Back to... Egypt
Writing about our visits to Egypt is like a trip down memory lane. In 1999 we went to Egypt twice: first on a roundtrip through the country & a second time to attend the Millenium concert by Jean Michel Jarre. We were so young, it was our 1st time together outside Europe and we were completely blown away by its beauty, the Egyptian people, the history, the monuments, the colors, the smells, the food, the shisha and the strong Turkish coffee.
The contrast between the 2 visits could not have been bigger. Where on our first trip we visited all of the touristic highlights of Egypt ( with tickets that gave permission to take a photo of 1 single object! ), the second time we had a more local experience. We met up with an Egyptian friend and drove around with our driver Mekhti.
We asked him to show us how Egyptians liked to spend their weekends. He took us up north of Cairo to the Nile Delta where we sailed off on a small boat on the Nile and watched the houses of famous Egyptian actors & musicians. He also took us to into the city of the dead, to the roofs of a Mamluk mausoleum from were we had an amazing view over Cairo.
Our driver Mekhti loved listening to the movie soundtrack of Hammam in Amsterdam, about a poor Egyptian moving to Holland to become rich. On the tunes of Hammam ( listen at 5:19 ) we drove to the Pyramids of Gizeh where the Millennium concert took place. The car was inspected by impressive security guards with dogs & car bomb mirrors. And in the middle of the desert near the Pyramids we had to get through a security portal. Security restrictions were strict after the Luxor massacre.
The performance by Jean Michel Jarre, together with Egyptian musicians, was an impressive start of the new millennium. It was grandiose: colorful fireworks, hundreds of torchbearers, a laser show & video projections on the Great Pyramid. Many others in the Philips VIP-tent from where we watched the concert didn't agree: they looked & acted so bored. They totally missed out on something amazing...
People were particularly welcoming during the Ramadan, inviting us to break the fast with them.
My favorite places in Egypt were:
► Aswan ( the Nubians living there were so kind! )
► The island of Philae in Lake Nasser ( so peaceful and it's amazing when you know the entire temple was moved there in 40000 pieces to save it from submerging in water )
► The Luxor museum ( with the beautiful statue of Akhnaten, a pharao with avant-garde ideas & an aesthetic I felt familiar with )
► The Tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens ( looked like it was painted last week! )
► The rice fields outside Cairo ( the brightest green ever! )
► and Cairo itself ( even though it's the loudest city I've ever been to ).
All photos were taken in the pre-digital era ( 1999 ): I used my Minolta 1978 XG 1. The photo of me on the boat & the Egyptian lady were made by my husband with an analog Canon EOS 5.
Have you ever been to Egypt? And what did you like best?
Vintage Sapique 10
For this 10th edition of Vintage Sapique, let me tell you about one of the masterpieces of Studio Sapique: the suspended staircase. It was created using reinforced concrete poured in shape, finished with polished marble steps, and brass railing. I wasn't very fond of the brass, so I painted it lilac ( so so ) and then decided to paint it glossy red ( much better! ).
We replaced the brown orchid bark fines with fine beige gravel. Our cats liked this so much and mistook it for their litter box. Eew... So we created an invisible gate out of polycarbonate. It's so invisible that most people & dogs bumps into it. But it keeps the cats upstairs, and the new white pebbles clean :o)
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Last weekend it was my birthday. My family came over from Holland and we spent the entire weekend in our garden, eating, drinking and having a good time. We started with a brunch in the shadow of a few trees in our front yard. Then headed to the back yard for drinks & a tompouce and my husband prepared a delicious bouillabaisse for dinner.
With a birthday in the 3rd week of July we were always on holiday in France when I was little. Since we once had some not-so-good apple beignets from a local French boulangerie, it's a tradition to eat self/ready-made tompouce pastries on my birthday. These tompouces come in a box, you only add milk & heat up the frosting au-bain-marie. Anyway, it's an easy sugary birthday treat!
What is your favorite birthday delicacy?
