When we left Hunkubakkar Guesthouse, where we stayed the night, the owner told us there was a really beautiful canyon just 2 km further down the road that we should really see. Nothing about it in our Lonely Planets and Rough Guides, but as it was really close we decided to check it out. Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon (yes, I am also not quite sure how to pronounce that exactly...) is the perfect example on how beautiful Iceland really is. This thing is literally in someone's backyard (the gravel road going there is the road that takes you to the guesthouse), not even in the tourist guides, but SO stunning! While doing a little research for this post I even found out it served as a filming location for Thor: The Dark World. That Tom Hiddleston might have walked here, makes it even more beautiful ;-)
After a half-an-hour drive we finally reached the southern periphery of the Vatnajökull: Skaftafell National Park. It's many glacier tongues stretch out onto the plains and are clearly visible from the Ringroad. And again, also the Vatnajökull has been the filming location for several movies en television series, including the James Bond movie A View to Kill, Batman Begins and Game of Thrones.
Our last stop before heading back to Reykjavik was the glacial lake Jökulsárlón, another gorgeous place frequently used as a filming location.
The lake is only 60 years old, and was created by the retreating glacier tongue. The deep gorges that the glacier left behind were filled with meltwater and large blocks of ice. These icebergs gather at the mouth of the lake's shallow exit, melt down into smaller ice blocks and roll out into the sea, only a kilometre away. There you can see the ice blocks on the black sand beach , thrown back onto the land by the sea. It really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to....
When we arrived there was a large group of seals fishing in the lake and enjoying the sunshine. Along the coast a group of whales could be seen from the shore. I tried to talk a little 'Seal' to the nearest seal, and although I was a little rusty, I did think he understood what I was talking about (I did however receive some weird looks from some other tourists there) ;-)
After that we had a long ride back to Reykjavik, but it was totally worth it!
On our second day in Iceland we drove along the southern coast to the Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Europe, covering 8 percent of the surface of Iceland.
To get their we had to take the only existing 'highway' in Iceland: the Ringroad, also known as Route 1. Along the way we stopped at several natural highlights.
The Europeans reading this will remember the air traffic mayhem that was caused by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull vulcano in 2010. I myself was stuck in Madrid at the time and had to take a bus ride of 33 hours back to the Netherlands (with NO toilet, so a stop every 2 hours -_-), so I couldn't resist taking a look in the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Centre and see what all the fuss was about. I can tell you one thing now: those Icelanders know how to turn a natural disaster into a profit. Eyjafjallajökull merchandise EVERYWHERE! Bottled ash, vulcanic ashtrays (pun intended?!), even Eyjafjallajökull perfume (what?!). Naturally, I fell for it and bought bottled Eyjafjallajökull ash. Just along the road there are still entire fields covered with it, but hey, whatever....
Another waterfall we made a stop for was the Skógafoss. With a width of 25 metres (82 feet) and a drop of 60 m (200 ft) it is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. Legend goes that a giant buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall, because he didn't want his sons to inherit his fortune. Years later a boy found the treasure chest, but was only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The local villagers decided to use the ring as a door ring for the local church, where it can still be found ;-)
The last town along our way was Vík, which is the southernmost town in Iceland and (with barely 300 inhabitants) the largest settlement in the area. It has one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, covered with black basalt sand. Vik is easy to spot from a distance, because offshore you can see several pointy basalt rocks, locally known as the 'Troll Rocks'. According to folklore they are trolls who went fishing, and when they weren't back in time they were caught by the rising sun and turned to stone.
After Vik we had a pretty boring (although gorgeous) ride across lava fields to the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. We stayed the night just outside Kirkjubæjarklaustur in one of the small cottages of Hunkubakkar Guesthouse. I would definitely recommend staying there if you ever tour Iceland!
And that was it for day 2!
As I am a fervent list maker I love to make little wish lists (well, who doesn't really? ;-) ) So I thought I'd try something new here and share my weekly cravings with you guys!
I just love Iceland's rugged nature! It's bleak, dark, spacious and clean at the same time. It looks almost 'otherworldly'. No wonder Iceland is a popular place for directors to shoot their movies and TV series. Over the last few years, Iceland has been a set for Game of Thrones, Prometheus, Oblivion, and many more. So for our first full day in Iceland we decided to do the 'Golden Circle', a route from Reykjavik to the major touristic sights near the capital.
