Travelling with Baby & Toddlers (Keeping Sanity intact)

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After our baby was born, itchy feet of ours could not wait any longer and we headed with Ayaan on his first 400 miles road trip to Wales when he was 6 weeks old. We did not stop after that!!

Travelling with a baby/toddler is piece of cake!! Shocked !! Don’t be, I am kidding.  Truth is it is not easy but it is not even the hardest task you will ever do. With prior planning and tricks to keep them busy & entertain will do the magic. And you will never have to think about taking a travel break.

Ayaan is turning 2 in next two weeks and he has already visited 8 countries. We want to raise him wild and free. We are lucky that he gets adapted to new places, weather & people quickly. He loves to smile, run around and explore things around him.

We are no experts in travelling with little ones, but here is some tips & tricks we have learnt over the last 2 years of travelling with our little explorer.

Give your little ones enough breaks to unwind the built up energy on road trips

Give your baby enough breaks on those long road trips. If he/she is young and cannot sit or walk yet, carry a sheet and lie them on it to freely move their hands & legs 🙂 And if they are walking, let them be kids – Run like a wild cat [of course keep an eye for safety]

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Air Travel – Let those wings fly

Give yourself a good time for security, check-ins etc. Their tantrums may kick in anytime. Most airports these days are quipped with kids-play area. So while he is busy playing, treat yourself with a warm cup of coffee. Believe me you will need the kick of that caffeine once aboard on a plane 🙂 If there isn’t one, let them do their sprints or laps near the boarding gate. You do not want to get on board with a superman/superwoman who is ready to fly anytime now.

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Bring lots of snack.

A running around toddler would mean he would need refuelling from time to time. So carry a lot of snacks, We generally carry oat cakes, fruits bars, raisins, nuts to fulfil the need of those sudden hunger pangs. A happy baby means happy parents.

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Entertainment is another key for happiness

On a road, plane, train, hotel or a walk – You need to keep your toddler entertained. Now I do not mean handover your phone or ipad to them. Bring along his favourite book, cars, colours, stickers, any other small that your little one loves. On our recent trip, we carried a book of 5000 stickers and Ayaan couldn’t be much happier. Sing rhymes and read stories to them.

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Exploring the world

The best of travel is to let your kid feel that sand & grass, let them swim in the lake or play with water fountain. This exploration will make stronger and improve their immunity. Be careful but do not stop them from trying new things. They might fall, but didn’t we as a kid 🙂

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Follow your little ones routine of sleep/food or forget the “normal”

Now this one is totally dependant on your style of parenting. For us we like to follow our son’s sleep and food routine. Now we do not stick to it 100%, but most of the our things we plan around that. With Ayaan, he gets cranky if he has not been fed or slept properly. So we feed him as per his normal schedule and put him to bed early. That means we have early nights In. Frankly we do not want to party anymore until midnight either 🙂

Invest in a good baby carrier

Buy a god quality carrier to carry them around for those walks & hikes or may be even a simple stroll. Life will be much easier and you both will enjoy your time outside as well.20106324_10155556163328799_7051360353528320295_nWe have one from Osprey for long walks and another one from iangel that we generally use for shopping walks.

Duty of care, but do not beat yourself up.

This is one of the most important bit and something that basically keeps us all away from the idea of travelling.

As a parent, each one of us tries their best to control those shrieks & fake cry , keeping the place neat & tidy, physical boundaries etc. But fact is kids are very unpredictable and you will not have necessary control on every reaction. If you do fall in such a situation, apologize to fellow passengers (non-guilty way) and try to settle down your kids in best way you can. Never ever shout at them in public ( you do not want them to learn shouting is OK) Let them cry for a bit, diver their attention , those 5 minutes might feel like 5 hours. But they will learn what is acceptable behaviour. Most of the people around you will be understanding and sympathetic , if you were not lucky that will still be OK. There is nothing more you could do 🙂

Remember next time you are sitting find parents with young kids, just give them a nodding smile making them believe that it is all OK 🙂

We know a lot of you are travelling, any advises for us to add to the list?

