Posts Tagged ‘europe2010’

Travel: Just another strange place in Iceland (Hnjotur and Látrabjarg)

October 3, 2010 { Travel }

After an unseasonably warm and dramatic walk along the Látrabjarg bird cliff (Europe’s westernmost point), David and I stopped at the weird little outpost at Hnjotur, the Egill Ólafsson Museum. Here, a compact museum houses the fruits of Ólafsson’s apparent lifelong obsession with collecting: IBM mainframes, bits of ships, the varied implements involved in the the endless local struggle to procure protein; stark Protestant objects, coffins; bare furniture shiny with hard use; dessicated specimens of fish; geological specimens; pale quilts thin with years; an unsettling number of brutal proto-medical contraptions aimed at keeping farmers alive in this northern, lonely place.

Cultivation, Caves and Castles: The Wines of Saumur (Loire Valley); Part I

September 22, 2010 { Travel, Wine }

Even on a small brochure map, the Loire Valley seems a bit wide-flung, but David and I are well-seasoned road travelers who tend to wipe through a lot of miles in an hour or day. So when we planned out our trip to the Loire Valley this summer, we assumed we’d hit the highlights: salty Muscadet on the coast (maybe some bruised-looking sea clouds for good measure); a dabble of honeyed Vouvray; a dalliance with the sere perfection of Sancerre on the eastern end. As it turned out, we never got more than 20 miles away from our inn near Saumur during our whole wine trip.

Djúpavík: Possibly the Most Interesting Place I have Ever Been

September 21, 2010 | 3 comments { Photography, Travel }

Emerging from my dazed over-stimulated WOW after several weeks, I can finally process the caliber of the stuff I saw floating around Europe for a month with David. First up is Djúpavík, an almost intolerably photogenic and surreal abandoned fishing village in far northwestern Iceland. To get there you drive along the Arctic Ocean on a tiny road and you feel like you’ve discovered something no one else has ever seen.

Photography: How Birmingham Got Me, Again

September 20, 2010 | 1 comment { Photography, Travel }

This used to be my front door. It’s in Edgbaston, a neighborhood in Birmingham, UK. Birmingham is difficult for me because I like it okay but it does not like me. For one thing, when I lived there, it rained every day. Did I mention that? It is actually not an exaggeration. I got over that, but then when I finally made it back for a “hey, Brum, what’s up?” visit this past June, it pulled a fast one on me.

Photo: 75 Seconds at Gullfoss

June 2, 2010 { Photos }

Though Iceland has about eighty-seven thousand hundred waterfalls–enough that you glaze over at a certain point–Gullfoss is the tourist heavyweight. It’s impressive and huge. But everyone photographs it and comes away with the same general shots. I thought I’d try my 9-stop neutral density filter. This was taken in broad daylight and is a 75-second exposure.

Photo: Blowing ash in southern Iceland

May 30, 2010 { Photos }

The story now is not of blustery explosion but of a beautiful desolation caused by veritable storm fronts of billowing ash. Ash everywhere. In my socks. In David’s eyes. In the air filter of our rental car. Black and deceptively gorgeous, the ash, when airborne, brought visibility on roads down to near zero and is going to make me blow black snot for some time to come.

Photo: Sun spilling over the earth

May 28, 2010 { Photos }

Flying over Greenland on a fight to Europe: not unusual. Not unusual, even, to see curious, remote, ice-scarred landscapes. But I was looking at this scene through my three windows in seat 2F (I’m convinced: best seat on the entire plane, an IcelandAir 757W) for some time before something made my scalp feel kind of funny.

It never got dark on our flight. We skirted the very edge of the curved track of sunlight across the planet. These mountains slipped below us at a time difficult to pinpoint, but it must have been something around three in the morning locally. OK, so picture this.

I was sitting on the starboard side of a plane flying roughly east. Thus, I was looking out of a window on the right side of the aircraft: looking south. Note the direction of the shadows! I’d been awake a long time and I was confused and time was loopy, but I was pretty sure of the various cardinal directions. The sun was coming from the north. How could that be?

David, slumming it back in 17F, was noticing the same thing. He was busy discussing the vagaries of BitTorrent with his young, Norwegian seatmates. One of them, Wilhelm (the first Wilhelm I’ve ever heard of who wasn’t also a Kaiser), was taking five iPads back to the mother country. They were all spellbound.

Later, David and I put our heads together and figured it out. We were far enough north that the sun, on the other side of the planet, was spilling over the top of the North Pole.

Day 2: Seattle and on toward Reykjavík

May 27, 2010 { Travel }

Union Station (Amtrak), Portland, Ore., May 26 Everything has started lopsided, with the little tragedies and surges that underly the best and the worst journeys we take. Is David’s lost wallet an Ill omen or a charm? David doesn’t lose wallets. But his is most certainly missing, and now he is missing; I am sitting [...]

Europe 2010, Or, How I packed everything for a monthlong international journey in a carry-on

May 26, 2010 | 8 comments { Travel }
This is everything I'm taking to Europe for a month.

Using tips from veteran flight attendant blogger Heather Poole (@heather_poole) as outlined in The New York Times, along with a few tricks I kind of made up as I went along, I pulled off what I think is a significant coup: I am going to travel around Europe, for nearly a month, through several countries, with nothing but a carry-on and a shoulder bag.

Reviewing the Europe Exodus, 2010

May 25, 2010 | 1 comment { Travel }

Emerging, slowly, from the kind of sensual shock a month in Europe can do to a visually- and culturally-obsessed human like myself. Iceland, Ireland, France, England.

Trying to capture what I can and show it to you. It might be dull, but I hope it will be occasionally pretty. Join me?

See all Europe 2010 items

Wonderful games with Caslon