took a sweet Toyota Hilux from Toyota Iceland, made a quick entry into the highlands before descending into a lush green valley filled with farms and rivers. By the time we came out of the valley, the light was even better.  We continued onwards and upwards to the west, shooting all night until we could shoot no longer and collapsed in a mess of exhaustion.  

The second half forms part of the next blog post.

Photography by Joe Shutter and Icelandic Explorer

For your enjoyment,

Joe Shutter

New Life

For those that may be tuning in for the first time, I am Joe shutter: a blogger, photographer and photo guide based in Reykjavik, Iceland. I always go the extra mile to get the shots and get off the beaten track to my special off the map spots.  If you are interested in a photo workshop/tutorial whilst in Iceland, get in touch!

Ice cream comes as standard in all photo tours. 


This is a non-standard post for me. This isn't about anywhere I went or all of the little details. It is a celebration of a specific time in Iceland: time for life.

Iceland is a barren, desolate land. As I spend a week in the UK wondering around in the Welsh countryside, it becomes apparent just how barren Iceland really is as opposed to the fertile lands in the UK.

This is a time in Iceland when the desolation is suspended, and life flourishes: the grass greens and new life is born. This post celebrates the eruption of life.

Apart from my many encounters of lambs along the way on the road, the latter part of the gallery in this post depicts a wonderful morning I spent with a foal. I laid on the ground and grabbed some shots over a one hour period in the early morning sun.  It was a moaning I will never forget.

Photography by Joe Shutter,

For your enjoyment,

Joe Shutter

The Glow: 2/2

For those that may be tuning in for the first time, I am Joe shutter: a blogger, photographer and photo guide based in Reykjavik, Iceland. I always go the extra mile to get the shots and get off the beaten track to my special off the map spots.  If you are interested in a photo workshop/tutorial whilst in Iceland, get in touch!

Ice cream comes as standard in all photo tours. 


This is the second half of my "glow series of posts, two in total. They were shots on the some day, about six hours apart from another. 

It was a light of majesterial quality and duration. It never got dark. The. "midnight sun" in all its glory

Often used as a marketing ploy by Icelandic companies, people get a little bit confused about the midnight sun in Iceland.  The sun does always set; that is to say, go below the horizon. Always. Except for five minutes on June 21st where it is visible as the "midnight sun".

My definition of the midnight is not "soft daylight all night from the sun which is just below the horizon" my definition is "sun shining continuously all night", and this is only possible within the arctic circle, below which Iceland sits by about 1.5 degrees north.

Technicalties aside, it is a site to behold indeed. There are also very few of these nights due to bad weather, the curse that comes with the blessing. Although it has to be said we have had a marvellous summer in Reykjavik this year.

Here are the shots from one such an evening.

Photography bf Joe Shutter

For your enjoyment,

Joe Shutter