Accomplished! Cliffs of Moher and bonjour, Paris!

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Thursday was our final day in Ireland and we were both so sad to go. To be honest, we wished we had skipped Dublin and gone right to Cork! Because I was sick, we didn’t get to see as much as we wanted to. But we did still see quite a bit! This has been my scouting mission for when I’m rich and famous (or just have a grown up job and can actually afford to travel).

So back to what we did see on our last day in the brilliant verdant hills of Ireland. We went on a bus tour to the cliffs of Moher, and stopped at all these little castles, famine house ruins, thatched houses, AND OH MY GOODNESS, SO MANY COWS. One of the coolest things was this Neolithic tomb called Poulnabrone Dolmen. It translates to “hole of sorrows”. Dating from somewhere between 4200 BCE and 2900 BCE, it served as a marker for 30 adults and children. I can’t even fathom people living that long ago.

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We drove through the prettiest little towns and by farms and ah, I want to come back so badly! As we made our way to the coast, the hills grew rockier and mountains of gray rose out of the horizon. Parallel lines traversed their sides and our guide explained them to us. During the famine, people were given the jobs of piling the rocks on the mountains into stone walls. They had no purpose – the land is too harsh for farming or grazing – but they provided jobs so that people could be paid so they could eat. They’re known as famine walls. It’s terribly sad, but so interesting too. Everywhere you go is full of stories.

And the cliffs were… Well, they look like something out of a Tolkien storybook. We made friends with this friendly young man from South Africa and the three of us went right up to the edge! First there was the 100 ft drop… And then the 700 ft ones. One wrong step and we would’ve been sacrifices to the Druid gods. Just stepping so close to the edge made my stomach twist and my heart pound, but I’m glad I did it. The dark blue below against the jutting hard cliffs… It makes you appreciate the natural wonder of this planet and it’s ability to nourish and sustain us who linger so briefly on its surface.

Then today we woke up at a fun 4 in the morning to be ready for our 6 am flight to Paris. We got to the airport when it opened at 5 am. Right next to the boarding gate was a pub and of course, there were plenty of people inside with full pints of beer. Got to love the Irish.

And now… We’re in Paris! It’s a little overwhelming because I don’t want to be rude and assume people know English so I’ve been asking them “parlez vous anglais” and the ones that do speak English look at me like I’m a carnival monster for attempting French. Haha, oh well! I just am always aware that I’m a visitor in other countries and try to be as polite as possible. Not sure the Parisians appreciate the effort…

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Anyway, what did we do? We went to the LOURVE! Surprisingly the way we came in through this back entrance, meant we waited on line for about 15 minutes. Usually you wait an hour… Or two. So we tore through that, loving and soaking up all the Greek, Roman, and Italian statues, which are my favorite. We saw Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa. We walked through ornate rooms with ceilings that rivaled the paintings. It was beautiful. But there was so much to see. There always is, in museums. I want to spend some good time in our New York museums when we get back.

The next day, we did our third New Europe Tours in Paris. Our tour guide was a Dutch man who spoke perfect American – a result, he said, from studying at the feet of Optimus Prime, Captain Planet, and Pinky and the Brain. On this three and a half hour tour, we saw SO MUCH PARIS. Like, I can’t even list it all without losing its impact. Some highlights were this building that still is riddled with bullet holes from WWII and the Nazis, and a love lock bridge.

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Love lock bridges are an increasingly common trend in Europe. They are slowing spreading to the US in spots like the Brooklyn Bridge. I will have to look when I get back home! Basically they stem from this book where the amorous couple takes a padlock and puts it on the fence of a bridge in Rome. They throw away the key and say their love is as eternal as the lock on the bridge. So of course this has really taken off in Paris, city of love!

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After the tour, we weren’t far from the Arc de Triomphe. So we decided that our legs were still in good shape and headed to the middle of the 12 street roundabout to check it out. Then of course, we had to go to the top, which was over 300 steps to reach the top. But the view was so worth it!

We went back to our hotel for a catnap and had dinner and then went to the Eiffel Tower! Our legs and feet were pretty beat so we took the lift up to the second floor. It’s one thing to grow up seeing it in pictures and film and posters. It’s another thing to have it just suddenly there, standing in front of you. It’s real, solid, actually existing and not just some fairytale prop. The view from the second floor (43 stories high) was incredible, and more than enough for me – so I didn’t go in the little lift all the way up (81 stories!)