Once a week I try to go to the market for fresh fruit. I'm a fruitjunkie and love watching & eating seasonal fruits. On the market we have l'Homme des Fraises ( the Strawberry Man ) with lovely strawberries from Pontpoint, a nearby village. And there's the Melon Man who sells 2 cantaloupes for 3€. A few weeks ago, I told him it was too much. Too much for me to eat beside all the other fruits I already bought for the week. But he took it like: too expensive and said, well 1,50€ for 2 melons, what about that? An offer too good to refuse so I took them home. In stead of eating them as an appetizer with prosciutto, I turned them into some kind of sorbet ice.
Here is how:
Slice 2 cantaloupes into pieces (scoop out the seeds before!). Put them in a bowl and mix with a few tablespoons of cane sugar, two tablespoons of honey, some chopped fresh mint leaves, a hint of vodka and 2 cups of 0% yogurt. I wanted my ice to be bright orange, but of course the yogurt weakened the cantaloupe orange. I added a teaspoon of red food coloring powder but besides a spectacular blend in the first 5 seconds, it didn't really change the color.
Then chill this mixture in the fridge for a few hours and put it in the ice maker until the ice has your preferred texture. Serve with a few mint leaves on top. Bon appetit!
My personal chef ( a.k.a. my husband ) didn't like this ice cream at all. I must say he tasted 1 teaspoon while thinking he was having strawberry icecream, which makes the experience totally different, I think. He suggested to cook the mint leaves in water and add the minty water to the mixture instead of the chopped leaves. Fortunately our 3 guests liked it enough to finish their entire cup ;o)
I scream for ice cream!
Summer started in France & I couldn't be happier. I'm not sure if it's true, but most people prefer the season they were born in. I was born in the middle of the summer and it's absolutely my favorite season. Sunshine, people-watching from a sunny café terrace, leaving the house without a jacket, sunbathing & late dinners in the garden, cool drinks, life slowing down and of course ice cream!
I scream for ice cream reminds me of "Wij eisen ijs" ( we demand ice cream ) from Dutch children's book Floddertje by Annie M.G. Smidt. Fiep Westendorp's illustrations for this book are one of my favorites.
Mostly drawn to it by its color, I tasted my first Violette ice cream this week. Delicious! My sister went for mango & raspberry ;o) In Avignon I had the best caramel au beurre salé ice cream ever. Yummy! What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Tomorrow I'll share a new ice cream recipe to keep you cool!
The last & only time I won something was when I was 6 years old and won a Queensday drawing contest. I wrote Happy 05th wedding anniversary to the Queen, in stead of 50th anniversary. That was probably "funny" enough to let me win... I remember the prize very well: a voucher with the equivalent of nearly 2,25 euros to spend in the local toystore. It took me a long time to decide what to choose. I went home with a tiny yellow version of this plush caterpillar, because this was above my budget. Aaahhh the toys of the 80s...
A while ago, a few days after I wrote about the Humanoid flagship store, I received an email: " Congratulations, you won! ". First I thought it was spam, but when I read further, I saw that I really won a shopping voucher to spend in the Humanoid webshop! The sales articles were still in my basket and as soon as I received the voucher I ordered them right away. I just received them and they are perfect! Soft & airy: perfect for this week's summer sun. The voucher came with the beautiful Humanoid S/S 2012 lookbook. Merci Humanoid!
Have you ever won something? What was it? And how did you win? Hmmm makes me wonder, maybe I should organize a contest so that you could win a prize too...
Back to... Sweden
Last year I already wrote about our trip to Sweden on Bloesem but today we're going back! Our visit to Sweden was part of our roadtrip to Scandinavia in may 2011. We had great weather: lots of blue skies & sunshine.
We left for Scandinavia ( Denmark, Sweden, Norway ) without too much preparation. We had an idea of the itinerary and booked some AirBnB's, Stugknuten & a ferry along the way. But we didn't plan what to see & do. Oh wait, yes we did: on our list were Legoland and visiting friends in Denmark.
Sweden turned out to be super cute & more normal than I expected. The landscapes are beautiful without being dramatic, the houses are ultra cute and stylewise there's more than "just" Ikea.
In Småland, in the South, we rented a dollhouse from a farmer. So much in the middle of nowhere that we were unable to find it. The farmer hardly spoke any English, which is quite rare in Sweden I think, but his son helped us out on the phone. In the neighbourhood we visited Eksjö and a few different lakes.
