Iceland - Part 2

Friday, December 18, 2015

The adventure continues! I left us at Akureyri in the last post as it marked the halfway point of our trip... And there is so much more coming!

Akureyri

We left early from Akureyri to make our way to the Myvatn lake.On the way we stumbled upon the most beautiful waterfall... accurately named the waterfall of Gods.

Godafoss
Which calls for a session of stop-drop-and-yoga!

Godafoss
A quick re-fuel for the car and coffee refill for us and we were on our way to Myvatn.

Myvatn


First stop - a casual hike! On the south side of Myvatn lake you will find an incredibly well maintained nature reserve where you can go for casual strolls. Making the most of the rare rays of sunshine, we took the opportunity to stretch our legs amongst old craters and lava rocks. September is a beautiful time to visit Iceland as the weather is not too cold, and you get to witness the leaves changing colors as you travel.

Next up - the secret Blue Lagoon.


Myvatn Baths
The Blue Lagoon, the real one that is, is located within the Golden Circle in South-West Iceland. It is extremely beautiful but overcrowded and overpriced. If you have the chance to travel all around Iceland, I cannot reccomend the Myvatn Baths enough. They are just as striking as the Blue Lagoon and alot more peaceful. At £10 per person compared to £35 for the Blue Lagoon its definitely worth a detour!

Feeling very relaxed, we continued on our adventure to see the widest waterfall in Europe! (Apparently.)
On the way, as seems to be the norm in Iceland, we stumbled upon another amazing sight... Sulphur mud pots. I know it doesn't sound great, and to be fair it really didn't smell fantastic, but it looked pretty kickass.


Hverir

A short drive off route 1 will bring you to Selfoss. If you are debating wheater or not to make the detour (30mins each way)... just do it! Like everything else in Iceland... you really can't go wrong. 


Selfoss
 
Selfoss is extremely impressive, as it trully is massive. I must say it's a bit frightening when you see first hand the power nature has over everything else. We stayed for a while listening to the roar of Selfoss until we made our way to the next and final stop: Víti.




It is a hot pool in a crater! You don't get much more Iceland than that I'd say...

And it is with that that we finished the most amazing day of the trip so far... I still can't quite believe it.

More to follow... bye for now!


 ps: what am I doing with my feet... huh?

Iceland - Part 1

Monday, December 14, 2015

Back in September I had the chance to take the trip of a lifetime... traveling around Iceland! This gem of an island is getting quite the buzz as of late, but with reason. Flights to Reykjavik are getting cheaper as low-cost airlines are adding it to their destinations and Icelandair is doing a "MyStopover" plan where you can travel from Europe to the USA whilst doing a cheeky trip to Iceland.

I cannot express in words the beauty that Iceland is. It is like combining all places on earth and the moon into one. We spent a week going around it, and it was just enough time to see all that we wanted.

Most people usually either explore the golden circle, which is South Iceland, or go around the periphery an anti-clockwise fashion. We decided to be rogue and do it clockwise, which in hindsight was definitely the best decision!


If you are planning a trip, I hope this map helps, until then... enjoy the pictures!

Snæfellsjökull and Rif (Western Peninsula)

I had seen the little red roofed church in a lot of pictures of Iceland. So you can imagine my joy when I thought we had found the exact one on our first night! We spent a long time trying to get the perfect picture of it, during the day and at blue hour. It isn't until the next few days that we realised.... all churches in Iceland have red roofs! They are all as equally picturesque though, and well worth a shot.

Crater near Hellnar
My first ever volcanic crater! It was long extinct, and not very big. But hey, its a volcano none the less.

Hellnar - Population 8

One thing I didn't expect whilst in Iceland, was their love for coffee. You can find a good coffee pretty much everywhere. Even in Hellnar, with a grand total population of 8.


Kirkjufellsfoss

The first of many waterfalls! This is quite a famous spot, and you just stumble upon it driving from one fishing town to the next. This makes for an absolute brilliant picture when the sun is setting, but no luck on our side for this one... still very impressive!



This is Heidi, our rental car on day 1 and day 2. Oops.



Aren't the sheep way more glamorous in Iceland than back home? I mean... look at those locks! Driving in Iceland was surprisingly easy, if you stick to the "highway": Road 1. It is the only road that goes all around the island and is "mostly" paved the whole way.

 Deserted highway - Lake Myvatn

We spent the first three nights travelling along route 1 until Akureyri, where we found the most wonderful airbnb...


It had the most amazing view over Akureyri, which happens to be set between a fjord and snowy mountains. An amazing place to end the first part of this trip! For more amazing pics check out Lukas' site :)

Till' next time.

Les Gorges du Verdon

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Carrying on from exploring the UK, I set about exploring France when I went back home to Nice. About 1h30 drive from Nice, just above St-Tropez is the national Park of Verdon. Mom and I decided to go explore it but rather than just a day trip we thought to make a weekend of it, and swing by Avignon first.


