Portraits of those before us, and more, National Gallery, London


Culture is in the eye of the beholder and the artists of old captured the essence of all things great  in the centuries before us….and viewing them is free at the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square in downtown London.

A fabulous aspect of the National Gallery is the general entrance is free, which is great for those traveling on a budget like myself. I attended/viewed the Gallery a total of 3 times to get through all the exhibitions (not fully shown here). The exhibits are large, spacious, and overly awesome to boot. Why? The National Gallery offers era’s from classical to Renaissance to Modern, DaVinci to Rubens to Van Gogh to Monet to Post Modern Art. It is all very wonderful.

The Gallery also sets on Trafalgar Square, which in its own ways is always awesome, a full day or two of free adventures all in one wonderful location, well worth checking out and very friendly on the wallet (post cards of must of the art work is also available for those without a photographic eye or wanting to play “Where’s Waldo” postcard style).

Old High Church and Kirkyard, Inverness, Scottish Highlands


Black Water Rhythym and Blues, Elizabethtown, N.C.


A very enjoyable evening out on the town!!

Located at the Farmers Market Plaza in Elizabethtown, N.C. A friend and I thoroughly enjoyed an evening of live music, performed by Black Water Rhythym and Blues. The trombones, saxaphone, trumpet and vocalists were awesome, featuring covered music tracks.

A favorite of mine was the cover of Ed Sheerens “Thinking out Loud”, very soulful rendition and heart warming.  Those in attendance brought their own lawn chairs, making seating comfy and the venue dog s friendly, which is always a good idea.

The group will be performing other music in the park venues, including another in Elizabethtown, which makes me super excited!

A Cheesy Snack/Side Dish


Cheesy Brussel Sprouts, an easy snack/side dish

1 bag of frozen Brussel sprouts (plain)

4 slices (or 4 oz) of real cheddar cheese

Lightly steam the brussel sprouts with a little water, until thawed out and semi cooked. Let cool if cutting by hand. Slice/chop the brussel sprouts by hand or with a food processor, returning to the pan with 2 tablespoons of butter, lightly saute until fully cooked and tender.

Mix in the cheese, putting the pan on low heat until the cheese is melted. Serves 4-6 people a side dish/snack

Reykjavik, Iceland


A layover has never been more exciting. My flight on Icelandair proved to be very successful, flying from London to Denver, via Reykjavik, Iceland.

I arrived just  little before midnight, went through customs (getting another stamp in my passport, woohoo!!) I was able to sleep a little on a terminal bench in a quiet area, which was super after so much adventuring and travel..

Upon waking up, I grabbed some coffee and a breakfast sandwich, and booked a round trip local bus ticket to the town of Reykjavik, where more unexpected adventures awaited, and the beauty was an unexpected surprise. The bus drove by the old lava fields (now covered in sparse shrub and grasses) and dropped off passengers not far from city center square.

The pictures tell the rest of the story, and I even sampled fermented shark (not shown). A rare delicacy I have never tasted or had available anywhere else!!!

Joe and the Juice Coffee

Leif Erikson

Monument

Atlantic Inlet to the coastline

Iceland sweater for sale at $400

Mural in the airport

Loki Cafe entree, amazing

Tulips

Loki Cafe

Thor Tea

Lief Erikson monument

Church hours in Nordic and English

Hallgrimskirkja Church, Iceand

The Loki cafe is an amazing place to dine and has some incredible views but be warned, Iceland is very expensive to enjoy, even on a basic level…be prepared to drop some cash on even basics. For example, a cup of regular coffee (roughly $2 to $3 in the USA) is easily $8 to $10 in Iceland, even outside of the airports. Why is everything so costly?? From what I understand, most things have to be important to Iceland and with a population of roughly 350,000 (for the whole country), costs are higher due to the enviroment and import costs, etc. It is worth seeing but plan accordingly…and apparently the higher winds and chill are constant, so dress warmly!!!

13 months in Baden Wurtemburg


Whew!! 13 months here have really flown by and now it is time for the next chapter!! A review in photos of all the fun I have experienced living abroad here in Germany.