On our way to Stockholm, we stopped in Gränna, where the famous Swedish candy is made. It's a touristic little village, but I HAD to see how the candy was made. The unfinished peppermint candy has a beautiful pearlish color. Lonely Planet suggested the only thing missing in Gränna are the Oompa Loompas. So true! Of course we stocked up on polkagris canes as a souvenir for family & friends.
After a few great days in Stockholm ( which needs its own blogpost ) we spent our last few days in Sweden near Vansbro, roughly between Gävle & Hamar ( in Norway ). It's in the middle of Dalarna county where the famous horses come from.
If there is one activity that you should try in Sweden, it's railbiking. Yes, it's all in a word: biking on an old railway. We were the first of the season to bike on the railway, so it was a little adventurous with some trees and plants growing over the railway. But it was the coolest thing ever. I grew up in Holland and have been riding bikes all my life. Even in France, where it's not always very safe to do so. But I like it so much!
Anyway, I loved the fresh air, seeing noone, no trafic, going straight through a forest, over a bridge ( yes I shrieked! ), past a few lakes. Then we turned around the bike, put it back on the rails again and rode back to where we came from. So cool!
More next week as I'll take you along to… Egypt!
Marimekko Helsinki map
Finland is placed very high on my places-I-want-to-visit wishlist. And not in the last place because of Marimekko. I remember my mother wearing a Marimekko shirt & skirt in the 80s. They were made with the softest jersey and had a timeless fit.
When in London I picked up a free copy of the Marimekko Helsinki map at the Marimekko store near Bond Street. I finally hang it on the wall last week because I really like it. It's a beautiful graphic drawing of Helsinki with a few pops of color:
The map takes you on a journey through the hometown of Marimekko: Helsinki. You can find the digital version of the map right here.
I paired the map with my Marimekko Räsymatto plate, Coca Cola & Comme des Garcons & Bomba energy drink bottles, a Chanel jewelry box and postcards by Julien Langendorff, Adrian Briscoe for Instilllife and Nathalie Gilles.
Always Coca Cola
You can use Coca Cola to clean your house or to get rust off a car bumper. I know it's not a very healthy drink, but it's one of my guilty pleasures: a daily sip of diet Coke. Not more than 1 glass a day and never regular cola ( makes me thirsty! ). The Coca Cola bottle above is a souvenir I brought home from Egypt. I've had it for a long time & still love it.
Do you have a daily guilty drink? Coffee? A glass of wine?
Styloise: Marie Line
I love it when people try their best to look good, even when it's hot. While most Isariens wore flip flops & uninteresting tees, Marie Line dressed up to go shopping with her husband and kids ( look who's hiding there! ). She's a saleswoman from Nogent sur Oise and loves spending time in the city center of Chantilly. Her favorite restaurant in the Oise is the newly opened Flunch in Nogent sur Oise. Merci Marie Line!
To see a fun outtake of this shoot, please like JOELIX.com on Facebook!
Vintage Sapique 9
High on our renovation-wishlist is our bathroom. When we moved in in 2004, we installed a temporary shower cabin & renewed the toilet. But we dream of a real bathroom with tiles or tadelakt, a double shower and enough place to store new towels. I created this Pinterest inspiration board for our new bathroom...
The toilet in the office downstairs ( as seen above ) is another story. After some cleaning, a new toilet, some plumbing and accessoiries it was quite okay. The "only" thing that needed some work, were the beige walls.
The patterns of the different layers of paint & plaster were cool. I saw so many faces in them. Like Marge from the Simpsons in the one below. Do you see her?
Even though I enjoyed these patterns on the walls, something needed to be done! As a surprise, my parents took care of the problem during our trip to Scandinavia. When we returned home, a bright white toilet room awaited us!
Above is what it looked like in 2004 ( left ) and a few years later ( right ). And below how bright it is now:
Back to... Corsica
Let's go back to sunny Corsica!
