Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kinda cool

My first interview's been published online and I had no idea..!

Of course, it definitely isn't great journalism but it's a start.. And I've over 20 likes on fb.. (thanks fb friends!)

If anyone's interested, I invite you over here.

They called me a blogger and a traveller.. Yay!


Almost perfect 36 hours

I'm so so behind with everything and it will get even worse!

I know week 3 and 4 are pretty much missing and there's so much: stories, cool adventures and interesting encounters I'd like to share with you but there just hasn't been time, nor opportunity to be online and do so..

So let me just share with you the last 36 hours.

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A 4 hour hike on a part of the biggest European glacier - Vatnajokull, followed by a 30 minute boat ride among floating icebergs in the Ice Lagoon.

Getting 3 perfectly fitting rides and arriving in Reykjavik in less than 5 hours (coming from Skaftafell).

Within 5 minutes of reaching Reykjavik, seeing a Polish 4x4 you'd previously seen 2,5 weeks ago up in the North. Chatting the guys up and seeing that they're cool travellers, turning their passion into a job. Also, seeing that they're quite spontaneous and setting off for rundur in the center of town (more on it in Icelandic trivia, part 3 - coming soon). Setting an appointment for the next morning at 10am to go to a nearby glacier in their lovely 4x4. Apparently you can actually drive up the glacier. You mention you'd been freezing recently - the guys give you a proper mat, a blanket and a better sleeping bag. Can you have a Hallelujah?

Next morning, 8:30 am. Have a wonderful hot shower and use your favourite shampoo that someone has just left behind (memories of India and your nice hair come back.. damn', you really need to hit the hairdresser's once you're back).
9:30 am. Got invited for breakfast by the Polish lads and have smoked lamb sandwiches, followed by camembert and jam sandwiches, followed by peanut butter and jam sandwiches. You're pretty much full by that time.

Finally get to drive through the interior! (kinda same views as route no 1, though). Finally get on some dirt roads and see the glacier in front of you. Some bumpy minutes later drive on the glacier itself. So it truly is possible to do that! You're hungry so you decide to .. cook!


video

(Translation: "Good krupniczek (traditional Polish soup) on a glacier.  We recommend the Chez Magda, Grzesiek, Pawel and Antoine Restaurant.")

Going back to Reykjavik on one of the most beautiful roads out there and arrive in the harbour for some lobster soup and fish kebabs. You're still a bit hungry, so some decide to hit the most famous burger joint, others (yes, that'd be me) go for the best prawn sub ever. Like srsly delicious, right Grzesiek? 

You have an 8 am flight tomorrow, so have to get to your hosts place in Keflavik at a decent hour (too bad - there's a music festival and lots of small concerts around!), so the Polish gang offers to drive you to the exit on the highway. Nobody wants to take you during the first 5 minutes, so the guys decide to take you all the way to the Base. You feel so bad, as you haven't even had the chance to take them out for a beer after everything they'd done for you. Grzesiek & Pawel - thank you guys so much for making this last day on Iceland so great - you rock!

You arrive at the host's place - so amazing to be indoors, with a roof over your head, a kitchen and a bathroom at your disposal. Plus, the computer.

Get connected again and try not to think that in 5 hours you have to leave this cosy place and possibly spend an hour walking to the airport. Then again, the plane takes you towards new adventures, so maybe you wanna put on those walking shoes in the end...?



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sometimes sun, sometimes rain

In Reykjavik currently, came for yesterday's Cultural Night - the city's (=country's?) most party day in the whole year. 

The sun was shining, the sounds, colours and smells everywhere - concerts on every street, in the backyards, on balconies; people in thousands, haven't seen so many in almost 3 weeks, seems that the whole of Iceland, plus as many tourists, were here to have a good time; food in and in front of every restaurant, the smell delivered to every city's corner by the gentle wind; meeting people I'd previously met on the road anything from a week ago to 3 days ago. Meeting some Spaniards at the bar which might result in doing some crazy rafting tomorrow. Dancing in trekking shoes and army pants. Watching a cool firework show.
So much energy, loved it!

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Today, however, the cards are a bit different and it's been raining quite heavily, so I feel excused to buy some Internet time and write to my friends. Wanted to upload some pictures, was supposed to do some translation but the computer in here doesn't either read usb, nor does it allow you to create files in Word. So, got left with good ol' facebook - it never lets you dow.

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I must admit it feels strange to know I've still a month of travelling ahead of me. I plan on coming back to Warsaw around the 20th of September - might still have a crazy bday party to crash on the 18th in Berlin.. Plus, found really cheap flights to Brussels in October and the fries have been on my mind for ages, so maybe..? Let's see how things roll.. 

This week will hopefully be a most adventurous one - am thinking glaciers, volcanic underwater reefs, rafting.. Let's see.. :)



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trekking in a shelter

Apparently the worst summer in decades and we decide to trek.

So we end up spending one day getting defeated by rain, fog, wind and the lack of visible paths, to spend the next two days indoors praying we can change our boat reservation.