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We came down (accidentally walked the 43 stories down) just as the lights were turning on all over the tower. We walked through the park in front of the Eiffel Tower by people taking pictures, couples sharing picnics and kisses, and strangers just staring up in quiet awe. Vendors walked by trying to sell us wine and champagne – yay for no open container laws here!

You would think we were done after that busy day, but there was more still to see in the city of lights. We went down to the piers on the Seine and took a river tour. The lights shined blue, yellow, orange, and white upon the river waters, shimmering across the waves we left behind. On the banks of the Seine, people of all ages dangled their legs over the edge and waved at us, cigarette smoke trailing from their fingers like a ephemeral salutation. Magical.

Paris is so many things… And as a New Yorker I have to maintain some pride and thus, a sort of nonchalance for all other cities. There is good and bad here, but it goes without saying that Paris breathes beauty, art, and love in every corner, every store, every street.

Love always,
Gabriele

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Accomplished! Visit Ireland

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We took the train to Holyhead, Wales, next to a family celebrating their parents 25th anniversary, from Maryland. The son was telling some odd story for 20 minutes with water bottles in a sluggish monotone, while the Brits behind Jes loudly made jokes about “slags” and “taking the piss.”

I have never seen so many sheep as I did on this train ride, dotting the fuzzy verdant blankets of land. And Wales, oh, Wales is so very pretty from the window of the train. I would love to come back and explore Wales and hear the Welsh language.

Then we took the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin. Three hours long ahh! The Irish ferry was called Ulysses and it was more a mini-cruise ship than a ferry, as least by New York standards. There was a restaurant, an arcade, a cinema with TWO movies, a club lounge, and a bar.

We sat next to these two social studies teachers from Maryland who were chaperoning a group of high school girls through England and Ireland. They were super nice! I felt a bit nauseous so the lady teacher and I went up to the deck. It was so windy! It was the longest boat ride I’ve ever been on. Jes agreed that it felt like a cruise. The teachers were asking if I was feeling okay because I looked very pale and I assured them that, oh no, I’m just a vampire basically.

The hostel we stayed at was brilliant compared to its London counterpart. The beds were almost illegal in how comfortable they were for a hostel. We walked around Dublin for dinner and then we had drinks at the hostel’s packed and lively bar.

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We went on a walking tour like the one in London. Only caveat was the dreadful weather that couldn’t make up its mind between gusting, cold rain, and faint patches of teasing sun. But it was really amazing! I wasn’t aware of how little I knew about Ireland’s history and culture until we took the tour. We went to St Stephen’s Green, Dublin Castle, Trinity College and more. As our tour guide said, “Anything pretty you see here was built by the British. Our Irish architects… Not so much.”

Like the remainder of Dublin castle (British) is now connected to some violently bright slabs of concrete buildings (Irish) for example.

I was also really surprised by the juxtaposition of rainbow flags all over for the upcoming pride festival next to the extreme anti-abortion signs on nearly every lamppost. Change is always a struggle wherever you go, I suppose.

I liked our brief view of Dublin, though I ended up sick with a sore throat and fever. Hopefully the rest of our trip goes smoothly. To be honest Dublin didn’t amaze me nearly as much as our destinations Monday and today, Cork and Waterford counties. My great-grandparents were from these two places and I felt much more in Ireland here than the city of Dublin. Dublin seemed more the place to drink, while the southern shores of Ireland feel much more Irish and interesting at least to me. But it’s like comparing New York and California, or even NY and Boston, probably. They are barely the same country.

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Today we took a reaaaaally long bus trip through Cork county to the historical city of Waterford. I have never seen so much green. You think you’ve seen green – you really haven’t until you come to Ireland. Green isn’t just one colour of the rainbow here. There is an entire rainbow devoted just to green in the hillsides and sprawls of trees. It’s an ocean of emeralds, chartreuses, olives, and limes as far as you can see and then farther still. Smudged with all the other colours breathing through the greens, you won’t believe how bright the earth can be. And if Wales was full of more sheep than I’ve ever seen, the Irish countryside had the most cows. (As a veg*n, I just want to add that I bet factory farming and hormone-poisoned meat isn’t a big concern here!)