With a short stopover in Lyon we headed to Corsica in may 2010. Lyon is cool: it's urban & charming and not as big as Paris. We had a delicious salad with local ingredients & the best artisan lemonade ever at Ninkasi, a super cool place where you can enjoy live music or dance to the tunes of ultra hip DJs. We also saw l'Arnacoeur, a French romantic feel good comedy in 1 of the Part Dieu cinemas, strolled around Vieux Lyon, the old city center, and took a random bus to one of the outskirts and back to the city center. Just some easy sightseeing.
Where Lyon is cool, Corsica is bliss. Lots of sunshine, beautiful views, peaceful beaches, stunning landscapes, delicious food, amazing smells.
► The cactus plants near the Pointe de la Chiappa grow like crazy. The cactus freak in me chopped off a few leafs wearing gloves, which became totally unusable because of all the spines sticking through.
► Water won't get any more turquoise than near the Lavezzi islands.
► Water cannot get any purer than in the Gorges de la Restonica.
► Our favorite beach was Cala Rossa: sophisticated & empty ( in may! ). Palombaggio was nice as well.
► Wild pigs are fun and make the weirdest sounds. And then they end up in the excellent dry sausages and hams. Corsican brocciu ( pronounce broutch: goat cheese ) and canistrelli: dry biscuits with lots of different flavors, are yummy too!
► When you feed the local wild cats some leftovers, they'll grow twice as big and keep coming back for more ( duh! ).
► Corsica smells goooooood, maquis grows everywhere: it's a variety of wild herbs & grasses: hmmmm!
► The mountains of Bavella are so craggy, but also the perfect backdrop for some serious hiking ( Grande Randonnée 20 ).
► The leather sandals & bags & summerdresses at Karma Koma ( in Porto Vecchio ) are super cute!
► Most village signs are bilingual ( French & Corsu ) but in Cap Corse the French versions are erased with black paint. Although the nationalist sentiment is quite clear, people are friendly & proud of their terroir.
► Burning car tires & blocking main roads is just another way of showing that Corsica should never be a holiday home.
► The idea of processionary caterpilars makes me itchy. Seeing them makes me scratch for days... brrrr
► The Corsican horticulturists are the best I've ever seen: they have all my favorites: olive trees, cactus plants, succulents, palm trees...
► If you're a sailor and die near Bonifacio, the cemetary on the top of the village is the most fabulous place to be buried.
Ohhh I dream of going back... soon! And you? Have you ever been to Corsica?
La Galerie Végétale
One of my alltime favorite boutiques in Paris is definitely La Galerie Végétale. I'm a sucker for succulents and wandering around this former carpentry workplace makes me really happy.
In this lush green shop you find a unique selection of succulents & cacti, a large diversity of planters ( in reclaimed rubber, ceramics, plastics, zinc, concrete, porcelain... ), paper stationary, glassware, vases, natural home perfumes and cool new designy things.
La Galérie Végétale is one of the only shops in France where you'll find the Ashiato animal footprint flip flops by Kiko+. Also check out their website, because every now and then they host special evenings with music & theater performances...
You can even hire the place for an event or get a weekly fresh flower subscription and receive a new bouquet every week. J'adore!
La Galerie Végétale /// 29 rue des Vinaigriers /// 75010 Paris /// +33 (0) 9 54 32 19 68.
Open every tuesday through saturday: 10AM - 2PM and 3PM - 7:30PM.
A very special week
It was a very special week, exactly 12 years ago. We spent a lovely week with family and close friends, enjoying good food & wine, the beautiful Massif des Maures and each others company. At the end of the week, right after the Bastille Day festivities, we were married.
We rented a remote farm in the Massif des Maures ( South of France ), in a silent valley where the braying of donkeys woke us up every morning. A few hours before the ceremony, my father and I picked flowers for the wedding bouquet near the farm and added a few fake poppies. Simple, local and beautiful!
My husband and I didn't exchange official wedding gifts, but I wanted to give him a model of the cool & over-the-top car we owned at the time: a white Pontiac Trans Am ( yeah, Kitt from Knight Rider... ). I couldn't find any, so I crafted one myself on top of a toycar for kids, using self-drying clay, paint, tissue ( for the heart shaped balloons ) and some ribbons.