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Jersey – 5 days in this Perfect Summer Holiday Destination

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Imagine a holiday with various sandy beaches to choose from, cliffs, light house, country side & lots of ice cream all in the vicinity of 9 by 5 miles island. Are you tempted? Did I hear ‘Yes’, then Jersey, British Channel Island, is a perfect summer beach holiday destination for you.

Whether you are looking for a long weekend away or a week holiday away from home here in the UK, Jersey has everything for a sunny warm holiday. With many UK airports only an hour from the island and ferry ride of about 3.5 hours from Poole or Southampton, escaping to Jersey for a few days is a fantastic option that offers something for all ages.

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We spent 5 days in Jersey with a very relaxing schedule as we were travelling with our 23 months old baby, so wanted to make sure he feels that he is on holiday too. Well frankly, he had the maximum fun on this holiday with building/breaking sand castle, bathe/swim in the sea, zoo visit, cycling on the bay etc.

Travel – You can travel by public transport or hire a car ( If you did not drive to Jersey)

Food – Thai Dicq Shaq ( Best Thai Food Ever- St. Helier), Mad Mary Cafe (Bouleu Bay), The Hungry Man (Rozel Bay) – All of these eat outs are famous among locals.

Money – Though most of the places accept cash, but it’s good to carry some cash for those beach side small cafes.

Do not Miss – Icecreams & more of Icecreams 🙂

Best Time to Visit – May to October. July & August is the busiest time of the year.

So here is our 5 days sample itinerary, which anyone can customize into a long weekend getaway as well.

Day 1 – You will probably arrive by noon St. Helier , Jersey’s capital city. After check in and a light lunch, you can head to Harve Des Pas beach. It is one of the most popular beach with Victorian bathing pool which fills up during every high tide , leaving a pool full of seawater to be enjoyed by swimmers at low tides. Imagine a pool in front of a beach !! Perfect Isn’t it. Kids will love building sand castle or may be breaking ones which are built by mumma. My bubba had his most fun tossing away the sand castle and running on the beach.

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Day 2 – If you travelling with kids, you can visit the Jersey Zoo in the morning. It has a lot of birds and animals, kids will absolutely love it. My bubba was excited to see Chimpanzee and its family running around the ropes and ladders J You can have your lunch in the café at zoo. Do not forget to eat the real jersey icecream!!

If you are staying in St. Helier, you can escape from the mid noon sun and head to hotel for a little rest.

In evening, head to St. Brelade’s  Bay Beach. It is one of the top 3 beautiful beaches in the UK boasting it’s sandy bay, restaurants, water sports etc  It is safe to swim on this beach and it even have a lifeguards on it. Spend a good couple of hours here and then head to St. Aubin bay for a stroll before you end the day.

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Day 3 – Head to St. Corbiere Light House. On a low tide day, you can use the causeway to get to the light house. We were unfortunate to have high tide so causeway was submerged under the sea. However it is still one of our favorite spots in Jersey, quiet and you feel like you have whole beck to yourselves. Me & Ayaan even took a nap on the beach, and it was one of the nicest nap in recent times. So utilize your afternoon to take a nap instead of driving back to hotel.

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Afterwards drive towards L’Etacq which is an absolute gorgeous seascape drive and stop over at La Greve de Lecq Beach. It is at north-west edge of the island. Again a sandy beach with a view and lot of restaurants to treat yourself.

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You can then head to Plemont beach, which is home to some secret caves and beautiful beach. Kids will love exploring all the beaches of the day.

Day 4 – Time to explore eastern side of the Island. So head straight to Grouville Hamlet which has the oldest buildings of Jersey. It is a little gorgeous village and good for a stroll.

From here head to Mont Orgueil Castle in the village of Gorey. Castle is not too big, will take you not more than 2 hours to see it at ease. But views up from the Castle Terrace are magnificent. France is just 16 miles from here J

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End your day at Bouley Bay, a beautiful pebble beach and very popular for swimming and scuba diving. So if you love water sports, this could be your place. Do not forget to have a meal at mad Mary Café and their famous crab sandwiches & Mad Mary hot chocolate. Yes even on a hot evening, I absolutely loved sipping that warm mug of milk.

