A Travellerspoint blog

July 2019

Paris, France

overcast 19 °C
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The final stop on this trip was Paris. A city I haven't explored for many years however it left me gobsmacked again! It's jammed packed with tourists for good reason, it's one of Europe's gems.

You could spend weeks here and hardly scratch the surface. I was fortunate to also catch up with some Parisian friends that we'd met in Canada. We enjoyed some great food and drinks and it also just so happened to be Bastille Day, the national day of France.

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Be sure to check out:

  • Eiffel Tower - Is this the most famous man-made structure in the world?
  • Les Catacombes - A 3,000km network of tunnels that run under the city, containing the bones of six million people.
  • Palais Garnier - A 2,000-seat auditorium and the pinnacle of French opulence.
  • Parc des Buttes-Chaumont - A park with winding paths, waterfalls, temples and cliffs.
  • Arc de Triomphe - One of the world's best-known commemorative monuments.
  • Le Marais - Home to arguably the trendiest part of the city.
  • Galeries Lafayette - a jaw-dropping department store.
  • Sacré-Coeur - One of the most iconic monuments in Paris situated at the top of the Butte Montmarte. It has one of the best views of Paris.
  • The Louvre - One of the world’s largest museums with 35,000 works on public display.
  • Champs-Élysées - A world-famous boulevard and the most iconic shopping destination in Paris.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in France Comments (0)

Stuttgart, Germany

rain 17 °C
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The lure of the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums persuaded me to cross the border into Germany to Stuttgart, via Strasbourg.

Stuttgart's a nice city with a huge amount of development related to 'Stuttgart 21'. It's a rail and urban development that started in 2010 and is due to finish by 2025. I stayed with a great Airbnb host, north east of the city centre and explored the city by foot (despite the rain!). There are some great buildings and areas to explore including the Stuttgart Opera, the Old Castle, Schillerplatz and Mittlerer Schlossgarten and the stunning modern Public Library.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum and Porsche Museums didn't disappoint, with a huge array of information and cars to explore.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Colmar, France

sunny 22 °C
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When looking at the flight options out of Reykjavík, I decided to go with a direct flight to Saint Louis/Basel on the French border with Switzerland and Germany. It's lined up really well with the Tour de France, which was going through Colmar - a town further north and just an easy train trip away.

Colmar also happens to be one France's most beautiful villages. It's fairy tale like with colourful half-timbered medieval buildings, winding cobblestone streets and a canal. The first day was spent exploring the town and eating classic French croissants, baguettes and crepes!

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The Tour de France is another event I'd always wanted to experience and it didn't disappoint. It drew a huge crowd with loads of entertainment and as Colmar was at the end of the days stage, I was able to see the sprint to the finish. The next stage left Mulhouse the following day, so I decided to take the short train ride down from Colmar to see the start. Similarly, the town was buzzing!

I rented a bike after they left and rode to some of the surrounding idyllic villages whilst checking out the local vineyards! Wettolsheim and then Eguisheim, were just stunning.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in France Comments (0)

Reykjavík - Ring Road, Iceland

overcast 8 °C
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Iceland had been on the list of places to visit for years, so it was exciting the time had come!

It's worth spending some time preparing for a trip to Iceland. There are a few things you need to consider -

  • It's a relatively cheap place to get to, however expensive once you arrive.
  • If you plan to explore beyond the capital of Reykjavík, transport is limited and accommodation can be difficult to get (as the towns are small)
  • The weather can be extreme, so ensure you prepared to face the elements!

I planned to explore the country via the famous 'Ring Road' which circumnavigates right around the country. Camping wasn't really an option as I didn't have the gear so I pre-booked accommodation in hostels and rooms using Airbnb.

Just over 2 week was ideal, allowing enough time to enjoy Reykjavík as well as absorb the incredible variety of things the rest of the country has to offer. If you love nature, exploring Iceland is a must. It's primarily volcanic with active volcanoes, geysers and glaciers that have cut pathways through huge mountains. The air is clean, the landscape is surreal and it's not overcrowded like many other places are. There are literally thousands of waterfalls, warm rivers, black sand beaches and geothermal pools and more.

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I took a day trip from Reykjavík on the Golden Circly. It's one of the most popular day trips, which heads north east of the city and allows you to visit three of Iceland’s most popular attractions: the Geysir Geothermal Area, Gullfoss Waterfall and Þingvellir National Park.

From there I rented a small car and loaded up the boot with food from one of their biggest no-frills supermarket chains called Bónus. I then headed ant-clockwise and followed the open road. Being summer meant the weather was generally pretty good and with all-night day light - I was in for an absolute treat.

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Be sure to check out:

  • Reykjavík - The capital of Iceland and where most if its residents live, there are great museums, shopping and a great 'cafe' vibe.
  • Reykjadalur Hot Spring - A scenic walk that leads to a warm 'river'. Take a dip anywhere along the river that suits the temperature you want and relax.
  • Seljalandsfoss - One of Iceland's best-known waterfalls, it's 65 meters tall and you can even walk behind it.
  • Reynisfjara Beach - A black sand beach on the South Coast with powerful waves and fascinating Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
  • Skaftafellsjökull - A stunning glacier tongue spurting off from Iceland's largest ice cap.
  • Jökulsárlón - A glacial lagoon with blue water and and floating icebergs. Keep an eye out for the friendly seals.
  • Seydisfjordur - A scenic small town known as the heart of culture, heritage and hospitality of East Iceland.
  • Mývatn - A stunning volcanic lake in the north of the country with Nature Baths, mountains, hot-springs and much more.
  • Hvitserkur - A fascinating 15m high basalt stack that has the appearance of a dragon who is drinking.
  • Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss - A 463m mountain and waterfall that is one of the most photographed spots in Iceland.
  • Hellissandur - Once an important fishing post, it's now classified as Iceland's home of street art.

A surreal and stunning country, unlike anywhere else on earth.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 17:00 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)