Exploring San Francisco on Two Wheels

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If there was one word to describe California, it would be diverse; from its desert to mountainous landscapes, its metropolitan cities and whistlestop cowboy villages, to its weather, one can find anything and everything in this state. With this in mind, California was a natural choice when it came to choosing a destination for our road trip, and what better starting point than San Francisco?

With a reputation of being one of the world’s greenest cities, San Francisco is easy to walk around and explore, as long as you have calves of steel to take on its many hills! With a city of that size though, it soon became apparent that we needed to swap our two feet for two wheels. And so we rented some noble steeds from one of San Francisco’s many bike shops and meandered along the coast towards our destination: the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. Continue reading

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Walk ‘The Line’ in London

Get your weekend cultural fix and dose of healthy exercise in one go with The Line, London’s first contemporary art walk. With works by artists such as Damien Hirst, gin distilleries to explore and pubs to wet the whistle by canals, all located within this east London walk, one might be mistaken to think they had walked in on a hipster’s paradise.

The Line begins near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and meanders through the canals and the Meridian line to North Greenwich. Dotted along the way are intriguing works of art, such as this stony-faced chap:

 

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Walking with Giants in Northern Ireland

Years ago, the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill was challenged to a fight by his rival the Scottish giant Benandonner. However the two were separated by the North Channel, and no matter how much the other tried neither could cross the water. So anxious was Fionn to brawl against Benandonner he built an enormous causeway across the channel to the Scottish side. Fionn defeated his rival in the clash, but Benandonner, frightened Fionn might follow him, destroyed the causeway as he retreated back to Scotland.

Or so the legend goes, anyway. Geologic study asserts the Giant’s Causeway in the Republic of Ireland was formed when volcanic activity around the region of Antrim caused highly fluid molten basalt to push through chalk beds and form an extensive lava plateau, the contraction of the basalt caused it to take the shape of spindly pillars.

Looking at the basalt columns in reality, I preferred the giant story.

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London Hikes Inspiration

As any outdoor-loving Londoner knows, it can be hard to escape into the outdoors from the city, particularly when you’re reliant on public transport.

So when I found a website with loads of day hikes, all within easy reach of a London train station, I knew I had to share the joy.

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Exploring Reykjanes’ Explosive Environment

At first, Reykjanes might not seems like much of a sightseeing destination. For miles around, the lava fields spread like one expansive, flat blanket. In fact, if you happen to be driving along the coast during inclement weather, it can seem forbidding and barren. If you have a little faith however (and good direction) the road inland will lead you to some of Iceland’s most unique geological features. Continue reading

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Getting Steamy in Iceland’s Reykjadalur

To find Reykjadalur, you simply need to follow your nose.

Literally translating to ‘steamy valley’, this landscape is filled with hot sulphur pits and bubbling rivers you can even take a dip in! Continue reading

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Relaxing on Reynisfjara’s Black Beach in Iceland (and more waterfalls…)

Iceland adventures (89)

As far as relaxing beach holidays go, Iceland’s Reynisfjara Beach wouldn’t be at the top of an ordinary beach getaway list. For one, it’s Iceland and nearly always chilly, and two, Reynisfjara’s shores are less white sand and more lava pebbles.

Still, it’s precisely this rugged, unique beauty that drew us to see Reynisfjara in the first place. Admittedly, the water was way too cold for bikinis, but when you have basalt caves to explore, columns to climb, and beach sheep (I know right?) to watch, then it becomes an equally good beach break in its own right. Continue reading

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Exploring Game of Thrones’ Gjain and Hiking Around Waterfalls in Iceland

Given that Iceland’s landscape is so otherworldly, it comes as little surprise that the country has featured as a backdrop in everyone’s favourite fantasy series, Game of Thrones.

One site in particular stood out to us, and that was Gjain. Stunning in its own right with a myriad of waterfalls, funky geology and some awesome archaeology just lying around the corner, the site was just a short detour from our main itinerary. Or so we thought, to our potential demise.

But hey, as they say, getting there is half the fun. But more on Gjain.

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Searching for the Northern Lights in the Golden Circle

There are multiple writers and bloggers out ‘there’ that will tell you not to visit the Golden Circle in Iceland – It’s too touristy, too busy, there’s better sites elsewhere, etc. But here’s the thing: those sites are popular for a reason, and just because they are popular does not diminish their worth. And with the promise of sighting the northern lights in Thingvellir National Park, the home of ancient Icelandic parliament, we parked up at the campsite, threw some layers on our bodies and some whisky down our throats, and waited.

Because let’s be honest, if it was good enough for the vikings, it would be more than fine for us. Continue reading

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Roadtripping Through Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsula

If there is one thing travelling through Iceland teaches you, it is to go with the flow and be prepared for change. After spending months drafting the perfect itinerary of excursions and adventures around the south coast of Iceland, our plans were nearly dashed by the sudden dispersal of a hurricane that had only just wreaked havoc off the coast of the USA. Now it had come wreak havoc on our itinerary.

With the choice of either sandblasting the paint off our rental campervan or making a detour north, we did a quick rejiggle of our itinerary based on the advice of a rep from Kuku Campers, and headed towards the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

What we forgot when planning our itinerary however, is that with a place as stunning as Iceland, there’s never a wrong direction to go.

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