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Day 5 – A must visit to Jersey War Tunnels, and you will get to know the rich history of Jersey and it’s people.

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7 Days road trip to Scottish Highlands

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We travel to Scotland once a year and it has now become a family ritual . The ritual is established because we fell head over heels in love with Scotland back in 2009. And I doubt there is anyone who has visited Scotland once and never went back.

Lately I have been seeing a lot of queries for sample itinerary/suggestions/recommendations for Scotland travel. So I took this as an opportunity to write a couple of blog post to help people planning their epic road trip to Scotland.

We are a big fan of road trips, and feel self drive makes your journey memorable and gives you more time to explore different places. If you are one of those who stay in Scotland or closer to Scotland border, well I envy you 🙂 For those who stay a bit far like us, let’s get started 🙂

Trip to Scotland include Scottish highlands by default. So if you are driving from far, I will recommend you to break your journey at Edinburgh for couple of days.

  1. Edinburgh

Things to do in Edinburgh:

  1. Edinburgh Castle – Worth a visit and will take half of your day.
  2. Walk on the Royal Mile Road – We have done it several times, and still enjoy this walk exploring different pubs, street shows, restaurants.
  3. Camera Obscura – It is a world of illusions, mirror maze etc and if you are travelling with kids they will enjoy it too.
  4. A stroll in Holyrood park and a gorgeous hike to Arthur Seat giving you panoramic view of Edinburgh.
  5. A small hike via steps to Calton Hill and a gorgeous view of old & new Edinburgh from the top. There is an unfinished monument at the top, a beautiful photo spot.
  6. Dynamic Earth – another interesting attraction to know more about earth and sciences.

2. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

Afterwards you can start your journey towards Scottish highlands. Drive to Loch Lomond & The Troassachs National Park and stop over in various villages of the national park. Take a cruise from one of these villages: Luss Village , Balloch or Tarbet.

Even a simple stroll is beautiful & quaint in these villages. To read more, check out our blog post on Luss(Herb) Village Walk, Argyll

3. Inverary, Argyll

This little beautiful coastal town is home to Live Inveraray Jail, Inveraray Castle, Loch and beautiful cottages. You can easily spend a day or two here.

To read more, check out our blog post – Beautiful Inveraray, Argyll

4. Glencoe

Driving in the valleys of Glencoe is awe-inspiring. It is majestically beautiful yet quietly boasting different mountain ranges in it’s vicinity. We can spend weeks here and still not get bored of it. But if you have only a week, stay over a night , go for a hill walk and in night lie down outside for star gazing. Believe me it will not get any more beautiful.

5. Fort Williams

Town of fort Williams is no far from Glencoe and it is home to the highest mountain of the UK – Ben Nevis. If you are fit and up for a hike, do the hike to Ben Nevis. It is challenging but views all the way is a reward to the eyes & soul. More about the hike on this post Hike to Ben Nevis- Britain’s Highest Mountain

Do not worry, those who want to take it a bit easy. You can still get to the top of Nevis Range by visiting Nevis Range Gondola Centre 

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If you have interests in gems, fossils & crystals, a visit to Treasures of Earth will be worth it. May be bookmark it for a rainy Scottish day . More of it on the post Treasures of the Earth

Shout out for Whisky lovers, a must visit to Ben Nevis Distillery, you can take a guided tour and at the end of the tour treat yourself with real Scottish whisky while sitting in Scotland 🙂

6. Lochshiel, Glenfinnan

Not far from Fort Williams is a little hamlet of Glenfinnan.

Shout out for Harry Potter fans, the very famous The Hogwarts Express rides over the Glenfinnan Viaduct Bridge, which is closely visible by a long walk from here or you can see it from far distant from station museum.

Loch Shiel is the location of the fictional Black Lake near Hogwarts in the film versions of the Harry Potter series. To read more, check out our blog post Lochshiel, Glenfinnan

So this was our list for 7 days in Scotland. You can customize the number of days you would like to spend in each place. Hopefully it gives you an overall idea on what can you do for 7 days in the beautiful highlands.

