"The Traveler" is back!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Chip NoVaMac, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #1
    Back from my travels to Reykjavik and Iceland.

    Would have posted a bit sooner, but did have to spend the last couple of hours on the phone with my sister. :D

    For those that may be joining in late, this was my first trip out of the US at the ripe old age of 47!

    Nothing went as planned.

    New friends met along the way; spent two wonderful evenings with a fellow traveler on the flight from BWI to KEF.

    Interesting events in Reykjavik for their Winter Lights Festival. The people of Reykjavik don't seem to like to see solo travelers.

    Weather changes in Reykjavik (you don't like what you see, just wait an hour or so). Had my charter flight canceled on Sunday morning due to "weather" - though the night before the sky offered me the first glimpse of the stars.

    Food poisoning on the flight from Keflavik to Heathrow (to the best of my knowledge), costing me a day of seeing the sights in London - not to mention "loosing my breakfast" at the main lobby at the Westminster Tube station. :eek:

    Spent the next day in London doing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, a brief tour of the British Museum, Coventry Gardens, and so much more (in no particular order for this post).

    Being delayed by almost an hour out of Heathrow, that almost forced me to stay over night in Reykjavik (again).

    Being a photographer that is used to having his eye glued to the camera, I found myself not so attached to the camera. In Reykjavik, I was more like a local.

    In London I did allow myself to be more of a "tourist" than a "photographer". It was sort of liberating.

    I sit here tonight with a smile on my face that will not end. In some ways I am close to tears over my experiences this past week.

    I will be sort of "double posting". I will TRY to keep my posts to this thread with pictures and all over the next week "short". I will try to expand on my experiences on my blog (see the link below in the sig).

    So very hard on the very positive experience this past week.

    Now to only find countries that the US$ has not "tanked" against. :)
     
  2. Kernow macrumors 65816

    Kernow

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    Sep 30, 2005
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    Kingston-Upon-Thames
    #2
    Welcome back, Chip[\b]. I'm glad you had a great time, despite the food poisoning.

    Iceland is an incredible place, and the weather is as crazy as you mentioned. When I was there a couple of years ago on the first official day of summer, it went from blazing sunshine, to snow, to rain, to blowing a gale, all in the space of about 2 hours. :D

    Being a tourist in London is something even us locals should try. There is so much to do, that giving yourself up to what you would normally consider 'touristy' and off limits can actually yield great experiences.

    Here's to many more travels. :)
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    How were the people in Iceland? I heard they were a bit cold.


    *ba-boom-ba-boom*
     
  4. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #4
    I actually found them to be anything but! They love chatting about world events and their country. I even had a couple treat me to shots of their favorite liquors - Brennivin and Seaman's Shot (aka, the fisherman's friend).

    Though if ones exposure to Icelandic people is through the staff of Icelandair, they are not cold - just efficient.
     
  5. iGary Guest

    iGary

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  6. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #6
    Thanks Gary, missed you all too.

    Good news is at there is an Apple Store in Iceland. Didn't visit directly, but was driven past it on Museum Night on Friday (http://www.apple.is/)
     
  7. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #7
    You lucky person you :) I'm trying to get to Svalsbard for a little holiday over the summer. They have the polar summer up there. I found it on Google Earth XD

    I like cold places. they're a bit of alright.
     
  8. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    Oct 9, 2005
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    #8
    Hey, welcome home, Chip! You've been missed!

    Looking forward to seeing the photos...
     
  9. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #9
    First, "Glory, Glory Man United!". Was taught that while in London by a Manchester fan, and appreciate the Manchester pride in flying over your fair city on my way back to the US.

    Would like links to Svalsbard, I did a quick Google - but came up with links that made no real sense.
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #10
    Thanks to you too.

    Photos will maybe wait till this weekend to sort through. Just not yet focused enough to give attention to them. Sort of like you and your trip to SF.
     
  11. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #11
    Did you go to any golf courses in Iceland? I hear that it's getting trendy there.
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #12
    Saw one at least from the air. From my chats with the locals, these courses seem to me more for the well heeled and the summer tourists (so they can golf at mid-night).
     
  13. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #13
    Sounds like an awesome trip. Man, do I need a vacation.
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #14
    WARNING!!! Some my find this boring!

    So here is the first of MANY installments of my trip to Reykjavik and London almost a month ago.

    The first photo is of my luggage at the Vienna Metro at the start of my trip. I tried to pack light, but failed the strict 6 kilo (13 pound) limit for a carry on bag with Iceland Air from BWI.

    Met a gal at the Sam Adams Bar in the BWI International terminal (more later about us). She happened to be seated behind me that night. We chatted a bit, before I tried to catch a nap.