As you can see, he loved it:
Our wedding week was a very intimate, simple and beautiful celebration. Exactly the way we wanted it to be. But I never imagined it would be so awesome to still be married to this man 12 years later! Je t'aime Robey!
Some urban colors
Some urban colors to pimp up this grey & cold friday. Above: a two-headed fish in the making near the Canal Saint Martin, Paris.
Some poetry in Beauvais (Oise, France) by Ray Charles: Je suis aveugle mais construire plus malheureux que soi... j'aurai pu être noir.
Aloha my name is... lots of stickers outside Album Comics store near Saint Germain des Prés, Paris.
I love this stork! Boulevard Magenta, Paris.
Rendre à l'art la simplicité de ne pas l'être. Stencil by William Benhamou.
Last week my stepdaughter Rose kindly accepted to model for this week's Styloise. She studies Marketing & Communication in Amsterdam and stayed with us in Nogent sur Oise. Her favorite spot besides Studio Sapique is the Fôret d'Halatte where she likes to go for a walk (with us haha). Her favorite resto is Chez Watashi in Nogent sur Oise. Merci Rose!
To see a fun outtake of this shoot, please like JOELIX.com on Facebook!
Vintage Sapique 8
The former laboratory of Studio Sapique is bigger than a regular Parisian apartment. More than 90sqm for which we haven't found a purpose yet. It could become an art gallery, a pop-up restaurant, a conference room, a stand alone apartment we could rent out, a ballroom, an indoor campsite. Anything really.
For the moment it houses some of the bigger tools & supplies for the renovation and some unused furniture. And it's where our 3 cats enjoy their meals.
This is what it looked like before. A real laboratory with heavy duty tables in steel and tiles. The walls behind the chimneys on the right & left carry several layers of paint. Mint green, ocre and bright red. I love the graphic effect, especially when the sun shines through the leaves of the tree. The light in the laboratory is awesome too: with windows on 3 sides of the room, it's really bright.
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Back to... Iceland part 3
Previously: part 1 and part 2.
After our adventures in Reykjavík, Vestmannaeyjar, Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón, we are now in Akureyri, a small town in the North East of Iceland. Upon arrival by bus we immediately decide to find a rental car. It would be so much easier to explore this area by car. We find a great deal at Thrifty and check in at our apartment in downtown Akureyri. It's spacious and the air is fresh and it feels healthy to be here.
We do some grocery shopping and I do my very best purchase of 2009: a 66°North Vik jacket. It's soft & warm and the perfect layer to keep me warm. Over night it snowed and in the morning we make plans for the day. First stop: Gullfoss, a huge waterfall where we are (again) the only visitors. We watch the water, take some pictures and the splashing water gets us wet.
Next stop: Húsavík, the hometown of whale watching. The weather is too windy and there's no whale watching that day, but we don't mind and head for Lake Mývatn. Mývatn is a lake situated in an area of active volcanism, not far away from Krafla volcano. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptional rich fauna of ducks and midges (only in the summer, lucky us!), but most of all it's good for stunning views: the color of the lake, the sunshine, the surrounding volcanoes… wow!
We then drive to Hverir, a solfatare field near the lake, which means: lots of fog, mudpots, steam, colors and rotten egg odor (due to the hydrogen sulfide). We feel so lucky to be here all by ourselves with this beautiful sunlight & mystic athmosphere. Truly amazing. I can hardly stop taking pictures, this place is just surreal.
The next day we head for Dimmuborgir, a lava field with unusually shaped lava pillars and chamber-like constructions. Once there used to be a lake and the boiling water and rising vapour formed lava pillars when the lava flowed across it. It's quite a touristy place and the Yule Lads (santa's helpers which come down the hill in the 13 days before Christmas), didn't really help. It may be a cool Icelandic folklore tradition, I wasn't charmed.
We continue our trip to Dettifoss, Icelands biggest waterfall. After all the waterfalls we've already seen, this one is just HUGE and so is the river valley. On our ride back to Akureyri along the Northest peak of Iceland (we saw the Norwegian Sea!) it starts snowing and soon we're stuck in a true ice storm. The weather changes so fast in Iceland!
