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Category : culture

The Camino de Santiago: O Cebreiro to Santiago de Compostela

The albergue in O Cebreiro was freezing that night and, though I had three layers top and bottom, I could not get warm. Unsurprising then when I went out and found the village a pretty winter wonderland in the snow. Again I decided to take the main road, though a little longer, as it would be safer. The day began beautifully with just a little falling snow though this turned into icy needles in my eyes, worsening to a blizzard […]

The Camino de Santiago: León to O Cebreiro

Early on a cold, damp morning I headed off from León. It felt just a little above 0°, it was windy, showering often and coupled with the usual suburban and industrial sprawl that accompanies leaving a city, it was not the most exciting day for walking. My pack was now heavier, due to a restock of tape, freezing gel and an anti-bed bug spray, and after a few days off it’s always harder to get going again. Almost 25km later […]

The Camino de Santiago: Burgos to León

Heading off from Burgos at the unforgivably late hour of 08:30, I was both rested and yet unenthusiastic. My rest had made me lazy. My destination was Hornillos del Camino, about 20km off, the terrain being mostly flat and would be a good test for my foot. As usual heading out from the city was not very picturesque, though passing by the university was interesting, after many kilometres of suburbs, rough tracks and motorway the only point of interest in […]

There’s no place like home: County Waterford, Ireland.

There’s no place like home right? The last few weeks have been pretty busy preparing for a long-overdue summer trip home. Aside from catching up with friends and a million errands, I’m most looking forward to spending time with the family of course and driving around the Déise in Co Waterford, revisiting some favourite sites. Copper Coast Drive Waterford’s Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark extends along the county’s stunning coastline. Explore its length to uncover cliffs, hidden coves and sea stacks. Pic @irishskies […]

Things to do in Iceland: Winter Lights Festival

The Winter Lights festival, or Vetrarhátíð, brightens up a dreary and cold February in Iceland. Celebrating the lengthening days, the festival is a combination of cultural events, light installations and many museums are free which is a great bonus. Many museums put on special guided tours or events, there’s art everywhere, language classes, storytelling, there was a cycle race up Skólavörðustígur, last year a huge erupting volcano was projected onto Hallgrímskirkja and the town is full of people, especially families walking around with a really nice […]

10 Unmissable pubs to visit in Dublin’s city centre

“Good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub”, mused Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Yes (and it’s been solved), but why on earth would you want to?When I started, this list was 3 Unmissable pubs to visit in Dublin, then became five, then ten, then limited to the city centre – it’s just going to have to be a series I think… which may be no bad thing either. Just as a disclaimer, my preference is for old […]

Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Iceland

Despite appearances, I do like Christmas. Just not when the hype starts in September. But now that’s it’s December I can get into the Christmas spirit and there’s a few differences here in Iceland that I’m enjoying learning about. Here Christmas is called Jól, which we know as Yule, an ancient pre-Christian feast. Icelanders go for decoration in a big way and Christmas lights have been up on every possible structure for weeks. All thirteen days of Christmas from 24 December […]

Survival Guide how to speak Icelandic

Survival Guide on how to speak Icelandic (or at least try!)

On a clear day I can see Eyjafjallajökull when I go riding. You know the volcano. The one no one can pronounce. Actually one of the little joys of my day is making tourists say it. I’m mean like that. Much like anything it’s not so hard if you know how (ey-yeah-fytl-la-jook-utl or at least that’s my non-phonemic phonetic approximation). I’m am doing my best to learn Icelandic. With just a book, some apps and re-runs of Trapped or listening to […]

Road trip to the Icelandic Highlands

Road trip to the Icelandic Highlands

With the mountain roads finally open I’ve been dying to head off on a road trip to the Icelandic Highlands. Currently my tent is aboard a boat that is somewhere between the Faroe Islands and Iceland, so rather than sleeping in my car (not really to be advised) my tent-rich friend Ásta decided join me in a loop over the highlands and west Iceland the other week.               The weather wasn’t looking great (windy Iceland-style is a […]

Music in Iceland: The Punk Museum - Pönksafn Reykjavík

Music in Iceland: The Punk Museum Reykjavík

Iceland has it’s share of quirky museums but one of my favourites is the tiny but jam-packed Pönksafn Íslands or Icelandic Punk Museum in downtown Reykjavík, perfectly located in a disused public toilet at the bottom of Laugavegur. The museum was founded by Gunni and he along with a few guys put it all together with their collection of memorabilia from the late 70’s through to the 80’s, and was opened by Johnny Rotten no less, as I was told by Svarti Alfur (“Black Elf”) […]

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