Thursday, March 15, 2012

`ello, London!

We added another travel spot to our annual line up: London!
It's going to be so nice... people speaking English, endless book stores, awesome restaurants, seeing the Olympic build up, Pierre Hermé, and Indian food!

I think I'm most excited about the instillation by Yayoi Kusama and the Damien Hirst retrospective (his very first solo) at the Tate. One would be reason enough for a visit, but both is a dream!

In the meantime I'm compiling a list of restaurants and places to visit while we're there. Chances are good we're not going to make it to all of these, but it will be nice to have a list for next time.

As always, I'm open to suggestions and recommendations if you have any to share!

London Pop Up restaurants + shops
Pollen Street Social 
Ottolenghi (I have his vegetarian cookbook, Plenty, it's great!)
Dock Kitchen
Fernanadez & Wells
Sketch bar

(When I think of London it always brings smile to my face, because I think of my mother-in-law telling me about a family trip when Stefan was child. He heard his Dad speaking English with the hotel reception and said, "Das will ich auch machen!" / "I want to do that, too!")
(old photos from one of my in-laws' trips)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


My favorite season is here again: biergarten! 

The Muffathalle biergarten has an opening weekend special on March 30th: each Maß is just 4.50€! 

Which biergarten is your favorite? 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

aurora borealis - Iceland

We ventured back to some of our favorite places in and around Reykjavik, but first things first, we saw the northern lights / aurora borealis / polar lichter and they were absolutely mesmerizing!
It was pure luck that there was a huge solar storm headed towards Earth, which gave us an unforgettable evening with the sound of waves crashing, the occasional chirping bird, and those green lights up above.
We were completely alone and it was pure solitude.
It's always nice to go back to a place after previously visiting, because there's a sense of familiarity.
When we went to Iceland last June, the Harpa was newly completed, but we didn't have time to tour it. This visit it was high at the top of my list and certainly didn't disappoint.
I'm a little nervous about how all of those glass panels would handle a decent earthquake, since there is a rather large tectonic plate nearby, but for the peace of mind I'll just say hopefully the professionals figured that out.
(My tip: if you go, visit at dusk, the colored panels start to really glisten and glow - it's magic!)

We admired random things at the grocery...

...ate lots of skyr

saw some pretty milk cartons

Kolaportið flea market's bright pink salmon

Reykjavik street art

serrano + nam... both inexpensive, yet good food options.  
I also love that they aren't afraid of spicy food. 
We spent a lot of time with nature and appreciated how easy it is to feel completely isolated. Here are some of the places we visited along the way:
selandjafoss... unfortunately the little dog we met last time wasn't nearby. 
kirkjufjara... black sand beaches are really something special. 
eyjafjallajökull... the volcano that erupted in 2010 and gave air travelers some serious panic.
For the record, Stefan's "horse voice" is absolutely hilarious. We gave them some comical commentary as we visited.
The funny thing about visiting Iceland in the late Winter / early Spring is the weather. We went from gale force winds and torrential rain to moments of heavy ground covering snow and other days it was relatively sunny and warm... kind of like Ohio.