No Blue Lagoon for us, but the Myvatn Nature Bath. Smaller, less touristy but a great experience nevertheless. We needed it to warm up after a cold day. Which we started driving on a gravel road (prohibited for small rental cars like ours: we are true dare devils!) to Aldeyjarafoss, Svartifoss's big brother waterfall with huge vertical basalt formations and a very steep river valley. The ropes along the road to the scenic points, are not in good shape. It's a little scary, escpecially with all the wind. We warm ourselves up at a local farm café where they serve traditional soup with lava bread and delicious homemade chocolate cake.
Then off to Krafla where we stand on an active volcano for the first time! It was very impressing, but so very cold. We wear at least 5 layers of clothing (including my new 66°North vest) but we are still freezing. Even when we soak in the Myvatn Nature Bath we are cold. The wind lowered the temperature of the water by more than 10 degrees. And the outside temperature is around 0°C. Brrrrr
We get dressed and head "home" to Akureyri. Again we are surprised by a snow storm. While we drive slowly and look at the sky clearing up, we see the Aurora Borealis! It's a fantastic end of the day. I had never seen it before, but now I totally understand why people believe in elfs and other mystic creatures. The movements are unlike anything I've ever seen.
Before flying back to Reykjavík and Paris, we visit the city center of Akureyri (kaffihus again) and the Art Museum, with a beautiful collection of Icelandic photography. One of my favorites was this one where schoolboys get light therapy in the 1960s (see below). The long Icelandic winters must be quite something…
Overall: Iceland was more than amazing. We are definitely coming back and already planning on buying a Defender 110… Plus we might sign up for one of these cool invitations by locals.
If you've ever been in France, you've seen a pharmacy, for sure. They are everywhere and their green neon cross signs light up most of the streets. There's even a law requiring to have one pharmacy open on sundays & holidays per neighbourhood.
The French tend to visit their pharmacy ever so often because their GP's just LOVE writing prescriptions. Or they just browse through the beauty related products most pharmacies are packed with (like the famous Embryolisse!). Personally I'm not very fond of visiting my pharmacy. It's filled with stuff I don't particularly need, most packaging is boring and I don't like the smell. But that could change in a flash if my pharmacie looks like this tomorrow:
This is such a clever and clean designed pharmacie. It couldn't be further opposite to the brown bottled pharmacies from ancient times. Marketing Jazz, the agency that created the concept for the Elsa Acosta Licensed Pharmacy in Santa Cruz de Tenerife did an excellent job. Many more photos on Retail Design Blog.
By the way did you know that if the green neon cross sign of a French pharmacy includes blue, it means they sell veterinary products as well?
Weekend tip: Le Bourget
You've climbed the Eiffel tower, visited le Palais de Tokyo, shopped at Merci, ate dozens of LaDurée (or Pierre Hermé) macarons and you just love Paris. But you like to do something else for a change?
One of my favorite museums is "La Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget, just outside Paris. It is one of the oldest aviation museums in the world (1919) and has prototypes of many French aircrafts including the super fast Concorde. I'm not extremely interested in all the aircrafts, but the beautiful old fashioned interior of the museum truly appeals to me. The floors are made of glossy linoleum and have beautiful & colorful graphic patterns.
It's a great place to go with kids of all ages because you can go from "just watching some airplanes" to learning in detail how mankind started trying & succeeding to fly. I like visiting the museum to enjoy its look & feel: industrial, colorful and very unique.
Oh and it's rarely very busy. And if it is, you won't notice, because this place is HUGE.
Have you ever been here?
Adélaïde was the only woman in Beauvais wearing high heels on a very hot day. She's a creative seamstress from Beauvais and sells cute vintage inspired baby & kids apparel in her webshop. She also has a blog called Made in Moi. When she's not creating new designs for Made in Moi, she likes to take her family to Chantilly to feed the carps in the pond. Her favorite restaurant is Les Vents d'Anges in Beauvais. Merci Adélaïde!
Vintage Sapique 7
Studio Sapique used to be a factory where chemicals were treated. Even in the 60s this meant safety regulations. In the laboratory they had a required chemical shower in case anything went wrong (you can see the red shower head in the Billy on the right). There was also a big blue fire sand bucket filled with dusty sand.
