HI! I just saw your Iceland post and thought I'd see if you had a quick do's and don'ts while in Iceland thing. My best pal was going to go with her bf, but he's had to bail and is now going alone so I would appreciate any tips I could pass to her from someone who's gone. BTW, she loves Garrus too... :)
Sure. A lot of it depends on when she’s going—I’ve only been to Iceland in the summer, and I think that although people do travel there at other times of the year, most of their tourist infrastructure (buses, summer hotels) is set up to run May-August. So, my advice is pretty much for people traveling within that time frame, because I’m not sure how to navigate in the non-tourist season.
- Buy an Iceland sweater (ETA: knitted with Icelandic wool, I mean). They’re expensive, but worth every penny for their perfectly-tailored-to-the-environment warmth. I wore my Iceland sweater pretty much every day. I was there for the month of August, and the warmest day was about 22C. Mostly it hung out around 16C. By the end of the month it was more like 11C. Bring good rain gear. Have good water-resistant shoes/boots.
- Don’t be scared. I was a woman traveling alone, and did a significant amount of tent-camping alone, and felt safe the whole time. Iceland’s crime rate is one of the lowest in the world. They had a murder once, and the police had to call in an investigator from Denmark because they didn’t know what to do.
- Leave Reykjavik. I love Reykjavik. It’s the cutest little capital city, all brightly colored houses and a vibrant downtown full of pedestrian streets. But to see Iceland, you have to get out of there. (If you’re going to do the touristy things, like the Blue Lagoon or the Golden Circle, do them early. They’re good to see, but once you’ve been out and about in Iceland, you may end up resenting the sheer wall-to-wall tourist-trap feel, because nowhere else in Iceland feels like that.)
- There’s a bus network in the summer that is cheaper than renting a car. If you can afford to rent a car? Rent a car. But if not, the bus is a good way to go. They’re comfortable and will take you all around the ring road (and to the Snaefellsnes peninsula or the West Fjords. Or over the Highlands, which I haven’t done yet!)
- The West Fjords are hard to get to, and they are the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. I actually cried, it was so beautiful there.
- Eat skyr. Eat skyr every day because skyr is delicious and you can’t get it anywhere else. All Iceland’s dairy is pretty much to die for. Those viking cows really know how to make good milk. Also eat ham and cheese croissants. Because those things are amazing. (I didn’t eat out a lot; I was trying to save money so I bought groceries and ate a lot of skyr and sandwiches. Most accommodations do a good included breakfast: take advantage of it. Splurge a few times on good meals, especially fresh seafood. Because wow.)
- During the summer season, a bunch of schools turn into lower-cost hotels. The chain is called Hotel Edda, and they are actually a great alternative to staying in expensive hotels. Accommodation is pricy. (Camping is cheap, and campsites are run extremely well, FYI.) It looks like AirBnB is doing well over there, though, and definitely worth looking into. You don’t want to leave accommodation to the very last minute though: it does book up. I haven’t stayed in hostels there, but I hear good things about them.
- Icelanders are friendly, but not effusive. So, I think sometimes they might appear cool or reserved, but they are always willing to talk and chat and offer advice; everyone I ever talked to loved their country and was willing to share some bit of knowledge about it. Almost everyone speaks English, by the way, but politeness and respect go a really, really, really long way. There’s a sense (in my mind) that they are inviting you into their world; no one will bend over backwards for you because you expect it. (Interestingly: there’s almost no class system in Iceland. I read an article that said only 1.1% identified themselves as upper class and 1.5% as lower. So, you don’t see a class divide. The person serving you coffee isn’t seen as a lesser human being than the one who puts your arm in a cast.)
- Go to swimming pools. Most have three hot-tubs, with different levels of heat, and that’s where people sit and talk about their day with their neighbors. Also, it’s cold there: hot-tubs are glorious.
(If she has more specific questions, I’ll do my best to answer them if you pass them along. But this is a start. <3)
3:09 Feb 14th, 2014 | 51,670 notes
10 Amazing Abandoned Places Around the Globe
- Spree Park, Berlin, Germany
- Hotel del Salto in Colombia - featured previously on Curious History
- Gulliver’s Travels Park, Kawaguchi, Japan
- Abandoned mill in Sorrento, Italy
- Mirny (Mir) Mine is a former open pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia - The second largest man-made hole in the world
- The abandoned flats in Keelung, Taiwan
- Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, United States
- Craco is an abandoned commune and Medieval village in Italy
- Dadipark Dadizel in Belgium
- Abandoned train depot in Czestochowa, Poland
Where do you get your ideas from?
9:01 Feb 7th, 2014 | 35,146 notes
6am in Nagano… I shot these all within 1 block of each other on the same street while traveling on assignment last month through Japan.
(Source: williamhereford, via nightvalestationintern)
2:50 Dec 28th, 2013 | 0 notes
Portugese tarts in their place of origin, Belém. Best. Things. Ever.