Anyway, we got to Waterford, which was founded in 914 by Vikings. We went on a tour of the most famous attraction there – the Waterford Crystal factory. It’s incredible to watch how humans have figured out the precise factors to turn sand into beautifully blown glass. To see this glowing, molten orange ball become a long clear vase before my eyes… Wow. Of course, being Waterford Crystals, there wasn’t exactly an affordable souvenir shop at the end haha.

We were wandering Waterford afterwards, marveling at all the beautiful churches and towers when we saw three high school age girls having cupcakes and we asked them where to get them. One asked if I knew to how to get to this one street. I laughed back, “We’re from New York… We kind of don’t know how to get anywhere.” They were super sweet though, in fact, all the people there were, from the lady at the gift shop who warned us not to get ripped off at other places, the gentleman who gave me a 20 cent for the loo as I rustled fruitlessly through my wallet, and the little old lady visiting her childhood home of Waterford who told me and Jes that we were sweet girls and that I looked like a Greek singer from the 1960s, Nana Mouskauri.

This view into Ireland felt so much more genuine to me than Dublin, but perhaps we just didn’t spend the right amount of time there, or I just have more of an emotional connection to down here. Like London, I really want to come back and spend more time exploring. One day. The Travel Channel really needs to give me a celiac/vegetarian themed travel show.

It’s incredible just passing through all these different places and thinking of all the different lives that are lived here. There are so many choices and paths we have in our own hometowns that can vastly decide our lives – how infinite the possibilities are across the ocean, or different countries, or even just a rock’s throw from where you started.

It’s humbling and yet poignant, because there is no way for us to ever really know every story, happy or sad. But I’m thankful for these glimpses.

Love always,
Gabriele

Evan

Name: Evan
Age: 20
Hometown: Westchester, NY
Coveted Superpower: To fly
If he lived in Avatar he’d: be an Earthbender

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Evan has been one of my friends since high school, where we were shy, bumbling, and awkward together. We worked summers at our town’s day camp, blistering in the summer sun, enduring endless eternal bus rides, and for Evan, dodging my little campers swarming him. He reminds me of a lovable puppy – goofy in the best way possible, always smiling, and fiercely loyal to his friends. Since our thorny high school days, Evan’s really grown into an impressive person that I’m proud to call my friend. He stands straight and tall, and moves with the smooth confidence of a man who knows what he wants from life and is not afraid to face it head on.

–       Go on tour with a band. “That’s definitely my number one.  Even just a band I start. It doesn’t have to be any popular band, just with a bunch of friends – play music, on tour, on a bus, for weeks. Be gross and smelly.”

–       “Learn to sing because I can’t.”

–       Release a AAA game. “I don’t want to be programmer; I want to be the designer behind it. RPGs are definitely one of my favorite things to design because there is so much that goes into it; there’s a lot to do. Maybe a class based game, because of the different characters to design.”

–       Go to Tokyo, for both the technology and culture. “I want to see, oh what’s over on this side of the world?”

–       Go to Hawaii; learn to surf  – “not necessarily a bucket list item, but something I want to learn eventually. Maybe not in this life, maybe my next one, but definitely surfing. Maybe not the whole surfer attitude with the long wavy hair, no shirt, the weird beads all over myself. ”

–       Go to Sydney and the rest of Australia, camp out in the outback with friends

–       Go to Germany for Beerfest, aka Oktoberfest, “because why not?”

–       Learn two languages: Japanese and ASL

–       Road trip from the East Coast to the West Coast with a bunch of friends and go along Route 66. “We’ll stop at all the local places, find weird food challenges, and all of the cheesy sights that everyone should see. It’s seeing the country for what it actually is. We’re seeing the entire country. Just get a group of your best friends and go. See what the United States is, without the tour. I want to be the tourist in my own country for once.”

–       Take a vacation with entire group of friends.

–       Own a corgi and a black lab at the same time. “I’m all about dogs. I love dogs; I love my black lab. I’ve grown up with them so I can’t see myself not getting one in the future. And I think corgis are absolutely hilarious and adorable. The corgi is going to be the comic relief of my life. Name them Waffles and Syrup. I was going to get a black lab corgi mix and name it McGriddle, but I thought that was going a little overboard. Three dogs… I can’t take care of three. I don’t want to be the crazy dog guy.”

–       End up in California – “That’s where I want to be – an apt in SoCal, with two dogs, walking on the beach, and just live the life. And then probably convince all my friends to move out there with me. Because I don’t want to leave them.”