    When we arrived in Reykjavik, it was still dark. By the time I got to my B&B and settled in, the sun was making it above the horizon. The next few shots were the first I made. I guess I was surprised that near 9AM, it seemed to be only the children that were up and around.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
  16. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #16
    As a photographer I love "hard" graphical elements for some of my photography. The first two images work on that level.

    The next three images are to the favorite "snack food" of Iceland (the "pylsa", aka the hotdog). This pylsa stand is the one that Clinton made famous near the Raddison downtown.

    Iceland is expensive. A hotdog is 210 kronas (about $3.33US), and a drink was 130 kornas (about $2.06US) for the cup pictured. This was not because of the popularity of this place. I joke that the least one pays in Iceland for anything is 200 kronas.

    As to the "pylsa"; it was no "Nathans's"; but was the cheapest and best "cheap" meal that I had during my stay.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #17
    Well you will have to stay tuned here for greater details. :D

    To be honest this was the first trip that I took that I did not have every minute planned, or that I got upset over not doing what I wanted to do each day I was there.

    And I would not trade a single minute for what I thought I would do and see! Some spoilers have been mentioned already.

    Hope that what unfolds will keep some interest....
     
  18. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #18
    The next shot is a shot from my first day. The next shot is from the street that my B&B was located on, which was also the Embassy Row. The third picture was a window from a home right across the street from the US Embassy. Note the corrugated steel construction, and the next photo shows the concrete construction that is common in Iceland. This is the norm. They have little natural resources over the years to construct homes otherwise. And now it is the style they strive to keep.

    In the last photo note the open windows. That morning it was in the high 30's to low 40's F. This seemed to be the norm as I walked about the city. Found out that due to the abundance of geo-thermo energy, there is little need to be concerned about heating bills.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #19
    The first night in Reykjavik was spent doing the museums and dinner with Lisa from the Sam Adams Bar at BWI. She and I had a great time at the bar, and briefly during the early time of our flight to Iceland.

    We had dinner at the Three Coats restaurant near my B&B. I had the lamb, she had the whale. I had a bite of her meal. All that I can say is that it brings to mind shoe leather. Very chewy.

    No, we did not feel the need to try the "rotten shark". :)

    Sorry no real pictures (other than the one here on my way back to the B&B). We then went on the "tour" of the museums that were open for free from 7PM till midnight. That included the museum of "wax" figures at "The Peril" the geo-thermal water tanks for the city.

    The museums we hit were a good cross sample of the history and art of Iceland IMO.

    As to the history, I came away in awe that they have such reverence over "The Settlement" of Iceland way back in 1000AD. This contrasts with the US view that life either began here in the States with Columbus or maybe Plimoth or Jamestown. Never mind Lief Ericson, or the Native Americans that were here first.

    The art was "primitive"; based on what I saw.Not bad - but not refined as what some of us might consider to be the Masters of Europe that drove some of the art here in the US. The simplicity was a draw in a different way.

    It was great as a solo traveler to have someone to spend a great evening with, exploring history and art.
     
  20. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #20
    Art abounds in Reykjavik. These images are from my second day.
     

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  21. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #21
    Dogs are a rare sight in the city, It was just 10 years ago that dogs were allowed in Reykjavik. There is a heavy "tax" to own a dog. This pup, nuzzled up to me when I paused for a "break" on my walk. She was not neglected by her owner, as the few dogs I saw on my visit. Lisa and I were surprised by how friendly the cats we saw on the streets were though.

    Most cats I came across seemed to demand attention from most any passer by. Even the B&B house cat seemed to demand on inspecting my room on my arrival. Her pictures are attached also.
     

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  22. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #22
    Duff-Man says...I have always wanted to go to Iceland...seeing this inspires me to try and make it happen this year...looks cool!...oh yeah!
     
  23. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #23
    Keep in mind, I did not have the opportunity to venture outside of Reykjavik due to timing and weather. But the people made up for the "disappointment" of not doing some of the more touristy things.

    More the reason for another visit on my part.

    Next up for posting is Lisa's and my night out on Saturday night in Reykjavik, my last day in Iceland, and then my travels to London.

    The one word of advice is to plan on doing Iceland and some other European destination that Iceland Air serves. Iceland Air allows for a 72 hour stop over at no charge on to other cities they serve.
     
  24. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #24
    http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=44051&d=1143687402
    http://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=44052&d=1143687455

    I want to ask you a question about the barrel distortion in these 2 photos. Are you using your Nikon fisheye, and then straightening it out using Nikon software, or is this your Canon Rebel XT?
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #25

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