And near 1 of the warehouses stood this bright red steel brancard case. It still contained the original canvas emergency stretcher!
This big red case was probably the first thing we saved on our 1st day here. It wasn't attached to the wall or anything, so it was very easy to manipulate. It was still in great shape with some tiny scuffs and now fits perfectly to the red colors in our cinema room.
I bet French firemen in the 60s were super muscular, because the canvas stretcher is so very heavy. Add a human being and they'd easily carry several dozens of kilos!
Want to see more stuff we discovered at Studio Sapique? Click here for the entire Vintage Sapique series!
Back to... Iceland part 2
Let's pick up where I left (cIick for part 1) : stuck on Vestmannaeyjar waiting for the morning ferry to leave, or not… We were lucky, the weather was good enough to sail back to the main land, although the waves were just as high as the first time (ugh!). The bus driver hurried us back to Reykjavík from where we took another bus to Skaftafell National Park, in the South East.
We passed by the beautiful Vík, the now famous Eyjafjallajökull (which erupted only 6 months later), many waterfalls, the beautiful coastline, black sandy wastelands, rivers and spotted lots of sheep and a few Icelandic horses.
We stayed at the only hotel in the area which was just across the street of a gas station a.k.a. busstop. There was nothing else there. We had no car, only 1 bus passed by every day. So we were lucky to be able to rent 2 bikes the next day and did some hiking & biking in the National Park. We were all alone and sat on the foot of the Svartifoss waterfall with its impressive basalt blocks and enjoyed the view & the sun. Stunning!
The next day we strapped on our crampons (metal spikes for your shoes) and went for a glacier hike with a trained guide. The cliffs were steep (brrr…) and the guide told passionate about the movement of the ice. We reached a small lake where we saw the rare phenomenon of very old ice breaking off and splashing very slowly into the lake. Breathtaking!
Our guide also told us we should absolutely go see the Glacier Lagoon called Jökulsárlón, as we were so "close" by (65km). A local farmer who was visiting friends in the lobby of the hotel, agreed upon that. After some talking he kindly offered to drive us there as he was planning on visiting some family nearby. The next morning the farmer (the biggest landowner in the South) picked us up... in his big black Hummer.
An hour later we arrived at the phenomenal Glacier Lagoon. Oh how stupid would it have been to miss this! While the farmer waited for us under the bridge (wasn't he going to visit his family?), we enjoyed the scenic views. We also enjoyed the amazing color & taste & sound of the ice, a tour with a hybrid boat and the tourguide who was super proud that this place once was the backdrop of movies like James Bond and Tomb Raider.
After a stroll on the black sandy beach which matched so well with the cool blueish white ice, we headed back in "our" Hummer.
After a good night sleep & icy dreams, we drove back to Reykjavík by bus, while munching on some delicious Opal sweets, to catch yet another bus to Akureyri, a small town in the North East of Iceland. The drive along the ring road on the west and northern part of Iceland was scenic and so very different from the landscapes in the south!
Traveling through Iceland by bus means stops at gas stations all over the country. They serve good strong coffee, pylsur (hot dogs) and you can stock up on Opal sweets, to which I became addicted during our trip. Opals come in different flavors, but they're mostly mint and liquorice-like sweets. Icelandic people are quite nostalgic about their Opals. Especially the blue Opal which no longer exists because it contained chloroform.
Check back soon for my favorite part of our trip to Iceland: the North East!
In the mean time, have a look at this beautiful blogpost by Emilie from Griottes on her trip to Iceland! So soo pretty!
The Typography of Travel
Beautiful typography spotted on some of my travels:
City bikes - Odense, Denmark
The Circus Hostel - Berlin, Germany
Plissage, Place de la Principale - Avignon, France
Moc Hairdressers - Stockholm Sweden
Naked Architecture - Utrecht, The Netherlands
Kronans drugstore - Växjö, Sweden
Saville Row window stickers - London, UK
Moderna Museet - Stockholm, Sweden
William Richard Green at Selfridges - London, UK
Wally says hi!
A sunny morning at Studio Sapique: Wally says hi! Hope you'll all have a great week wherever you are!
@joelixjoelix on instagram