One of the main tourist sights of Iceland is of course the area of boiling hot springs around Geysir (the 'original' geyser). They are visible from miles away as a pall of steam rising above the plains. Geysir ('the Gusher') has been inactive for decades, but after an earthquake in 2008 things are going again, although unfortunately Geysir's 70 metre high eruptions are still extremely irregular. Luckily his nearby little brother Strokkur ('the Churn'), fires off a 30 metre spout every 4 or 5 minutes and offers the opportunity to make some beautiful pictures.
Coat: TU at Sainsbury's / Scarf: Aquascutum / Skinny jeans: H&M / Suede boots: Pied-a-terre
Turtleneck jumper: H&M / Earrings: Souvenir from my previous visit to Iceland
Of course I was dressed warmly, but with Iceland's icy winds even my Darwin replikate jacket wasn't really enough (that's when you really notice the faux vs. real shearling difference!). Luckily at our last stop there was a warm cafetaria with a magnificent view of the Gullfoss ("Golden Falls") waterfall. Unfortunately, the elves were on strike, so we had to clean up after ourselves ;-)
Jacket: TU at Sainsbury's / Jumper: Zara / Blouse: H&M / Jeans: H&M / Boots: Old
Bag: Ebay / Scarf: Aquascutum / Earrings and necklace: Tudorshoppe on Etsy
When it is cold outside and you have to bicycle to get anywhere, it so tempting to go for the cozy and forget about the classy. So if there is one wardrobe 'area' that Kate has been a real inspiration for me, it definitely is my casual winter wardrobe. This mainly means that I welcomed some great (faux) shearling jackets as additions to my cozy AND classy wardrobe. But this sounds much easier than it actually was....
It has been a bit of a thing for me really, the quest for that perfect L.K. Bennett Darwin jacket replikate. The trouble is that real shearling often is way too pricey, and that faux-shearling often is, well, way too ' faux'.... either looking or feeling very cheap. I have been searching for my Darwin replikate for more than a year before I found the right one.
The end of my quest finally came a few months ago in the form of a chocolate brown faux shearling jacket from TU at Sainsbury's (a UK supermarket chain). It originally cost £60, but I managed to snap it up for only
£15 on Ebay UK. The original jacket actually had two hook-and-eye fastenings, but I had those replaced for two large brown buttons. It also ran rather large, so I had it taken in at the waist, which also gave it a bit more fitted look, similar to the original Darwin jacket.
On the outside the jacket is made of a dark brown faux suede of 100% polyester. The entire jacket is lined with a faux fur made of 68% acrylic and 32% polyester that doesn't look cheap (always my main concern with faux fur!). The hairs on the cuffs and the oversized collar are considerably longer than the lining, which gives the jacket the same cozy and warm look that I love so much about the original Darwin jacket.
If you would like to get the same jacket, it is unfortunately no longer available at Sainsbury's, but it is regularly listed on Ebay UK! With this jacket you can easily dress up (with a pair of brown suede high heeled boots) or dress down (with a pair of wellies), so you can't go wrong, really!
February just started, which means that Valentine's Day is just around the corner! Although I am not a bit fan of those 'cheesy and easy' romantic comedies, I love a great love story as much as the next girl. So, to get in the mood for St. Valentine, below my top ten favourite romantic movies. You might notice I have a weak spot for tragic (and often historical) loves....
10. P.S. I Love You
Cast: Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler
Summary: When Holly Kennedy loses the love of her life, the charming Irishman Gerry, when he dies of a brain tumor, it takes the life out of her. When she receives a cake on her 30th birthday, it comes with a tape recording of Gerry. Holly discovers that Gerry planned ahead, by writing her a series of letters that will guide her, not only through her grief, but in rediscovering herself.
Favourite quote: "It doesn't count when you're wearing Marc Jacobs from Minneapolis!"
