Featured | Iceland | Travel

Reykjavik: A Lovely Autumn Day in October

November 22, 2016
Reykjavik in October

We took advan­tage of Icelandair’s free Ice­land stopover pro­gram­me and had a love­ly two-night stay in Reyk­javik in Octo­ber on our way back to Canada from our two-week road trip around Scot­land. We arrived on the same day Hur­ri­cane Nicole arrived in Ice­land! It made for an inter­est­ing flight with two abort­ed land­ings before we final­ly touched down safe­ly on the tar­mac of the Keflavik air­port.

After we got all our lug­gage back, which took forever due to the bad weath­er, we hopped on a shut­tle bus for the 45 min­ute dri­ve to the heart of Reyk­javik. There are two com­pa­nies that run shut­tle busses from the air­port to Reyk­javik and vice ver­sa, but we’ve always gone with Gray­line because they charged slight­ly less than the oth­er com­pa­ny. We’ve been quite pleased with their ser­vice so far.

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Featured | Iceland | Travel

Planning a Trip to Iceland in April

February 10, 2016

Plan­ning a trip to Ice­land is so much eas­ier when you’ve been there before. I remem­ber feel­ing quite over­whelmed when I was plan­ning our first trip in 2013. So much to see, so lit­tle time! (Two weeks is not enough time to see every­thing Ice­land has to offer, unfor­tu­nate­ly.) Though not being able to afford to rent a 4x4 vehi­cle did help lim­it our options a lit­tle bit. 

Plan­ning for this year’s trip in April is a lot eas­ier because we already know what to expect and we know what we want to see and where, how to get there and so on. Well, at least we kind of know what to expect. We’ve nev­er been to Ice­land in April before and googling “Ice­land in April” doesn’t real­ly yield in any­thing that can sat­is­fy my curios­i­ty (I tend to trust inde­pen­dent reviews from oth­er trav­ellers more, but here’s a sum­ma­ry from a hotel chain), or any­thing that basi­cal­ly says “go to Ice­land in April, it’s the best time ever!” which is what I’d real­ly like to hear. ;-) 

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Featured | Iceland | Travel

How to Circumnavigate Iceland Without Getting Terribly Lost

February 5, 2016

If you’ve been fol­low­ing some Ice­landic news sources this week, you would’ve read the news about an Amer­i­can tourist who, while dri­ving from the air­port to his hotel in down­town Reyk­javik on his first vis­it to Ice­land, got so ter­ri­bly lost and some­how end­ed up in a sleepy, north­ern Ice­land town of Siglufjörður, at least 5 hour dri­ve away from Reyk­javik. In his defense, he was tired after a red-eye flight and he just went where the car GPS unit told him to go, in addi­tion to the hotel not spelling the street name cor­rect­ly in the address. But still, had he used a lit­tle more com­mon sense, I don’t think he would have end­ed that far off course from his orig­i­nal des­ti­na­tion. He should’ve at the very least known that Reyk­javik was where he need­ed to go and that it was only less than an hour dri­ve away from the Keflavik air­port. He’s become some sort of a celebri­ty because of this mishap. Fan­cy that!

I found the roads in Ice­land to be pret­ty well-marked. We man­aged to nav­i­gate our­selves around Ice­land (even took some detours away from the ring road) with­out get­ting ter­ri­bly lost, and all we had with us was a copy of a good, old-fash­ioned, paper map of Ice­land, which we didn’t even use that much. Grant­ed, we also had an access to Google Maps on my tablet but we only ever used it to nav­i­gate our way around Akureyri and Reyk­javik, two of Ice­land big­ger cities, which our paper map didn’t cov­er very well. So, here are some tips I could give you in order to not get lost dur­ing your Ice­land road trip:

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Featured | Iceland | Travel

West Iceland’s Hvalfjörđur: Worth A Detour

July 14, 2015

I’ve been think­ing about our lit­tle detour around West Iceland’s Hvalfjörđur (Whale fjord) a lot late­ly. I don’t know why. It could be that I’m just miss­ing Ice­land in gen­er­al and the dri­ve around Hvalfjörđur was the last item in our itin­er­ary before we head­ed down to Reyk­javik to spend the last two nights of our two week road trip around Ice­land, so it was one of my last mem­o­ries of Ice­land. But it could also be because it was sur­pris­ing­ly beau­ti­ful. Like, breath­tak­ing­ly beau­ti­ful.

Hvalfjörđur used to be a busy route because it used to be the only way for peo­ple in Reyk­javik to get to the town of Bor­gar­nes, which is like the gate­way to the beau­ti­ful Snae­fell­snes Penin­su­la. How­ev­er, in the late 1990s, the tun­nel Hvalf­jarðargöng­in was opened for pub­lic. For a small fee, peo­ple are now able to bypass the 62 km detour around Hvalfjörđur by tak­ing the tun­nel. When we were there two years ago, the Hvalfjörđur route had very lit­tle traf­fic. Dri­ving around the fjord on a driz­zly and fog­gy day, I felt like we were the last two peo­ple on Earth!

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Canada | Featured | Travel

A Visit to the Beautiful Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec

July 8, 2015

I had been want­i­ng to vis­it Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Mag­dalen Islands) ever since I saw some beau­ti­ful pic­tures of it that some­one post­ed to Flickr about three years ago. We already made the deci­sion to go to Ice­land by then so the idea to vis­it the islands just stayed in the back of my mind, up until ear­lier this year. You see, this year in May we cel­e­brat­ed the 10th year of us being togeth­er as a mar­ried cou­ple, so we were bound for a big road trip!

For our hon­ey­moon 10 years ago, we went for a two-week road trip all over the Cana­di­an Mar­itimes, which was amaz­ing. Except for a night we spent in Que­bec City at the end of the trip, we pret­ty much just skipped Que­bec. Deep down I knew we must’ve missed out a lot by skip­ping Que­bec, so, for our 10th anniver­sary road trip, I told my hus­band that I’d like to see more of Que­bec, includ­ing Iles-de-la-Madeleine.

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Featured | Film | Photography

4-Tea-C: My Own Tea B&W Film Developer Recipe

April 28, 2015

I've seen a rising interest on my tea b&w film developer post lately and realized that I never did post my recipe here. It has been a while since I actually developed a roll of film with it but this recipe worked when I did use it. Your mileage may vary.

Ingredients (to make 500ml):

  • 2 tea bags of each Red Rose orange pekoe, Tetley's pure green tea, Tetley's pure peppermint tea, and Tetley's pomegranate green tea (8 tea bags in total)
  • 2 teaspoons of washing soda (I used ARM & HAMMER® Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster)
  • 1000mg vitamin C (I used "King of Spice" brand Ascorbic Acid from Bulk Barn)
  • water

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