30
Mar 16

Wales Easter

As usual, we headed up to Wales for Easter. Hurricane Katy was also heading up, so we had to give up kayaking plans, but otherwise we were totes on the top of our game – hiking, sea, sunsets, birds, oen bachs and family time, all check! Plus, awesome time with my macro lens.

We did a nice little hike up the Roman steps to Rhinog Fawr, down by Harlech. Saw a Red Grouse on the way too.

Up Rhinog Fawr

Up Rhinog Fawr

Down Rhinog Fawr

Down Rhinog Fawr

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

Sunset before the storm, from Dinas Dinlle.

Sunset

Sunset

Also a nice hike our fave Yr Aran, the Vatican way this time, with some nice views on the snowy Snowdon ridge.

Gina and Yr Wyddfa

Gina and Yr Wyddfa

Cwm Llan a Yr Wyddfa

Cwm Llan a Yr Wyddfa

Up Aran

Up Aran

Up on Aran

Up on Aran

Down Aran

Down Aran

Spectacularly windy trip around Morfa Nefyn, sort of sunny though. No seals!

Morfa Nefyn

Morfa Nefyn

Macro throughout. Getting really good at it, should be selling them for postcards!

Macro

Macro

Oen bachs everywhere!

Oen bach

Oen bach


13
Mar 16

Hampstead Heath

Sunny Sunday, spring is almost here, so we made our way to Hampstead Heath to give some air to my mini drone. Plus also to find the parakeets and possibly other birds.
We were not so lucky on the drone front, it still pretty much does what it wants and then it ran out of batteries.
BUT we were super lucky on the birds! We saw:
– parakeets (all green, check!)
– geese (of some kind, not check, we don’t know what they are)
– and a KESTREL, and not only that but we saw him catch a mouse and munch on it in the sun in the tree (check check check!) Love my monocular.

Parakeet

Parakeet

Geese

Geese

Kestrel

Kestrel


14
Feb 16

What did the pirate say when he turned 80?

Aye Matey!

(Iest did not get this.)


07
Feb 16

Rainham marshes

Nice February Sunday we decided to explore the Rainham marshes, for some fresh air and possibly birdwatching. We managed to get the right train and in no time we were walking on the pretty circular boardwalk through the marshes. Sun was shining, wind was blowing, and birds aplenty. With the help of my monocular and my pretty birdbook we had a blast.
Confirmed sighting – a Coot (check! but no picture, they were too far)
We also saw some tits, geese and all kinds of other creatures.

Geese

Geese

Rainham marshes

Rainham marshes


14
Jan 16

Xmas and stuff

We had fun xmas with loads of presents as usual, xmas cookies as usual and afterwards we went up to Wales as usual. Nobody really remembers much more about it, it’s been too long.

Xmas tree

Xmas tree

In Wales we went up Cadair Idris (that’s like Idris Elba, except it’s nothing like him), which was very beautiful; we also saw some nice sheep and I used my awesome macro lens on the Llandwyn beach.

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

Llandwyn

Llandwyn

Sheeps

Sheeps

Llandwyn down below

Llandwyn down below


23
Jul 15

Reykjavik – London

Sad to be leaving but looking forward to our bed! A little bit of stress as the plane was out of the headphones we wanted to buy to watch Fortitude, but we managed to get the kids’ packs which had some shitty ones in them too. Also a colouring book and stickers – bingo! London grey and not so warm, missing Reykjavik already, they have sun all the time.

Loc(k)sin, Einstok, and Iest.

Loc(k)sin, Einstok, and Iest.


22
Jul 15

Reykjavik

A nice leisurely day in Reykjavik. Beautiful sunny warm weather, we started in Iest’s pick of Reykjavik’s hipster coffee place (Reykjavik Roasters), onto the most famous Reykjavik church Hallgrímskirkja (which is actually quite ugly and in your face), 3D topo map of Iceland in the rathaus (great), and anything in between.

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja

Gina sketching away

Gina sketching away

3d map of Iceland

3d map of Iceland

Loads of sketching too. Lunch at Kafi Brennslan, dinner at our fave 2for1 Bergsson Mathús in the sun by the pond.

Gina at Tjörnin

Gina at Tjörnin

Icelandic parliament building

The Prime Minister’s house

Relaxing, beating Gina at cards

Relaxing, beating Gina at cards

Awesome food @ Bergsson

Awesome food @ Bregsson

Afterwards we met with Iest’s animator friend (thanks Bjarki!) at the local local for locals – Bar 7 – gritty and fun. Awesome final day of our trip!

Fríkirkjan í Reykjavík

Fríkirkjan í Reykjavík


21
Jul 15

Stykkishólmur – Reykjavik

We checked out Stykkishólmur in the morning, probably the first town we see in Iceland with nice ‘scandi-style’ architecture. If Stykkishólmur can, why can’t the others? Nevertheless, not much to do, so we set out on our journey back to Reykjavik.