–       If game design doesn’t work out, get into animal psychology

–       If game design AND animal psychology don’t work out, get into the National Guard, Coast Guard, or Air Force. “If I cannot flourish as a person in the business world, at least let me do something productive for someone else.”

–       Have dream car: a 1969 cherry red mustang. “It’s classic, it’s American, it’s all I need”

–       Be an extra in a movie

–       Have a family; just be happy. No laundry list of details for a soul mate – “As long as being in their presence is enjoyable, that’s all I ask for.”

–       Maybe try voice acting, “for a movie or a show, or even a video game; that would be totally awesome.”

–       Fly a fighter plane. “Both my grandfathers fought in World War II, and flying has always been a dream of mine. I’ve already taken flight lessons and I don’t really like commercial planes or small private planes. It definitely would have to be a fighter, like a raptor or an F-16; those are what actually intrigue me the most. The day an Iron Man suit is purchasable, I will invest all my money in it. I will drop my house; drop everything just to own one of those. A personal flight suit that allows me to fly anywhere in less than an hour, that’s okay with me. ”

Accomplished! More London goodness!

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Today is our final day in London before we continue on our journey.

I’ve fallen in love with this city in these fleeting days. I love that it’s similar to New York in that it’s never turned off. There are people everywhere speaking every imaginable language and dressed every conceivable way. There is always another street to dart down, another corner to discover. It’s full of this vivid history that is just pulsing underneath our baby feet. And if you’re bored of one little neighborhood, the tube is there to take you somewhere equally magnificent. I love the gardens, the buildings, the museums, and the pubs with their odd names. I love the people. Maybe I’m just a city girl on the inside, but I would love love love to live here for a bit. A scant for days are not enough.

Yesterday Jes and I went to the British Museum. It is amazing. Much like the Metropolitan Museum of Art back home, it would take years to fully see and appreciate it all. When I was little I read this story of a little sister and brother who run away from home to live in the Met. (The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweller) I think the British Museum would be just as fun to hide away in! They have the Rosetta Stone, along with an awe-inspiring amount of Egyptian art and mummies, and also probably more Greek statues from the Parthenon than are left in Greece. As I heard today, the Brits were really quite good at “collecting” (see plundering and stealing). The mummies were a bit freaky, but everything else we managed to see was so cool! There was an entire room devoted to clocks!

Afterwards, we hopped the tube and went to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was breathtaking. I can’t quite get over the grandeur and size of these buildings. I’m used to the staggering height of skyscrapers. These buildings are these almost intimidating behemoths, looming above us common folk. We were lucky enough to get to the cathedral during 5 pm mass so we could go inside. Despite being raised Catholic, I never felt that I wanted to get married in a church, but this church would sway an atheist’s mind. Jes and I tore through most of these places in our mad dash to see it all, but I would love to come back and just spend hours upon hours surrounded by the beauty of London.

For our evening entertainment, we saw a production of Avenue Q at this pub called Upstairs at the Gatehouse. It was really brilliant, and just as funny as when I saw it years ago! It was a very intimate setting and you could bring as many drinks as you liked into the theatre.

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Today, I went on a tour from New Tours Europe. They offer free tours where the guides operate on tips alone, and then really cool specialized tours which don’t cost too much. Our spirited guide Sonja, was really fun and vivacious. She knew so many stories about London. We went to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey/Palace, Big Ben, Downing Street, Prince Charles’s residence, Green Park, and so much more. We stopped by one of the palaces King Henry VIII lived in, and she picked girls out of our group to play his 6 wives. I nearly died fangirling when she plucked me out for Anne Boleyn. In high school, my best friend and I devoured so many books on the Tudor dynasty and the Boleyn family especially. Ah! So fun! I made friends with some of the people on the tour and we stopped at a pub afterwards.

On the way back, I got off the tube at Baker Street and took a picture at 221b, also known as the residence of Sherlock Holmes. I fully disclose and embrace my geekiness.

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Just grabbed dinner at this amazing dim sum place called Ping Pong Marketplace, which had these little veggie filled sticky rice pouches all wrapped up in leaves. It was like a healthy, not greasy and gross, hot pocket. SO YUM. I know what I’ll be trying to recreate back in New York!

I’m going to miss London SO much. Jes and I had more mishaps than we did in Reykjavik, but London calls to me. Ah, well, life leads where it will, and if I work really hard, maybe it will lead back to lovely London.

Always with love,
Gabriele

Accomplished! Visit London, sushi conveyor belt, Indian food and more!

