What an irony! July is about to end and my monthly post for June is coming now. Without giving any excuses, I am coming to the point. June 11 was Harmit’s birthday and we celebrated it outside Omaha. One more road trip of the year, what’s better than that, that too on your birthday.
The trip was great and we really enjoyed our time there. I got ample opportunities for my photography. Here are…
We rose up to a slightly chill rainy morning, day 1 of our trek and Prerana and I already had our bit of scare last night in the guest house. The previous night I slept off really early while Prerana went for a night walk with the rest of the group. We had also discussed that evening as we checked in that there was a creepy looking old man who seemed really drunk staying in the room opposite…
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“Sydney Harbor” Enhanced Photography Artwork
A beautiful landscape shot I captured during my time in Sydney, Australia. I had the privilege of spending a few days in Sydney before and after a New Zealand Cruise I took. I loved my time there as I found Australians to be so kind, gracious, and fun. I saw more of New Zealand, which was also awesome, on this trip but I have every intention to go back to Australia to see more of their Wonderful Country.
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A unique chance to see the Westerkerk in Amsterdam in rainbow colors for the 25 years of Pride. One-time opening only on Tuesday 3 August 21.30 - 23.00. Free access (Photo courtesy of Westerkerk Amsterdam)
Day 3: The Start of the Half-and-Half Days from Akureyri
This morning, we took it easy and some of us slept in, which was very much needed given how much driving we had done and the distance we had covered in the last two days. It wasn’t until around mid-morning that we left our place and headed out to check out Goðafoss, also known as the “Waterfall of the Gods”. It was about a 30 minute drive out of town to get to Goðafoss but it was an easy drive there, followed by an easy walk out of the car to see it.
Because I had already visited Goðafoss on my last trip, I didn’t need to go crazy taking photos of it this time. Instead, I hung around and took some photos with and of the family from both viewpoints of the waterfall before walking down to the water level to take a couple of family group shots from a different perspective. Along the way, my parents met a nice physician couple (with the wife being a Vietnamese doctor… the whole reason my mom struck up a conversation with her, I’m sure) from Pennsylvania and conversed with them while waiting for me, Cynthia, and Minh to finish some photos.
Once photos were done and we were all good with the waterfall, we decided to head home for lunch instead of trying to fit in a drive out to Aldeyjarfoss because, though it was located in the same relative area as Goðafoss, it would take some time to drive there on the rugged road. So we drove back to Akureyri and stopped by the grocery store on the way home to stock up on ingredients to make lunch for the family. Once we were home, I got started with the cooking and prep work. After a little bit, we had our quick and easy lunch of Huy-styled Icelandic hot dogs with potato chips, potato salad, and spinach salad on the side, ready for consumption.
It was nice to sit down and enjoy lunch at home instead of eating in the car or on the road or nowhere at all. We made the most of the lazy early afternoon and chilled and relaxed at home while also doing some planning for the next couple of days given how the schedule had already changed this morning with a late start, the updated weather forecast, and the scrapping of today’s planned visit to Aldeyjarfoss. After my brother and I looked through the schedule, we came up with an alternative itinerary for the next couple of days that just shifted things around a tad but would give us enough time to see what we needed to see before leaving Akureyri.
And with that schedule change, we made our way to Ásbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped forest-y canyon located about 2.5 hours northeast of Akureyri. Originally, I had no interest in driving out to see this place based on some of the meh photos I had seen of the area. But because Minh wanted to see it and I didn’t have other concrete plans, the family and I (minus Cynthia, who had to stay home to work) went along with it.
The drive out To Ásbyrgi was long but luckily, the weather held up and it was a gorgeous late afternoon drive there. Along the way, we drove through Husavik and lots of lupine fields, which offered beautiful roadside views as we sped by. Once we arrived at Ásbyrgi, we drove all the way through the canyon to the end of the road where we were hoping to find the trailhead for the hike that would lead us to the canyon-top views. However, after briefly walking around the area, we found that we were not in the right area for what we were looking for. We jumped back into the car and retraced our steps to another location, where we ended up finding the correct trailhead for our relatively easy hike.