9. The Notebook
Cast: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
Summary: In 1940s America, local country boy Noah Calhoun falls in love with young heiress Allie Hamilton, and they share a passionate summer love. But the pair is separated by Allie's disapproving parents, who move her away, and Allie's mother hides all letters sent by Noah. However, the story of their love, written in the eponymous notebook, proves that it really does conquer all.... even age.
Favourite quote: "That's my sweetheart in there. Wherever she is, that's where my home is."
8. Beauty and the Beast
Cast: Voices by Paige O'Hara (Belle) and Robby Benson (Beast)
Summary: Do I even have to tell? I mean: books, magic and a candelabra called Lumière, does it get any better?
Favourite quote: "Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle.
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Cast: Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey
Summary: Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory when their relationship turned sour, decides to do the same. But as Joel's memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover the love they had to begin with. From deep within his brain, Joel attempts to escape the procedure.
Favourite quote: "Meet me in Montauk..."
Cast: Romy Schneider and Karlheinz Böhm
Summary: Princess Elisabeth, 'Sissi', lives in Bavaria with her family. When her mother Ludovika is invited by her sister Archduchess Sophie to take Sissi's older sister Helene to the Austrian court in Ischl, in order to arrange a royal engagement for Helene and the young emperor Franz Joseph, Sissi goes along. However, Franz falls in love with the spontaneous Sissi, instead of the sophisticated Helene. Something his headstrong and arrogant mother doesn't approve of... (Alright so this one is a bit cheesy yes ;-) )
5. Pride and Prejudice
Cast: Keira Knightley and Matthew McFayden
Summary: Based on the novel by Jane Austen by the same name, this is a classic tale of love and misunderstanding. When the spirited Elizabeth Bennett meets the handsome but proud Mr. Darcy she believes he is the last man on earth she could ever marry. But as their lives become intertwined, Lizzie finds herself captivated by the very person she swore to loathe for all eternity.
Favourite quote: "Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment."
4. Roman Holiday
Cast: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck
Summary: When Princess Anne is visiting Rome during a highly publicised tour through Europe, she escapes her royal retainers and scampers incognito through the city. There she meets American journalist Joe Bradley who pretends that he doesn't recognize her and offers to give her a guided tour of Rome. Joe, recognizing a hot news story, hopes to get an exclusive interview but he falls in love with Anne instead.
Favourite quote: " At midnight, I'll turn into a pumpkin and drive away in my glass slipper."
Cast: Keira Knightley and James McAvoy
Summary: When 13-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, a servant's son, at the fountain in front of the family estate she misinterprets what is happening. After the incident she discovers a lustful letter from Robbie intended for Cecilia and then concludes he must be a sex maniac. So when her cousin Lola is raped, she makes herself believe that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed and tells so to the police. This childish act has lasting repercussions for all of them. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch! (although a bit on the creepy side....)
Favourite quote: "I love you. I'll wait for you. Come back. Come back to me."
2. Downton Abbey Season 2 Christmas Special
Cast: Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens
Summary: Not exactly a movie, but still worth to watch. Set at Christmas time 1919, we see how the Crawleys celebrate the holiday season. When Mary's fiancé Carlisle gets more annoyingly arrogant and jealous by the day, and her father Roberts learns of her 'Turkish' secret, Mary decides to break of the engagement and then Matthew FINALLY proposes!
Favourite quote: "Life is a game in which the player must appear ridiculous."
1. The English Patient
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes
Summary: Near the end of WWII A burn victim, a nurse, a thief, and a sapper find themselves in an old Italian villa close. Through flashbacks of the burn victim, the story is told of Count Almásy, an Hungarian map maker who is on an archeological and surveying expedition in Egypt and Libya when he meets the beautiful and refined English Katherine Clifton, and her husband Geoffrey. Almásy and Katherine fall in love and have an affair, with tragic consequences....
Favourite quote: "I once traveled with a guide who was taking me to Faya. He didn't speak for nine hours. At the end of it he pointed at the horizon and said, "Faya!" That was a good day."
So, naturally, I now want to know what romantic movies are your favourites!
- ABOUT TATIANA -
Hi there! I am a fashion and travel enthusiast living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tatiana's Delights is your online resource for preppy and minimalist fashion, travel tips, affordable home decor and adorable cat photos. You can find out more about Tatiana's Delights here.
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