Famous for well.... It's nursery rhyme (Sur le pont d'Avignon, on y danse on y danse), Avignon was a very pleasant surprise. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb and spent most of Friday exploring the streets and the Papal Palace. Avignon has lots of cute little bistros, with organic and healthy foods as well as local wine. This was quite refreshing, it isn't common to be able to eat healthy whilst on holiday.... Especially in the middle of wine country!

The next day we made our way towards the Gorges.... Not forgetting to stop by Chateauneuf du Pape first. Because it would be rude not to!

Add caption

After visiting a few vineyards we thought it best to stop for lunch before making our way to our hotel for the night. 

The "hotel" if you can call it that, is quite the family inside joke. It is in fact an old 12th century castle that was renovated into a pretty fancy hotel. My family, in fact, visited the castle many years ago when I wasn't much older than 2. Here is when the joke comes in. 2 year old me was quite fond of her pacifiers, whilst mom thought it well time for me to give them up already. So.... At our last visit to the castle, a perfectly timed ghost just *happened* to swing by our room and *happened* to steal all my pacifiers (all the ones at home too! Crazy right?). Living me with a rather bittersweet taste of Chateau de Trigance... I'm happy to report that no ghosts came to taunt me this time round!! Pay them a visit here.



All joking aside, it is a beautiful hotel owned and run by a lovely family for generations! So if you're in the area, definitely consider it.... But sleep with one eye open!

After a good night's sleep and a great breakfast in the old swords room... Mom and I made our way to the Gorges for a bit of hiking!


Les Gorges du Verdon are famous for its gut-renchingly steep cliffs that dive into a turquoise river 500m below... The windy road is separated from the cliff by little stone walls or.... nothing at all! This makes for a rather exciting drive (Mommy less than agrees) and even more breathtaking hikes!

The most famous hike is called Le Sentier Blanc Martel, which is a difficulty 4 and 6hrs one way. Mom and I thought that was a bit much so we settled for Le Sentier du Pécheur, a more sensible 3hr hike. It is labelled as a family hike, you start at the top of the gorges, walk down, along the turquoise waters and all the way back up again. It was just enough to walk off the wine tasting from the day before...

If hiking is not your thing, I would still recommend paying the gorges a visit, you can rent kayaks and pedalos near the Lac de Ste Croix and make your way into the gorge that way. In the summer you may even be brave enough to jump in for a dip!

I really enjoyed this weekend, and I'd recommend it to anyone spending a bit of time in the south of France, especially in the cooler Autumn months.

Goodwood Revival

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dad was invited to go to the Goodwood Revival last month, and decided to take me along! I had never been, and didn't really know what to expect.... But I must say, I was really impressed!

The deal is that not only are people there to look at the world's most unique and beautiful cars, they also make incredible efforts to throw you back to the 1940s. 

                                   
                                  
Dad and I stayed at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, which in itself was a sight to see! A lot of people going to Goodwood were staying there, which made for an interesting breakfast bunch! Think top hats, racing overalls and petticoats! 

                                                          
                             
 
After a couple of hours at Goodwood you would almost forget what year it was.... Except for the occasional iPhone snap here and there. Even the police cars were "d'époque".

                                       
 
Another thing that impressed me at Goodwood was the racing. I couldn't imagine it to be quite so exciting! You wouldn't think that people owning these pieces of art and history would be willing to go all out on the racetrack. Well like me, you would be wrong. The racing is definitely for real, and the cars for sure get bumps and bruises!

      

      

      

After a tour of the stands, we settles for a rather...l civilised lunch! With an uncomparable view of the track. 

      
 
     

      

We strolled back to the race control stands after lunch, to see the race of the day on the first line.

       
       
 
The style of Goodwood oscillated between the glamorous 40/50s and the bright and bold colours of the 70s. Seeing all these styles together makes the festival that much more fun!

       
                                       
 
Until next year Goodwood.... For we will definitely be back! 

     

   PS: this is a collectors peddle car... What! 

Wales!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Whale whale whale.... What have we got here? A road trip that's what!
Working in Derby this summer, I was able to explore more of the UK, which happens to be rather stunning! On today's agenda: Wales.
  
                       

First stop: Snowdonia. Dramatic mountains, windy roads, waterfalls and sheep seem to be the common denominators of this part of the world. 
The roads are beautifully windy and admittedly quite scary at times but before you know it you are crossing the bridge onto Anglesey!
      
   

On the way there, we stopped to explore a closed down copper mine that was converted into a museum of sorts. They do a good job at making things interesting and you'll learn a lot if you pay them a visit! You can find them here.

                                             
      


If you do make it to Anglesey, try to go to the South Stack Lighthouse near Holyhead, especially for sunset! Waves crashing into cliffs below and the constant howling of the wind will make you forget anything happening back in London, guaranteed.
      

Next up, discovering Anglesey! The drive back to England along the coast is just as grand, and car hiking is always more relaxing than actual hiking, am I right? 
    

   
 


That's all for now! Stay tuned for more adventures coming to a screen near you...
     


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