Showing posts from January, 2015


"To get back up to the shining world from there,
My guide and I went into that hidden tunnel,

And following its path, we took no care
To rest, but climbed: he first, then I-so far,

through a round aperture I saw appear,

Some of the beautiful things that Heaven bears..."

-- Dante Alighieri, Inferno

Tucked away in the Icelandic highlands, in the Reykjanes peninsula off of route 380 lies a lava tube heralded as one of the "World's most thrilling hikes" according to National Geographic, but you could never find it in a thousand years.  Luckily for the world and speleologists, Bjorn Hroarsson did his geologic homework and found something -- literally -- between 1,000 and 9,000 years old. Bjorn (the founder of my tour company) followed a hunch in the new millennium. He poked around the Leitahraun lava fields and, eventually in 2005, decided to have a closer look at a fold in the landscape. Bjorn shoved himself through an unassuming hole in the earth, obscured by boulders a…


"The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its nets of wonder forever"
-- Jacques Cousteau

My mother wanted a beach day.  My mother always wants a beach day.  A day to unwind with no pressing plans or timetables to adhere to, her only requirement that it is spent on a beach.  In Australia, Horseshoe Bay in Bowen was our random pit-stop.  In Europe [2011] it was La Biodola on the tiny Italian island of Elba.  Coincidentally, a beach day always occurred at the end of our trips, probably for two reasons.  First, by the end of each vacation we had ticked off the majority of the bucket list's activities.  Second, by the end of three jam-packed weeks abroad our body and mind started to subconsciously desire a break from the fast-paced lifestyle we'd been living. On the 24th day of 29, we aimlessly drove through western Norway. I hoped Karm√ły would sate Mom.  This day turned out to be her favorite of our week on the mainland.

We originally allocated Mom's favorite d…