More coming soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Week two begins

Getting a ride with 3 crazy German tourists (one of which actually started a Maya Bee fan club many years ago) and jumping around a waterfall,





going to a farm with horseback riding to get offered o job and be driven to the potential boss's place,




hitching an empty tour bus and getting free beer,




getting picked up by a French couple who travel around the island in a caravan of campers and teaching 60+ year olds the basics of dancehall by the bonfire to Bob Marley songs,


video


freezing under a waterfall to catch some sun on a patch of snow 10 minutes later,








'dining' on dry spaghetti in front of a cafe in a small town lost in the West Fjords to later get invited for a movie by the cafe's employees and munch on butter popcorn while watching Faun's Labyrinth,



chill out in the before mentioned cosy cafe (they serve Belgian waffles!) and recharge the batteries before setting off on a 4day trek up north.


Quite cool last couple of days, if I may say so!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Randomness

When people ask me why I want to hitch hike, the answers are two. 


First of all, let's be honest, it saves a lot of money and enables me to see more.


However, even more importantly - you get to meet all sorts of people and random things happen.


Let's take today for example and our last ride to a farm in the middle of nowhere. We were going there to do some Icelandic horse riding. We haven't done that yet, but am now sitting in a kitchen of who might be my future part time boss next spring.. :D


Stay tuned!


PS
Ate a puffin today.. Am not proud of it but luckily, I didn't like it. Tastes like liver.
Don't ever have to try the cute thing again!





Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First waterfalls, first craters

So, it´s pretty.
For sure, the landscape in here is great and the best is still yet to come. And loads of it!

During the last 7 days managed to have a bbq in a country house and break onto a church´s grounds, attend a fish festival and eat whale meat, steal a boat and make fire on a picturesque island to later camp out there, sleep on a rock overseeing Akureyri and do my laundry in a library´s toilet.

No time to be writing now, so just a couple of stills. Sorry, but haven´t managed to upload any more for the time being!



A little hike on one of the hills surrounding Dalvik.

A walk along Dalvik´s beach.




Thursday, August 4, 2011

The essence of travelling

3 short films.

3 minutes alltogether.

The essence of travelling.

Enjoy!






8 Icelandic trivia

#1 Electricity is very cheap in here, so even if it's 4pm and totally light outside, 4 out of 5 lights in your flat will be on.

#2 If you're out for a walk with a baby in a stroller and want to go into a store or a friend's house, you just leave the stroller outside. Baby included. The baby will sleep and breathe fresh air and they're less likely to steal the stroller.

#3 Icelanders drink a lot. A lot lot, like till 8am. Once they start, they don't stop.

#4 If you're flying to US through Iceland, the airlines allow you to make a 7day long layover without additional cost. So smart when it comes to bringing tourists into the country!

#5 They have sandals with a Vibram sole.

#6 If you want fresh coffee \ cold water and you're broke, go to a bank. Seriously, the bank I've been to in Keflavik is the fanciest one I've seen. They've a coffee machine you can use for free, plus a fridge with bottled water to take. Although to be fair, the time I went to a bank in Bombay, they brought me chai and cookies.

#7 People like to sleep here. Businesses open at 9am at the earliest (usually 10 or 11am though) and close at 6pm.

#8 There's a Candy Saturday - a day when kids can eat sweets. It turns out I've partially received an Icelandic upbringing! (do rodzicow - czyzbyscie zapozyczyli ten pomysl z Islandii?)




Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Velkomin til Íslands

Welcome to Iceland!

(That's where some pics and a video I shot last night of my neighbourhood were supposed to be at, but my hosts' comp doesn't read cards and I don't have my cable with me. So, imagine the outskirts of Keflavik whichever way you like).

Am staying very close to the airport, with a lovely Icelandic-Canadian family of 5 plus Rosa, the dog. My yesterday flight was a bit late and arrived at their place at around 6 pm. Got to meet a Belgian couple who had been travelling around the island for the past 2 weeks and they were totally in love with it. I think I can understand why, although I have not even seen anything yet.

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I always thought Iceland would be one of the gang, the Scandinavian gang I mean. Expensive for foreigners but comfortable for its own people. It turns out it's pretty much the other way around - the prices are rather OK for tourists who come here for two weeks at a time but too pricey for locals. At least that's my first host's take on it.

Tomorrow am picking up Antoine at the airport and I'll try to convince him to go to a BBQ we've been invited to - should be a great place (close to a natural park) with cool people (the host family plus their parents). And apparently there's a pool involved.

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There's another CS with me in here. A solo Canadian girl on her way back home after a two month trip to England. She's 13.

...


Also, I don't know how that's possible but the colours in here are different. Just love this greyishly blue clouded sky and the contrast it's in with the green grass.





Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Good friends are good to have

It's such an amazing thing to be surrounded (well, not so much as they live in London and/or Mexico) by inspiring, persistent and talented people you call your friends. So much motivation and faith they give you.

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Other than seeing the above mentioned individuals, I got to Stansted without a problem on a morning Ryanair flight. Managed to hitch into London and actually got lunch out of it as well :), didn't manage to buy any of the last minute things I was supposed to buy or do any of the things I was hoping to do (as so often last minute things tend (not) to go how we (don't) plan them, right?). 

Well, over and out.
See you from Iceland!!!