But what I thought would be an easy stroll ended up being much more difficult because of a very strange, sharp pain that suddenly developed in my right heel for some odd reason. I wasn’t sure what was causing the pain (inflammation vs. an Achilles issue vs. a blister vs. a tendinopathy) but it was painful enough to cause me to be moderately distressed at the situation, especially because of how early in the trip it occurred.
Despite the sharp pain that recurred every time I took a step with my right foot, I kept hiking. I endured it so that I could see what we came to see at Ásbyrgi and not miss out. But it was painful and by the time I reached my brother at the inner edge of the canyon, I was in a good deal of pain when walking. But I sucked it up and enjoyed the almost-sunset views of the vast canyon before slowly hobbling my way back to our parked car. What a miserable hike despite how easy it was.
By the time we were done hiking, half the family was hobbling and we were ready for the drive home with the goal of making it back for a hot dinner. But we got derailed along the way when we saw beautiful golden hour lighting and some roadside lupines near the Husavik area. So we made a quick stop to take some photos before jumping back into the car and racing our way back to Akureyri.
When we arrived in the city, it was pretty late and there were very few non-fast food options still open for dinner. But luckily, we got back in time to stop by Blaa Kannan Cafe in downtown Akureyri, where we ordered some chicken sandwiches, a chicken panini, a veggie quiche, a cookie, and an orange cheesecake to take home for dinner and dessert. Once we were home, we quickly devoured our not-too-bad sandwiches and desserts before getting ready for bed. And as I readied myself for bed, I spent some time planning for the next morning in hopes of having a productive half day of traveling with Cynthia on board.
5 Things I Learned/Observed Today:
1. The public bathrooms located in parks and at natural attractions in Iceland are ridiculous! Unlike the nasty port-a-potties in America, the bathrooms in Icelandic parks and near natural tourist attractions are super clean and well-kept with working faucets and sinks, normal and clean flushing toilets, and even hand dryers. Why can’t we have that in America!?
2. How was Ásbyrgi formed? There’s the myth and there’s the science. The local myth states that the horseshoe-shaped canyon formed when Sleipnir, Odin’s flying horse, touched the ground with one of his eight hooves. But based on science, the thought is that between two and five thousand years ago, “huge lakes of meltwater formed near three active volcanoes” around the edge of the Vatnajokull glacier and “eruptions under the ice may have dislodged ‘ice dams’ and allowed the lakes to drain quickly and suddenly, resulting in enormous floods that rushed quickly out to sea with such unbelievable force that they carved canyons like Ásbyrgi in the lava”, which later hardened to become what we see today.
3. Rams in Iceland are aggressive! Unlike their kids and wifeys, rams don’t give a f about anything when crossing the road. They probably think they’re the big boss based on how they look and look at you when walking across the road. When approached by a car while crossing the road, some rams will just stop mid-cross and stand there, in the middle of the road, while you’re driving closer and closer. Then, they’ll stare at you in disgust for a few seconds before continuing to cross the road at their own, unconcerned pace. That attitude!
4. No matter how long I wait into the night, the sky never seems to get dark here. And it’s even more apparent in north Iceland in June, when sunset is after midnight! Just craziness.
5. The area around the town of Husavik is so much more picturesque in the summer when the landscapes are dotted with purple lupines everywhere. During my last visit to this area, it was wintery and cold with not-nearly-as-pretty barren landscapes.
Driving from TN to AL, Saturn IB at AL rest area on I65 #bltraveling #photooftheday #photo #photographer #photography #photoshoot #traveling #travelblogger #travelphotography #travelblog #travelgram #travel #nasa #alabama (at Alabama Welcome Center complete with Gemini Rocket) https://www.instagram.com/p/CR9T8i_seiA/?utm_medium=tumblr
With the retreat of monsoons and the arrival of autumn, September marks an off-season for Indian travelers. This brings the opportunity to get heavy price discounts on flights and hotels and fewer crowds in tourist places. With Covid19 cases reducing, now is a great time to plan a trip during September.
Don’t know where to go? Don’t worry....
Here are the best Indian destinations to visit in September...