Month: February 2015

Mount Esja, Reykjavik

I took this photo while I was sprinting between venues at Iceland Airwaves in 2014, from KEX Hostel to Slippbarinn,  and an inebriated sprint at that.  Following the coastal boardwalk takes you on a direct line from KEX to the Marina Hotel, and even though my mind was focused on getting to the venue in time to see Low Roar, I’m so thankful to have kept my gaze wandering to the ocean as often as was safely possible.  For the view of Mount Esja from the shores of Reykjavik is one view I could never tire of. My heart is longing for Iceland again.  Maybe because I’m in the midst of planning a trip to somewhere other than Iceland, maybe it’s because I’ve been dutifully checking for any lineup announcements for Airwaves to see if a bucket-list artist will be performing and will force me to book the trip.  Either way, I haven’t forgotten you. Advertisements

Sunset Over the Peruvian Sand

““I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The buggy drove us through the Peruvian desert like a roller coaster ride, cascading in and out of the dunes.  I tried to video the ride with my camera but my body kept shaking from the impacts of the bumps.  We’d be driven to the top of a dune and get out of the buggy to ride face-first belly-down the steep slope.  There were grains of sand in every one of my orifices that day, but I couldn’t kick the adrenaline of both the buggy ride and the toboggan-like descent from the top. We were given a moment of quiet pause to observe the sun setting over the dunes and the little oasis of Huacachina, often used as a getaway spot for residents of the neighbouring town of Ica.  Though the dunes echo daily with the shrieks of excited adrenaline-seekers, this is a place where it …

Wilcox Pass, Alberta

You forget sometimes when you spend your life travelling and planning future adventures that sometimes the best adventures are only a five hour car ride away. Though I don’t live as close to the mountains as I’d like, it was possible to drive to the Columbia Icefields from Edmonton, hike up Wilcox Pass to the top, hike back down, and drive back home in the span of one holiday Monday in August.  For maximum driving endurance, snacks and good music were plentiful. This is the part of Canada that everyone talks about, that’s featured in travel books, that attracts tourists from all corners of the world to these amazing peaks, unbridled and untamed.  With  the exception of a herd of calm mountain goats and a curious chipmunk, we had the trail and the view to ourselves. When I was in the mountains earlier last summer for a bachelorette party, the bride admitted she grew tired of the claustrophobic site of mountains and longed for Alberta’s rolling fields.  But that could never be true for me – “we …

La Sagrada Família

I was 17, and it was my first time out of North America – a “cultural” trip to France and Spain with my French teacher and a group of 16 students.  We spent a week in France followed by three days in Barcelona and the Catalonia area.  It’s hard to recall my exact itinerary now seven years later, but what I do remember is that Barcelona became my new favourite place (keeping in mind that at the time, I had very little to compare it to). One of our stops was the infamous Sagrada Família by Antonio Gaudi, the never-ending work in progress with construction thriving only on public donation.  In 2008, much of it was scaffolded, under construction, and it had not yet been consecrated by the Catholic church.  As a group we did not go inside, but I remember one thought as we looked at the drawing of what the finalized cathedral would look like – would the Sagrada Família be finished before I die?  It was already 100 years in the making – what’s …