 

Iceland Road Trip – Tips on Planning

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What is Iceland for us? Iceland is for us is like entering to into another planet. It is far by the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and I am sure it will always remain no1 on my favourites list. The beautiful landscapes, magnificent mountains, amazing waterfalls and so much more. If you love being around nature, believe me you will not find a perfect setting like this.

So in this post I am going to delve into a bit of tips on planning your trip. If you are coming to Iceland just to visit Reykjavik, then planning is quite straight forward but if you are planning to drive around island then there are few things which you might want to consider or plan well ahead.

When to Visit Iceland

I have visited Iceland in Summers and Winters, and frankly I will not be able to pick my favourite time. It displays a different landscape in both the seasons, and some options for you to choose. Summers will give you the opportunity to see midnight sun as it never really gets dark and winters will show you the amazing Northern Lights. So if you have a bucket list with both of these items, I will suggest to make two trips to Iceland to see the beauty it offers.

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Iceland in Winters

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Iceland in Summers

To give you an idea on weather, here is what I read and saw for myself.

May to June – It is spring time, it will be cold, less crowd, snow still at some places and might be inaccessible as well.

July to August – Summers time, tourist season, pleasant weather and almost all of the country accessible.

September to October – Autumn time, a shoulder time with still pleasant weather and winters coming up. Few parts of the country might start to get accessible only by mountain vehicles and 4wd cars.

November to April – Winters time, snow snow snow and chance to see Northern Lights.

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What Must/Should go in a Packing List

When in Iceland, you could see a lot of variation in weather in a single day. When you went out it might be sunny, but within few hours its heavy rains, strong winds and by evening it could be again calm. So be prepared and bring layers with you to dress up accordingly.

Clothes – You must bring a a thermal vest, rain jacket & water proof trousers, along with a cap and gloves. Rest of the list I will leave for you to decide 🙂

Navigation – It is always helpful to have a Sat-Nav or Tom-Tom with you. Driving in Iceland is easy as there is no complicated road network. But it always added an advantage to your journey, for an instance to look for the nearest gas station or a grocery shop.

Road Map – If possible, get an Iceland road map. Sometimes Sat Nav will try to take you to the shortest route or fastest route via a impassable route or a route fit for only large vehicle. At those times, basic knowledge of ideas will come to great help.

Phones – Download a couple of useful apps on your phone to get to know the weather and road conditions while you are driving across Iceland.

  1. 112 – This is the official app for emergency service in Iceland. With this app, you can send an SMS to Icelandic emergency services while using the GPS location before dialing 112.
  2. Vedur – Best Icelandic weather app. It helped us a lot in planning our day in both of our visits.
  3. Iceland Road Guide – Gives you a very good ideas on the roads in Iceland.

 

Money/Credit Cards – Get some Icelandic currency as well as enable your cards for foreign transactions. If you are out of cash, one can always use a credit card even in remote parts of this island.

Camera Equipment – I am sure you will not forget it, but should go in the list anyways. Carry all your favourite lenses as well as tripod to capture the beauty of the place and bring it with you back home. A pack of extra battery may be 🙂

Where to Stay in Iceland

If you are touring around the island then you will be driving every other day to a new place. Around Reyjkavik , you will not fall short of options. But as you start moving away from the capital, options are a little lesser. But locations of most of the places is awesome. During our stay, we stayed in hotel, hostels as well as Air BnB in some of the awestruck settings.  If you want to stay close to the nature, I will advise you to book well in advance, as accommodations like the ones below does really get booked fast.

  1. Foss Hotel, Nupar Near Skaftafell
  2. Berunes Hostel
  3. Mjonaes Accomodation, Egilsstadir
  4. Akureryi Air BnB options
  5. Hvammstangi Seaside Cottage
  6. Bryggjukafi Hostel or Sima Hostel, Flateryi
  7. A seaside cottage, Talknafjordur

 

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Food/Grocery Shopping & Fuel

Like any other country, Iceland does not fall in the options of restaurants and grocery shop. But eating out everyday on a long trip might burn a hole in your pocket.If you are travelling on budget ( like us ) and having a self catered stay, I have listed out few super market names for your grocery shopping.

