Of rotten sharks and supermarket food: eating in Iceland

During our road trip through southern and western Iceland, endless possibilities to sample unusual foods like local fish and puffin meat crossed our path, but oftentimes we had to discreetly back off as the sad truth is only one: eating in Iceland is horribly expensive. I know that that is part of the tourism system and I, as a visitor, should try to help the local economy as much as I can, but food – especially in restaurants – proved just so incredibly overpriced that I just couldn’t. Continue reading

My Iceland road trip – Snæfellsnes peninsula

Snæfellsnes peninsula and national park

After spending two nights in Reykjavík (and not taking advantage of its famous nightlife), we set off on the second portion of our road trip, this time driving up the West coast to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Although this can be done as a daytrip from the capital, we decided to allow ourselves more time and spend one night in the area. We were prepared for bad weather, so two days seemed like a better option in case it became too bad to stay out with the camera. We did indeed experience all kinds of weather there: sun, snow, hailstorm, extreme wind. What we didn’t know (and we later learned) was that on that very night Iceland was transitioning from winter to summer. Continue reading

My Iceland road trip – Reykjavík and the Golden Circle

iceland golden circle

In the middle of our road trip through Iceland we planned a two-night stop in Reykjavík with a day trip along the Golden Circle tourist route. This would allow to have the same accommodation over two nights – sparing ourselves the hassle of packing-unpacking every single day – as well as pick the best day, weather-wise, for the Golden Circle tour. In the end the weather in the Golden Circle area proved to be quite horrendous on both days, and in Reykjavík it was supposed to be bad on one day and okay on the other, so we just decided to make the most of the city on the okay day and take whatever came for the trip on the other. Continue reading

My Iceland road trip – the South coast

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

The southern coast of Iceland is where most of the island’s notable landmarks are located. There is no better way to explore Iceland than by car, so over the week-long Easter break we set off on a road trip through the land of fire and ice. One week is not enough to explore the whole country, so I had to make a selection of what I wanted to see in the limited time that we had, and having a car definitely helped to make the most of our time and cover decent distances in a bunch of days. I should begin by saying that most of the education I got about the beauties of Iceland came from two music videos, both set in the South of the country. Continue reading

The places I called home: Oslo

I like to say that with the Norwegian capital I’ve had a serious love affair. We first met in 2007, a bunch of sunny April days; Oslo was the destination of a spontaneous trip with my parents. We never take spontaneous trips in my family, but 2007 had not had a good start and a spontaneous trip somewhere new was what we all needed to heal our wounds. Oslo healed my wounds. I was young, I fell in love so desperately. Continue reading

Budapest, a story of coffee and wine

Everybody had told me that Budapest is beautiful. It really is. I visited the Hungarian capital in 2013, a stopover during a road trip from Krakow to Turin with stops in Hungary, Slovenia and Trieste, an itinerary along some key places of the Habsburg Empire. Again, just like when I had visited Vienna, one of my main interests in this trip had been a cake. It’s always cake that drives me to the former Austro-Hungarian Empire! But let me start from the beginning… Continue reading

A foodie’s guide to Krakow

Krakow is the second largest city in Poland. It is a very important place for me for two reasons. First, it is where my mom was born and where my maternal family still lives. All my life I have always been spending a month every year in Krakow visiting family (my parents’ annual leave, basically). Second, I have lived in Krakow myself for two years and a few months, between 2012 and 2014. Over those two years I got to explore the city much more than I did as a kid and found a few places I like to back go to whenever I come back.

Continue reading

Gingerbread Amsterdam

gingerbread houses Amsterdam

Earlier this year, during my Easter break, I visited Amsterdam for approximately 20 hours. My friend, co-worker, fellow expat and fellow blogger Ania (girl, the list is getting longer, and I haven’t even mentioned our shared taste in music here) was with me. We were headed to Italy and chose to fly KLM in order to have a stopover in the Dutch capital to catch a favourite artist of ours performing there (here comes the shared musical taste). The first time I visited Amsterdam was back in 2010 and the main reason for my trip was to go see Anneke van Giersbergen, my favourite singer. The very same reason why I ended up in Amsterdam for 20 hours again this year. Continue reading

Georgia, Eurasia

It was drizzling and the sky was grey. The lush vegetation at the side of the road didn’t look as bright as it should have. We were driving along a bumpy road on our way to Kutaisi, our second destination in Georgia, and for the first time since we got there I felt unsafe. What if the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere? The idea of waving for help to other drivers – mostly Turkish truck drivers – was unsettling me, especially since I can speak no Georgian, nor Russian, nor Turkish. So I sat in my seat, hoping that if anything was to happen, it would happen in a village and the famous Georgian hospitality would come to our rescue. Continue reading

Lofoten, Norway

Whenever asked what is the most beautiful place I’ve been there is no room for hesitation, the answer is only one: Lofoten. I know I’m biased when it comes to Norway, but I can’t help it. I like to say that I have a special connection with that country, but it doesn’t take all this love for Norway to come to appreciate the jaw-dropping beauty of that archipelago up there. If spiky mountains rising straight from the sea and unexpected sandy beaches sound like something you’d love, you’ll probably agree with me about Lofoten. Continue reading