I know that by this time, we've all stopped rehashing 2014 and have started looking ahead to 2015. But I can't just summarize last year with pretty photos of Paris and Europe - I need to pause and share my reflections of a special year.
5 Rental cars
131 blog posts
And countless sheep
2014. I think of this year as my “gift year.” That’s not to say that every day we get on this earth isn't a gift, because it is. I mean it in the sense that when I think about 2014, I think “we shouldn't still be here.” Michael had a contract to work on an assignment in Paris for almost two years, ending in December 2013. Except by the end of that year, we had realized that Paris wasn't merely the home base for our travels throughout Europe. We had somehow built a life here, entered into community, and fell in love with life in the city. Things were looking bleak for a while and it seemed that we did in fact have to move back to the US as planned. Until things turned around and we were able to stay. We weren't supposed to still be hanging around the City of Light this year, but somehow in the end we were gifted with more time. Read More
Last Wednesday I shared my round-up of my favorite photos taken in Paris in 2014. Now it’s time to see the year in review through a collection of my canvas-worthy contenders from our European travels outside of Paris. Here’s where I traveled to during the year! Read More
Planning a trip to Iceland can be hard. There are so many options of areas to go, that unless you are planning on an epic 2-week trip around the ring road, the simple decision of which section of the country (West fjords, north, south…) to visit is overwhelming.
Having already visited Southern Iceland, and having read that the West fjords are best visited in the summer when there’s more daylight, we came to the decision to visit Northern Iceland in October.
If you’re thinking of visiting Northern Iceland, but are put off by the long (6-hour) drive there, here are some things you’ll see along the way that might help to change your mind. Read More
I love doing travel research for European trips. I have a grasp on how to find interesting historical sites, museums, markets, local food specialities, and other things to do when visiting cities and small towns. But give me the span of the great outdoors and I don’t have a handle on the first thing to do.
My trip to Iceland this past October was one of the most incredible and wonderful trips I’ve taken in all of my time traveling through Europe, yet it almost didn’t come together. I was intimidated to plan, information seemed less accessible than other destinations, and the possibilities of what to see and do seemed endless. When the entire country is gorgeous, how do you narrow it down?
If Iceland at all appeals to you, I hope you don’t pass up the opportunity to go because it feels daunting to figure out. I am the least outdoorsy person out there (remember my appearance in Seefeld, Austria last December in a peacoat and jeggings among the Olympic-clad cross-country skiers?!), yet I can vouch it is possible to make this trip happen. So take heart! I’ve put together a few pieces of advice that would have encouraged me and helped me along the task of trip-planning an Icelandic adventure. So let’s do this together. Read More
Iceland is the most active, geologically dynamic place I have experienced. It’s a fascinating country filled with volcanoes, moon-like lava fields and craters, glaciers, boiling mudpools, shooting geysers, and the list goes on. I’ve even seen the result of what happens when a volcano erupts beneath a glacier and causes flash flooding: a steel bridge on the side of the road mangled beyond recognition. It’s truly a land that makes you recognize and appreciate the majesty of creation and a powerful Creator.
And as much as Iceland shows its powerful natural “guns” if you will, it also is full of peaceful farmland, lakes, and an incredible amount of waterfalls. Without even pulling off the main Ring Road, you can see countless little cascades trickling down, flowing rivers, and carved-out gorges. Driving around Iceland is just as much a highlight as reaching “destinations,” which are also pretty spectacular. Today I want to share some of the waterfalls I sought out between two trips to Iceland, which were well worth the stops!
Here they are, 11 of Iceland’s seemingly countless waterfalls: Read More
1 Toyota Land Cruiser
4 Tanks of gas
2 Volcanic craters
And 1,800 km of Icelandic roads covered. (Or 1,100 miles and change. Or for those like me who numbers don’t register much, the equivalent of over a third of the way from coast to coast of the United States.)
Any way you choose to look at it, it’s certainly a considerable distance for two people to cover. Especially two people who rarely drive these days being city dwellers and all.
Even though neither Michael nor I particularly enjoy driving, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat to explore Iceland by car. There is so much to discover in this country with such a diverse landscape and a car grants great freedom to do so. Here’s a look at what we saw along the way from the confines of our four-wheel drive monster of a vehicle, most photos being taken as we cruised along at 90 kmh (56 mph), the speed limit on paved roads. Read More
We started by looking at our best canvas-worthy photos of Paris and then expanded the scope to all of France. Now it is time to conclude with our best pictures from our European travels of 2013.
There was much to discover on our travels in Europe. The first trip of the year outside of France was to Iceland, a country completely off my radar to visit. Now I can't help hoping to spend more time there enjoying its spectacular natural beauty.
The summer brought an amazing trip to Sevilla which once again proved just how wrong I was about Spain. I once had no interest in seeing Spain at all. Then I got acquainted with tapas (oh, the tapas) and the warmth of the country. Now I keep trying to scheme ways to return.
In August I joined my fellow Parisians in a mass exodus out the city. I found myself in Ireland on the most relaxing trip of the year, drinking lots of tea with dear friends in a house overlooking the Dingle peninsula.
Fall brought a trip to Bruges with good friends who, not coincidentally, were very knowledgeable about Belgium beers. I was afraid that I overly romanticized Bruges from my first trip there in May 2012 but found that I love the city all the more.
I closed out the year on a Christmas trip making my way through Germany to be in Seefeld, Austria over Christmas. All I can say is I'm already planning to be there next year for Christmas.
Here's the year in review: Read More