'Scandi-style’ architecture

‘Scandi-style’ architecture

Þingvellir

Þingvellir

As we had some time, we decided to take in Þingvellir on the way, the only point of the ‘golden circle’, which we hadn’t seen yet. Þingvellir is a site of immense historical importance to Iceland, as well as geographical, it being the meeting place of the Northamerican and Eurasian tectonic plates. Despite that, it is kinda boring on the face of it, and most of the time I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to be looking at. Nevertheless, check!

"The Sun Voyager"

“The Sun Voyager”

Glass wall at Harpa

Glass wall at Harpa

From there we went straight to Reykjavik to return our car, and back to our campsite. We then walked to town to check out the main sights, it was a beautiful sunny day, and the wind finally quieted down. Delish lunch by the Tjörnin, but not quite sure there is much left for us to do in town tomorrow…

Gina's silhouette at Harpa

Gina’s silhouette at Harpa

Photoshoot at Sæbraut

Photoshoot at Sæbraut


20
Jul 15

Reykjavik – Stykkishólmur

Sleep in we did, which was nice, and then we rolled in to the camp reception to get ourselves a car for a day. It more or less worked out (they were a bit late on the delivery but also gave us a much bigger car than we paid for), and soon we were zooming up north from Reykjavik onto the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

A stupid stop in Borgarnes, of which our guide says it has a nice small-town vibe (it had nothing of that sort), and then a beautiful drive along the southern coast of the peninsula.

Rainbow!

Rainbow!

Our Icelandic wheels!

Our Icelandic wheels!

Southern landscape of Snæfellsnes peninsula

Southern landscape of Snæfellsnes peninsula

We did a nice coastal walk between Hellnar and Arnarstapi (and back, that’s what happens when you need to get back to a car). Which was really scenic, plus we saw some new birds too.

Coastal walk

Coastal walk

Nesting sea birds

Nesting sea birds

Iest and the sea

Iest and the sea

Gina and the rugged view

Gina and the rugged view

Incredible Raven

Incredible Raven

Beautiful Raven

Beautiful Raven

Hellnar and Arnarstapi peninsula

Hellnar and Arnarstapi peninsula

Then we continued around the peninsula, taking in nice views in the strong winds. Stopped by the famous Kirkjufell mountain and its waterfalls, although in quite uninspiring light conditions.

Coastline looking West

Coastline looking West

Snæfellsjökull

Snæfellsjökull

We checked out camping spots in Hellissandur and Grundarfjöður on the way but didn’t really like them, so we ended up driving all the way to Stykkishólmur. Where we got at about midnight.

Kirkjufell mountain

Kirkjufell mountain


19
Jul 15

Heimaey – Reykjavik

We woke up into a super strong wind, shaking up the tent. Despite that the weather was still plenty nice and sunny, if a bit hazy.

Coastal Path

Coastal Path

Gina marching ahead

Gina marching ahead

We set out on our puffin-hunting, along the western shore of the island to the south. Even after walking the five or so kms along the coast we still didn’t see any (although we saw a number of other birds), and the wind was really pretty gusty. (We later learned that this is, indeed, the windiest spot in Europe.)

Looking out towards Suðurey

Looking out towards Suðurey

The beach at Vikin

The beach at Vikin

When we reached the southernmost peninsula, we were almost losing hope for puffins. We climbed up the hill to the bird-watching hut – and there they were! In their hundreds along the cliffs and on the sea, some bravely trying to fly in the strong wind, their little orange beaks and feets flapping along. It was really pretty awesome.

Puffin

Puffin

When we had enough, we went back to the road and decided to try to thumb to town to spare us another hour in the gusts despite the fact that there was very little traffic at this place. We were super lucky though and got a ride immediately with a nice French couple before we even really started hitching.

A sunburned and windswept Iest

A sunburned and windswept Iest

Gina and Toti

Gina and Toti

Back in town we got ourselves a Panini lunch and headed to the last unexplored spot on the island – the aquarium. The place was fairly small but full of wonders – huge amounts of stuffed birds and animals and fishes, and also tanks with live fishes and other water creatures. It also had boxes with little gull chicks, nursing them after they’ve fallen out from nests, until they’re strong enough to survive. On top of all that, there was one guillemot walking casually around; aaand and one local puffin who’s just living there since four years, and I got to hold him! Excellent visit.

Local Puffin - Toti!

Local Puffin – Toti!

A very curious Guillemot!

A very curious Guillemot!

Afterwards we bought some skyrs and went to pack up before heading out for the boat.
We said a sad goodbye to the island, and zoomed over to the mainland seamlessly connected with a bus to Reykjavik. We arrived at the campsite at about half ten, pitched the tent in the strong wind (still here as well!), and went to make a dinner in the nice warm common kitchen. Decided we wanted to sleep in a little bit tomorrow, so no getting up crazy hours to catch a bus to Borgarnes, we’ll see about renting a car for the trip.