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Cheers from London!

Jes and I have hopped over from the endless daylight of Reykjavik to the posh metropolis of London.

We got in Friday night. Wearied and ravenous we made our way to our hostel only to hear they had messed up our reservation for a 4-person room and had split us up and put one of us in a 8 mixed gender person room. They said the best they could do was to put us together in the 8 person and that there were no smaller rooms or private rooms available. They offered to give us some breakfast vouchers… But I’m allergic to 97.9% of all breakfast foods… So.

So we left, speedily booking a hotel for the night. The hostel really wasn’t a nice place unfortunately. It was abrasively garish and loud, with surprisingly large groups of children running amok screaming. The rooms weren’t terrible but it had uncomfortable vibes. That and that they had barely feigned apologetic at their mistake. And when we told them we had to make other arrangements, they backtracked and told us they did have private rooms after all, on reserve! What! And then they refused to refund us for that night, even though they said it was their fault because of their renovations and glitchy computers.

So we’ll be calling and emailing the higher ups, and I do feel bad having to give them a poor review for the unpleasantries.

Anyway, Jes and I will be moving to somewhere better suited. Hopefully. I miss our last hostel already!

Friday, before we left Reykjavik, we had our final sights to see, like the Hallgrimskirkja church and the Perlan, both of which are beautiful architectural wonders. I miss Iceland and the amazing friends we met there. It was a tremendously good way to start our journey and such an experience overall.

London was off to a rocky start, but we woke up and navigated our way to the underground. Both Jes and I felt more at home being in a big bustling city. The tube was quite similar to our own subway system. We went to the Science Museum and then walked the length of Hyde Park. We made wishes next to the Princess Diana memorial fountain and got swarmed by pigeons, seagulls, geese, swans, and the odd blue heron that were vying for chunks of stale bread.

Taking the tube back to King’s Cross, we got our pictures taken at Platform 9 and 3/4 and it was AMAZING. They give you scarves to wear and hold up the scarves to show them fluttering up like you’re going into the wall.

We were going to do a pub crawl but ended up going to this place Yo! Sushi which had a sushi conveyor belt which I’ve always wanted to experience! Yay, another bucket list item done!

Then we went to Piccadilly Circus, which was incredible and basically Times Square in London. And we saw the movie Stuck in Love. I cried. A lot. I thought it was going to be pretty hit-or-miss but it was so poignant and heart achingly beautiful. So so so amazed. A lot of movies and shows are rubbish (see the Brits affecting me already?) but this one was food for the soul.

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And London is really, really lovely. Today we went to the Tower of London. SO AMAZING! In high school, I had a fascination with Anne Boleyn and then English history of that time period, so my inner fan girl was so delighted! We didn’t go inside, but instead took a ferry across the Thames (more fan-girling!) to the Globe Theatre. We took a tour inside and saw Macbeth being rehearsed… A very exciting scene between Macbeth and the witches!

For dinner we met up with our hometown friend Jason, who is doing a college program here in London for six weeks. J-Ro! I’ve missed him! Together the three of us crossed off another bucket list item – try Indian food! And the next best place after India to try Indian food is definitely London! We went to this place called Namaaste Kitchen. They had a GF menu, and ahhh the food was so fresh and yummy. I’m about to burst with all the spicy goodness.

So that is London this far! Lots of fun and running around and being surrounded by ancient architecture saturated by centuries and centuries of history.

Yay!

Love,
Gabriele

Rebecca

Name: Rebecca
Age: 15
Hometown: Westchester, NY
Favorite Color: Orange
Current Obsession: Watercolor Painting

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Someone once described Rebecca to me as, “Rebecca is ALWAYS happy.” And while maybe that’s hyperbole, I have never seen Rebecca without her boundless enthusiasm, optimism, and her hunger to experience the most out of life. She seems to do way more than possible to fit in the scant 24 hours of a day. She’s in almost every club at school, plays stellar piano (but hates Chopin), does stage crew, manages the basketball team, reads all sorts of literature, AND has time to be friends with practically everyone ever. Whew. I frequently say that she is a future president of the United States. And Rebecca would absolutely have my vote.

–       Visit all 50 states – Have done 11 so far. “Definitely my number one. I want to get a picture with a t-shirt of the state front of the welcome sign and make a collage”

–       Go scuba diving in the Caribbean

–       “I want to go New Zealand to visit my friend from when I was 10 years old. I want to see all the sheep. It’s a really pretty place too.”