  1. Bonus – Cheapest Option
  2. Netto
  3. Kronan

Fuel – No problem in finding a fuel station in Iceland, they accept foreign cards as well as cash. When you are driving away from Reykjavik, be vary of the fact that sometimes the distance between fuel stations can go upto 100KM, so just keep an eye on the fuel tank and keep tanking it up.

Things To Do

Iceland is like Santa’s Christmas Sack which never falls short of options 🙂 There is something for everyone, whether you choose organised tours or self planned trip. And if you love hiking/walking, it will be a paradise for you. Nevertheless, I have mentioned few activites below:

  1. Hiking/Walking
  2. River Rafting
  3. Helicopter Tours
  4. Glacier Hike
  5. Rock Climbing
  6. Cave Tours
  7. Ice Climbing
  8. Horseback Riding
  9. ATV Tours
  10. Northern Lights in Winters

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Iceland Road Trip – 11 days Itinerary

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At this moment I am suffering from post holiday depression ( as  one of my dearest friend calls it ) after my superb and awesome 11 days road trip around the most lovely island – Iceland. I was thinking of ways to overcome this depression. Guess what! writing about it seemed like the best option for self help 🙂

So I started planning for this road trip from Nov 2016. You all must think that’s way too much early, but I had to as my 11 months old baby (who was 3.5 months then) was supposed to join us on this lifetime of a road trip. So yes I took my time to plan the routes, drive times, accommodations,  car hiring, sights, hidden gems, baby foods and much more.

I would like to share the details of my plans and itinerary with all other fellow travellers to make their next venture to Iceland a bit more convenient with some useful tips.  So next few blog posts will be dedicated to Happy Iceland Travel 🙂

Here is a print shot of the journey we travelled to give you an idea of our journey. PS: All the stops are not included  as Mr.Google will not allow me to add all places in one go. So I will break down my journey and travel plans for each day 🙂

 

You will notice that I have not included South west part of Iceland on the map, as we had visited that part of Iceland on our last trip to Iceland. I will provide the details on that as well.

PS: We rented a car and did a self drive tour around the Island. Our own tour, not through any tour company 🙂 We enrouted to south coast first, going anti-clock around the island.

PS: I will be writing separate posts for each of the places that are mentioned below.

Day 1 – Keflavik to Skaftafell/Vatnajokull National Park

When you arrive at the airport, your car will be ready for you to pick up and you must be geared up to start your epic road trip in Iceland.

1st Stop – Seljalandasfoss

2nd Stop – Skogafoss

3rd Stop – Vik Village and Black Sand Beach

4th Stop – Solheimasamdur Plane Wreck Site ( which sadly we could not visit, as it was pouring down heavily and we did not want a sick baby on the first day of our journey)

5th Stop – Quick Stop at Fjadrargljufur Canyons.

6th Stop – A peaceful night at your chosen accommodation. We stayed at Fosshotel Nupar, every room had huge windows with superb views.

Day 2 – Skaftafell/Vatnajokull National Park to Berunes

1st Stop – Walking in the national Park. You can choose to go for a long hike or a small hike, hard or easy, lots of choices available.

2nd Stop – Jokulsarlon Glacier & Diamond Beach

3rd Stop – Hofn Village

4th Stop – Vestahorn Mountains in Stokksnes

5th Stop – A peaceful night at your chosen accommodation. We stayed at a cottage (YHA International Hostelling) by the sea with mountains around.

Day 3 – Berunes to Egilsstaðir

It is a beautiful coastal drive, one of our favorite drives around the island. You will love every bit of this drive.

Stop 1 – Petra’s Stone Collection

Stop 2 – Hengifoss Waterfall

Stop 3 – Walk in the Hallormsstadur Forest

Day 4 – Egilsstadir to Seydisfjordur

Walk around the this little beautiful town. It is a home to beautiful waterfalls, so if you love hiking you will have a treat.

