Posts in Northern Europe
Scotland Road Trip: Edinburgh to Grantown-on-Spey (Day 3)

We left Edinburgh first thing in the morning and drove about 45 minutes west of town to Linlithgow Palace, situated about a block up the street from the main downtown of the small town of Linlithgow. This palace is definitely one of the top highlights of our trip. After our stop there, we visited a fascinating living history museum as we entered Cairngorms National Park.

Read More
Scotland Road Trip: Edinburgh (Day 2)

Since we wanted to get an early start for our first and only full day in the city and to make it to Edinburgh Castle in time for our timed entry, we had picked up some breakfast supplies at Sainsbury’s the evening before. Still on a kick of croissants, a remnant from our trip to Paris a few months prior, we had picked some up along with yogurt, and ate in our apartment.

Read More
Scotland Road Trip: Edinburgh (Day 1)

We arrived at Edinburgh Airport around 11:30am after an overnight flight from Washington-Dulles.  After picking up a rental car from Hertz, we terrifyingly adjusted to driving on the left side as we left the airport for downtown Edinburgh, about 25 minutes away.  The roads leaving the airport were strewn with signs reminding tired, weary travelers that they should drive on the left side, and I can only imagine how prone to accidents areas like that must be.  Dustin ended up being the sole driver for the entire trip.  As you can already tell – we survived!

Read More
Scotland: 10 Day Road Trip - Highlands and Isle of Skye

As a couple who enjoy the outdoors, historic spots and places (Lindsey in particular really loves castles), and interesting geology, Scotland has long been on our list of places to visit. We also both have ancestors from the country, which always piques our interest in checking out a place.

Read More
Southwest Ireland - Counties Clare, Limerick, Kerry, and Cork

I have always loved Ireland for its beauty, history, and accents.  In the 1870s my great-great grandmother and grandfather emigrated (likely separately) from County Cork, Ireland, to San Francisco, California, where they married.  So, for my first trip abroad, it’s no wonder that Ireland topped my list.

Read More
Iceland: Geology

I feel as if I’m probably in the minority here, but I love noticing interesting geology in the places I travel. Knowing a little about how an area has formed helps me to put its current appearance into perspective and allows me to better appreciate the uniqueness of every place I travel.

Iceland is packed with wonderful natural features not seen in most other places in the world and especially not found right next to each other. Check it out!

Read More
Iceland: Food + Ethics

As always it is important to do your homework when traveling to ensure that you are not inadvertently contributing to practices that negatively impact the planet. Then you can make informed decisions. In Iceland some of the items to be aware of include shark, whale, and to a lesser extent Puffin. Below we explain more about each of these animals. For our general blog on food + drink in Iceland, check out more here.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road in 10 days

Ten days in Iceland is just enough to make it around the country’s famous Ring Road. This overview goes over the basics of our trip.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Reykjavik (Day 1)

We booked our flight on Icelandair in September 2017, about 9 months before our June-July 2018 trip. We planned to arrive a little before midnight and spend two nights in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. But, as we’ve experienced before, the risk of booking a flight so far in advance is that the airlines may shift their schedules. A few months before our trip, we learned that our flight had shifted to being a red-eye, getting us in the following morning at 6:30am local time. We contacted our Airbnb hosts, who had no problem with the delayed check-in.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Reykjavik to Hvolsvöllur (Day 2)

From Reykjavik we headed toward our first destination of the day, Þingvellir National Park. The most densely packed tourist spots on our trip were during this day. While we didn’t complete the so-called Golden Circle just outside of Reykjavik (ours was more of a Golden Half-Circle), the stops along the way are very popular for individuals and tour buses taking day trips from Reykjavik. Getting photos without inadvertent photo bombers was ranged from quite tricky to entirely impossible.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Hvolsvöllur and Heimaey (Day 3)

After a quick run to Hvolsvöllur for some basic groceries at Krónan grocery store, we headed to the shore to catch a ferry from Landeyjahöfn to Heimaey, the only inhabited island of Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands).

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Hvolsvöllur to Seyðisfjörður (Day 4)

Waving goodbye to the cute cottage that was our temporary home and to the Icelandic sheep that dotted the fields and played in the roads, we prepared ourselves for a long day of driving with a number of stops along the way.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Seyðisfjörður (Days 4-5)

We were poised to love Seyðisfjörður, population 700, from the moment we saw it from high up on the mountain road. The town is quaint, walkable, and has the best setting on the water with the ring of peaks surrounding it.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Seyðisfjörður to Akureyri (Day 6)

We left the eastern fjords and headed northwest to the second largest town in Iceland - Akureyri.

The entire drive for the day was scheduled to take about 5 1/2 hours and we found many amazing places to stop along the way.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Akureyri and Grímsey Island (Days 7-8)

In trying to figure out some activities for our two full days in Akureyri, we discovered that we could take a ferry to Grímsey Island, an island about 25 miles north of the mainland and the only part of Iceland officially (though just barely) within the Arctic Circle.

Read More
Iceland's Ring Road - Akureyri to Vogar (Days 9-10)

Leaving Akureyri, we enjoyed our drive along the western side of the country, weaving in and out on the Ring Road and wished we had more time to check out the western fjords. Of course, that’s what any good trip does: leave you wanting more.

Read More
Iceland: Food + Drink

Finding food while traveling is usually a very simple activity. Depending on your preferences this might be tricky so read this blog to help plan ahead.

Read More
Iceland: Read before you go

Iceland and Scandinavian countries make up the most literate countries in the world, so it is a bit ironic that this is one trip that I probably least prepared for from a reading list perspective. Having visited, I have an interest in reading more books about or set in Iceland, so I will update my Iceland reading list here as I go.

Read More