–       Go on a cruise to Alaska

–       Go on safari in Africa

–       Make a scrapbook of every year of high school life and college.

–       Get married and have three kids

–       “Learn Yiddish. How cool would that be? ‘Oh, what can you speak?’ I can speak English, French, and Yiddish.”

–       “Have a house where every room is a different theme. There’ll be a room when you enter, it’s like surfboards and then each surfboard has a kid’s name, with little hooks so they can hang up their bags and jackets and stuff.”

–       Watch a meteor shower

–       Invent the blow-up foldout cello. “A little bag, right? Then you can blow it up and fold, you know, like a beach ball, and then there’s a hole and strings and it’s a cello. “

–       Fall asleep on the beach. “Just go out, watch the sunset, and just fall asleep”

–       Write a book, probably science-fiction

–       Live in Maryland. “I’d rather make New York more of a vacation than it is now and I feel like Maryland still gets snow, it’s really nice in the summer and there’s water all around you, and you can go on a boat and you’re not far from DC. I just really like Maryland. Or Savannah, Georgia. It’s like a storybook town.”

–       Go out of the country – “Canada does not count”

–       Go to Brazil during Carnival.

–       Be an organic chemist and create own makeup line. “Everyone uses it. I like science and makeup and chemistry”

–       Take a class in movie makeup and learn to do masks and vibrant effects

–       “I want a dog really badly. Just one that I find very, very adorable and isn’t annoying”

–       Live in an apartment in the city (Manhattan) after college. “I feel like I can learn most of my life lessons in the city, like how to take care of myself. It’s a good place to learn.”

–       Be a Florida Gator (attend University of Florida)

–       Go crowd-surfing. “My mom wouldn’t let me. She was just like, knowing you, you’re going to get hurt.”

–       Beating someone fairly at chess – “I have no clue how to play chess.”

–       “I want everyone I know to write me a letter. And I want to keep every single letter. It could be about anything, anyone, their life story; it could be short, it could be long, anything.”

–       Do NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.

–       “Produce Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on Broadway. It hasn’t been done.”

Accomplished! Geothermal pools and Vikings!

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Yesterday Jes and I went to the Blue Lagoon, which a totally touristy thing to do in Iceland but everyone assured us we had to do it. Iceland is full of geothermal pools in every town, and if I had those hot tubs maybe I could survive the long cold winter too!

The water was this almost glowing, milky aqua blue. Once you were in it, you couldn’t see your body or hands beneath the water. Jes and I covered our faces with this lava rock scrub, and submerged ourselves in the balmy salt waters.

My idea of heaven!

We came back to our hostel and met people in the kitchens as I cooked and partook in a traditional Icelandic barbecue. Jes had the lamb and potatoes, good Icelandic fare!

And everyone at the hostel is extremely friendly and amazing.

Like this couple we met from Virginia/Florida. They came here to elope and Jes, being a photography expert, took their wedding photos this morning!

We took the ferry to Videy Island with the Icelandic Viking priest and the people who work/run the hostel, who are extremely sweet too. So we trekked to the top of this grassy knoll on this little island and the priest did this beautiful little ceremony with a Viking horn filled with beer and the bride and groom were so lovely. Ah, I actually cried.

We had waffles on the island and then tried to go to Iceland’s uh… Phallological Museum but it was closed because tomorrow is Icelandic Independence Day from Denmark.

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Then we took the bus (no mishaps this time!) to Hafnarfjörður where there was the annual Viking festival! So much fun! Going to a renaissance faire has always been on my bucket list, so an Icelandic Viking Festival kind of counts! There was a fierce battle and they really tussled and roared and gave each other a good smacking with real swords and shields.

What else? We went to check out the downtown Iceland scene but both of us and the other travelers were surprised to learn that Iceland doesn’t get really super wild until about 2 am! However, we still had a great time wandering Reykjavik and the busy nightlife at this extremely popular bar with the Big Leboski as its theme. And my friends all tried the Icelandic hot dogs which put our dirty water NY hot dogs to the test.

I’m going to miss quaint, accidentally hipster Reykjavik. The pretty Scandinavian people and their unpronounceable street names, along with their kaffi and krona. And it’s going to be very strange to experience night time again!

Anyway, about to pass out! Goodnight!

Love,
Gabriele