• europe,  spain,  travel

    Slow, sunny day in Seville

    Full set of photos My apartment was so well-appointed that it even had a stationery bike in one corner, which made my morning MPC workout all the easier. It also had a handy beam to which I could easily affix my resistance band, so I was all set. Workout complete, I freshened up and headed out for the day’s adventures. I’d thought to try and see the famed Alcazar in the morning, but while waiting in the considerably long line,…

  • europe,  spain,  travel

    God and gastronomy

    Full set of photos My flight out of Barcelona was relatively early (8:30 am), and I had grand intentions of waking up early enough to take public transit to the airport. I did wake up when I’d planned, but then dozed off again (as I’m wont to do), so taxi it is! I think this was my first flight with Ryanair, and it was, thankfully, uneventful. I arrived in Seville and was pleasantly surprised to find that getting into the city…

  • europe,  spain,  travel

    Gaga for Gaudí

    Full set of photos The weather forecast was threatening rain, which was unfortunate given my intentions to see Park Güell today. Nevertheless, I awoke at a relatively respectable hour, pulled on my running shoes and (somewhat amazingly) completed my MPC workout for the day. It was actually quite interesting to go for a run—made one feel a little closer to being a local. It also was just another chance to see an area of the city I hadn’t been in…

  • europe,  spain,  travel

    Eating my way through Barcelona

    Full set of photos Given how little sleep I had gotten, it was perhaps not surprising that I slept in the following morning. Thankfully I had not missed breakfast and enjoyed the fresh and healthy breakfast buffet that had been laid out on the terrace. But it wasn’t long before I was out the door and on my way to see the sights. My first stop was Plaça Reial (Royal Plaza) in the Gothic Quarter, which was a beautiful, palm…

  • europe,  spain,  travel

    Barcelona bound

    Full set of photos I’m not going to lie; one of the biggest joys of my job is the opportunity to travel the world. A language development conference in Bilbao meant visiting a new country for me! My flight with KLM was comfortable and perhaps too entertaining (love when airlines have great movies available), and I didn’t end up getting hardly any sleep as a result. My first order of business in Barcelona was getting a SIM card, which thankfully were available…

  • europe,  iceland,  travel

    Too hot to tölt

    Full set of photos After seeing all the Icelandic horses on my journeys, I’d decided to book myself a horse ride with Íshestar. As a kid, I’d done a few horseback riding summer camps and had always enjoyed it, but it had been ages since I’d ridden. There are a number of horse tour companies, but I decided to go with Íshestar because of their strong animal welfare policy. Wanted to be sure that the horses are well-treated! The tour company’s…

  • europe,  iceland,  travel

    Edge of the world

    Full set of photos The clouds had rolled in by the time we got to the hotel last night, so I was pleasantly surprised to find in the morning that we were surrounded by mountains. After a quick hotel breakfast, we piled into our van and headed  to our first stop, Ytri Tunga, in search of seals. We did spot a few seals bobbing in the sunrise-dappled water, but my attention was largely focused away from the water. For all my desire…

  • europe,  iceland,  travel

    Snaefellsnes Peninsula

    Full set of photos I was eager to start out on the second leg of my tour, where I’d be journeying to the west part of Iceland. So eager apparently that I was in the lobby waiting for the pick-up a full hour earlier than the actual pick-up time (I’d mixed up the pick-up time yet again!). I met my new guide, Saga, a Reykjavik local, and the somewhat sadder van we’d be given. Apparently, they had to rent a van,…

  • europe,  iceland,  travel

    Lava and ice

    Full set of photos We started out before the sun was up (which isn’t terribly early I suppose when sunrise is close to 9:30) and made the relatively short drive to Glacier Guides. The clouds had lifted enough to reveal a gorgeous range of mountains, draped in rugged glaciers, in shades of blue in the morning light. We were fitted for crampons and given a helmet and an ice axe before piling into a large bus to be driven to…

  • europe,  iceland,  travel

    Travel: Diamonds in the black

    Full set of photos The rain had slackened overnight, and we were treated to the faintest hints of clear skies. After a quick breakfast from the hotel buffet (I heavily favoured the cheese options), we piled into our minibus and made the short drive down to the Reynisfjara beach to watch the sunrise. Part of the reason I wanted to visit Iceland was I wanted to see places unlike anything I’d seen before. This was one of those places. Soaring basalt columns–symmetrical…