On return, visit Egilsstadir town and may be a dip in the thermal pool.

Day 5 – Egilsstadir to Akureyri – Lots of options to explore on this drive

Stop 1 – Dettifoss & Selfoss

Stop 2 – Viti Crater

Stop 3 – Krafla Power Station

Stop 4 – Hevrir

Stop 5 – Lake Myvatn

Stop 6 – Godafoss

Day 6 – Visit & Explore Akureyri – This will give you little break from all the driving.

Day 7 – Akureyri to Hvammstangi 

If you plan to visit west fjords during your trip, hvammstangi is a good option for a break in journey. It is a beautiful coastal town with many walks and options to check out Arctic Tern Colony.

Day 8 – Hvammstangi to Isafjordur or Flatyeri

Get ready for an awesome drive in the Fjords. A part of this journey will be on the gravel road, but landscape around you will make up for it.

Stop 1 – Non sense Museum – You read it right, I did not make something up.

Stop 2 – Old Book Store in Iceland – Worth a trip, if you love to read this is the place for you.

Day 9 – Isafjordur

Explore Isafjordur and near by villages. Go for long hikes or short walks.

Day 10 – Flateyri to Talknafjordur

Stop 1 – Pingyeri Village – Museums, Village Walks.

Stop 2 – Dyjandi Falls

Stop 3 – Swim in natural geothermal pools

Stop 4 – Latrabjarg Cliffs

Day 11 – Talknafjordur to Keflavik

Get ready for the longest drive of the trip, its time to head back to Keflavik and back home 😦

Before you go back home, visit blue lagoon to get those muscles relaxed and soak in the beauty of Iceland.

More blog posts coming up for each of the places mentioned above 🙂

Minnack Theatre – Beauty beyond Eyes

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During our recent trip to Cornwall, we planned to visit Minnack Theatre on a beautiful sunny but windy day. Minnack is an open theatre built on the high & rocky Cornish cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean. It is also listed in the list of world-famous open theatres. Believe me, once you visit the place you will know why is this place so much-loved.

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It is another world and it has got a fascinating history behind it. Rowena Cade is the brain and the heart behind this beautiful piece of architecture. She moved to Cornwall after 1st world war and built a house for herself at Minnack Point. She used to offer her garden space which was beside the sea to the village group people who wanted to do stage any drama for the community. Miss Cade and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, made a terrace and rough seating, hauling materials down from the house or up via the winding path from the beach below. They carried the sand and the stones on their back without any machinery, they used to carve the seats with the tools to make it more beautiful. She devoted her life to improve the theatre, working over the course of the winter months each year throughout her life (with the help of Billy Rawlings and Charles Angove) so that theatre remains functional. And the result of her hard work can be seen in pictures.

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Minnack theatre is situated not very far from Land’s End, you have to drive towards Purthcurno Bay. It has also got a rockery and alpine gardens for the visitors and a way down to Bay.

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Stykkisholmur – Secret Walter Mitty Town

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Stykkisolmur – The Walter Mitty Town was a must visit place during our self drive Icelandic Trip. And the reason of putting the place in the list was due to the fact like many others I had also fallen in love with the place while I watched the movie. And then I started reading more about the place and got to know it’s importance in Iceland and in the tourism. How this smallest town of Iceland got the title of European destination of Excellence.

This beautiful town is located in the northern part of the Snaefellsness peninsula. You can combine it with your drive to south west part of the Iceland.

We visited this place during the winters and it was so deserted and yet so idyllic and peaceful. I am not sure whether I was in the love with the seashore, empty roads, colourful houses, still boats or I was just Happy to be here.

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There are many reasons for visiting this beautiful town like the conservation of cultural heritage & history as well as its environmental awareness.

The town was also the first municipality in Iceland to start fully sorting its waste as well as the first town in Iceland to receive the prestigious Blue flag eco-label for its harbour.

