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Books to read while travelling in Scotland, Norway, Iceland and Ireland

Sometimes people joke that I travel just so I can read in peace and quiet. In fact, when we set off on the Northwest Passage I packed over thirty books. It’s not completely true but I can’t set off without books to read and I especially love reading something set in the country I’m visiting. It’s also the middle of Jólabókaflóðið, or the Icelandic book flood, where most of the books are published before Christmas. With all that in mind, here is part […]

Life lessons I’ve learned from travelling

Travelling can be scary. It’s often stressful. The smells, the tastes, the new sounds, the traffic or even perhaps the emptiness of a new place can be overwhelming. But I always maintain that travel is the best education and really does teach you the best lessons. Here are some I’ve learned. Everything will probably turn out just fine and you’re not going to die* *probably anyway. Luggage will get lost. You will get lost, at least once. You’ll probably get ripped […]

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland. Is it worth it?

It’s been over nine years since I last visited Bláa Lónið or the Blue Lagoon. Easily the most Instagrammed place in Iceland, it’s on everyone’s to-do list. However for ages, I’ve been telling people not to bother because it’s really expensive and you have to book weeks in advance, so is it actually worth it? I decided to go back and find out. The Blue Lagoon basics Planning your trip The Blue Lagoon is currently undergoing a huge expansion, and consequently, […]

Review Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Software

Review: Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Software

We’ve all done it. No matter how often I tell myself to backup files, and to do it often, something happens, I forget, the drive fails and then… I kick myself. Repeatedly. This time it was just a few photos and not really a big deal, and just coincidently Stellar Data Recovery contacted me to review their Photo Recovery Software, so I had nothing to lose in trying. Disclaimer: I was not paid to review this software, only receiving the full […]

Review: International Photographer, What to Photograph Iceland Map

Usually, before a trip I do a bit of preparation, like this map here, marking the places I’d like to go with a photograph for reference. Then when I get there that all goes out the window, I travel around according to my whims and the weather. But, wouldn’t it be handy if someone had done all this work for you? Well, that’s exactly what Michael Levey of International Photographer has done. I saw this in the campsite in Reykjavík last […]

Icelandic Crafts and Souvenirs worth bringing home

Get out of that puffin shop! There’s so much more to Icelandic souvenirs than plastic horned helmets and stuffed animals (I’m not knocking the stuffed animals – if there was a collective noun for polar bears then that’s what I’d have), you just have to look past the “Ég tala ekki íslensku” tshirts. The traditional Icelandic lopapeysa Loppi is unspun wool, peysa is a jumper. The singular is lopapeysa, and plural lopapeysur and Leifur Eiriksson was definitely not wearing one of these on his Vinland voyages […]

5 Reasons to visit Iceland in the winter

5 Reasons to visit Iceland in winter

There’s no such thing as the low season in Iceland anymore, but there are lots of reasons to visit Iceland in the winter, and not just because there are fewer tourists (though with visitor numbers expected to reach 3 million in the next few years it’s a good place to start!). 1. You can see the Aurora Borealis Ok the skies are not on fire every single night but one of the things you need to see the aurora (one of the main […]

The Family in Akranes and Ísafjörður

The Family in Akranes and Ísafjörður

(This was written in July but between one thing and another I’m only posting it now. Just in case you think Iceland looks this sunny and warm in October. It doesn’t!) One of the things that you just can’t escape when you’re living abroad is, no matter how much you love the country, or how great a group of friends you have – you will miss your family. And that’s why it was so nice to meet up with aunts and […]

Learning to be a Mongol: Horseback archery

A couple of years ago at a craft fair in Dublin I decided I needed an early Christmas present and bought a Scythian bow from a Hungarian guy. I’d done archery a few times, the first with a longbow in the woods at home in Dungarvan. But this bow was so pretty I just fell in love. I joined Liffey Archers in Dublin, learnt a lot, shot a shot, and made a load of friends; but until I met up with two […]

The Pearl of Reykjavík: Perlan

The Pearl of Reykjavík: Perlan

If you visit Reykjavík you’ll probably notice a large glass dome building perched up on top of a hill Öskjuhlíð. Well that’s Perlan, a former water reservoir and now cafe, natural sciences museum and viewpoint, and it’s well worth a stop. Built in 1988 and designed by Ingimundur Sveinsson, Perlan was originally just a hot water reservoir, designed to hold 1 million gallons of geothermal hot water and in 1991 the glass dome was added. Recently I stopped by to check out the new Glaciers and […]

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