The hot water used in Stykkisholmur is completely sustainable as it is reinjected into the ground when it has been used for heating purposes. The town has on top of all this started a project eliminating invasive plants from its land.
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Oh yes the road you see in the above picture, is exactly the one when Walter Mitty ran to get into the helicopter. I was so delighted to be standing here.

Fishing and tourism are the bread butter of this town.

You can walk upto an adjacent island which showcase an old red light house. It is a small walk from the town. The view from the top is worth it.

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Wondering how does the scenery looks like while driving towards Stykkisholmur during the winter months, the picture below is a snap shot of the same. It looked more heavenly than this.

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Sólheimajökull Glacier – A Small Walk

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Until we visited Iceland, the only times I saw glaciers were in the movies or national geographic documentaries. It always made me wonder, how it would feel to be standing near to one. How the place around will look like covered with ice and all you see is Ice and Ice and Frozen Ice.

So me and Ash decided to visit one of the glacier in Iceland from much closer distance. We did not go for glacier hike, but we want for a small walk on top of it and to feel the aura around it. We decided to visit Sólheimajökull Glacier on the south coast, and just 2 hours drive away for Reykjavik.


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Sólheimajökull, a glacier outlet from the fourth largest glacier in Iceland, Mýrdalsjökull. I can not express in words how beautiful that sight was. Cold, yes freezing cold but a sight that will remain in your memories forever. Those different formations of Ice clinging to one another, caresses that it was forming one after another, it looked like you are standing in a land of crystals. And the roughness of black volcanic sand adds so much beauty to the landscape.

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Happy us trying to walk over the glacier with our hiking boots.

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Golden Circle – Geysir

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While driving on Golden Circle Route of Iceland, another popular attraction or stop over is to watch out for Geysirs. The hot springs are located to the east of a little mountain called Laugafell. This place is another wonder of nature where in you see huge springs spurting out of earth, roaring into steam and then disappearing into air.

I still remember that cold afternoon, temp was just around -10 degrees but it felt like -20. But nonetheless even though we could stand outside only for 10-15 mins at stretch, it was worth every second. And I would not mind visiting this place over and over again 🙂

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Strokkur (the churn) is currently the most energetic spouting spring in Iceland. It spouts every few minutes, sometimes to a height of 40 m, yet generally less than 10-20 m.

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Golden Circle – Þingvellir National Park

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Morning of another colder day in Iceland, we decided to go for Golden Circle Tour. The most popular destination in the Iceland, almost everyone who visits Iceland heads off to the golden circle, whether it is just a lay over in Iceland or a long trip. There is a well established road network on the golden circle which makes it easier to drive in summer months and a bit comfortable in the winter months as well.

We were happy looking at the weather from the window of our Air B&B accommodation, it was a bright & sunny day and were very excited to head out on to the roads. But as soon as we came out of the room reality hit us hard, it was sunny but it was freezing cold. Temperature was -5 degrees and winds were chilled as ice. We knew we might have to spend a lot of day in the car today.

Our first stop on the golden circle was one of the Iceland’s most popular park i.e. Þingvellir National Park. This park does not only have geological significance but it plays an important role in the history of Iceland. It is situated on the northern shore of lake Þingvallavatn, Þingvellir is the national shrine of Iceland. It is the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. Þingvellir has for this reason been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over two weeks a year, the assembly set laws – seen as a covenant between free men – and settled disputes. You can still see the fragments of booths where assembly was held.  It also have a Þingvellir Church and adjacent farm.

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Another popular destination in the park is a major rift, which has produced dramatic fissures and cliffs demonstrating inter-continental drifting is spectacular. People flock to this point to see a continental drift between the continents. The water is so clear between the drifts that it has become a hot spot for scuba dive and you can always show off that you swam or dived between the continents. I did not swim or dive in there, I could not have in freezing temperatures, but I did threw a coin between the rift making a wish to come back to Iceland and another one that actually came true 🙂

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Me and Ash are wanderers and do not know how we managed to walk all the famous parts of walk. I can still feel the cold winds slapping my face and knocking me off the ground. I think the urge to travel and see more just makes you do anything. Oh!! I miss Iceland now.

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