Justin.Lina M

Joined January 2018
  • Oct18


    October 18, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    We followed the breadcrumb trail left by instagram and found ourselves in landscapes normally reserved for Hollywood green screens. Alien backdrops gave way to photo op after photo op as we wound our way back to Reykjavik. A gray blanket was wrapped tightly around the city. Even with its gray cloak Reykjaviks art culture seems to have taken Icelands natural beauty as its inspiration and manifested it into a colorful vibrant bustling community. One last stop before our inevitable return was a small shop tucked away in Reykjaviks old town. An unassuming black door and a vague sign marked the entrance. Once inside an ambient soundtrack radiated around the black sparsely decorated walls. Whether or not this store had anything to actually sell was in question. The line between art exhibition and retail shop was being blurred here. A series of old Icelandic books were tacked up to the wall next to the counter where a female clerk stood. As we examined the books she informed us that each book had a distinct sent. Feeling a bit apprehensive that maybe she was having a laugh and just wanted to see up sniff the hanging books we obliged. They indeed did each have what appeared to be a custom sent. The clerk then explained to us that this was family run where each sibling three in total took care of different aspects of the store. She was responsible for the small wooden toothbrush and black locally sourced toothpaste as well as the tea that was offered for sale. Her sister responsible for the visual photography hanging from the walls and the looping video that was visible once you climbed a ladder in the far corner of the store. Lastly she told us her brother was responsible for the ambient soundtrack that played throughout the store as well as jokingly told us that he was responsible for the scented books and "cologne" that was available next to the toothbrush. We purchased the soundtrack and left the mysterious store with more questions than answers like how this small store that wound not be out of place in Tokyo or New York found its way to this remote place? And how could you possibly clean your teeth with black toothpaste? Iceland a land of beauty and mystery.Read more

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  • Oct17


    October 17, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    While exploring the Icelandic country side by car there are a few things that you may want to keep in mind. #1 Headlights are to be kept on at all times (#3 will reveal a good reason for this). #2 gas stations are sparsely place and actually paying and pumping gas is confusing at best. #3 around most every turn is some sort of majestic nature sure to take your eyes from the road. While your good and distracted by a rushing waterfall or an impossibly steep cliff complete with ice caps and grazing sheep, the two lane you were on previously has now merged to one and your heading directly into on coming traffic. With little warning the road narrows and one car yields to let on coming traffic pass on a narrow one way bridge. This happens often and on a few occasions the other side of the bridge is complexly out of view. Add hale, snow, and sudden and intense rain and wind and you have an involuntary game of chicken. This alone is a very good reason to drive with your headlights on. Despite this white knuckle situation at the roads end we saw our first iceberg, totally worth it.Read more

  • Oct16


    October 16, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ 🌧 6 °C

    Our last road trip didn't go that well. That's another story for another time, but suffice to say a bit of redemption was in order. A rental car (something called a Duster) was secured a map acquired and an extremely loose itinerary established. Everything was loaded in the Duster an apropos soundtrack was engaged and our much need redemption tour was ready to commence. We put the Duster in reverse (manual transmission) and it lurched forward. A quick glance at the stick and we realized that reverse was slightly to the left of first gear on this six speed. No problem we've driven a stick shift our whole life. Into reverse we go. Instantly the Duster jumps the curb and threatens to take out the small wall and hedge its facing. A few panicked moments and it's decided that we have no idea how to get this car off the sidewalk. We were about to be the first rental car in history to call road side assistance in the rental car parking lot. We collected our selves and went to find anyone who may be able to tame this wild Duster. A few tense moments passed when causally someone informed us that our car was on the sidewalk and that there is a ring just under the top of the stick shift that needs to be lifted to put it in reverse. Oh thanks.Read more

  • Oct15

    Aurora Borealis

    October 15, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ 🌧 4 °C

    The heavens open up offering a veritable cornucopia of light, a peek behind the curtain of the universe the Aurora Borealis. An event to behold for many, so when we realized we were in striking distance of this heavenly offering we decided to check it out.
    After inquiring about said other worldly phenomenon we quickly found out that it's not as simple as looking up.
    Conditions needed to be optimal, activity can be hit or miss, and the viewing location has to be free of light pollution. The website that forecasts the aurora gave us a decent chance and we attempted to
    line up all of these variables at the lighthouse, the darkest corner of Reykjavik. We reached the end of the bus line and exited. Mary a solo traveler we met on the bus joined us and we walked to ward the lighthouse and waited. An hour passed when suddenly a couple leapt out of their parked car and started feverishly setting up their tripods. They took aim at what looked like regular wispy clouds in the night sky. But what their camera returned was an explosion of green light. Despite our attempts at lining up multiple variables successfully there was still one glaring issue. A camera with the ability to adjust the aperture was needed to view the aurora. Why we were not let in on this tidbit of information is still a mystery. Imagine a printed image of the aurora in a 1920s news paper and you get a pretty close depiction of what we actually saw. The heavenly light show a glimpse into deep space, a veritable exploding night rainbow was in fact in person black and white.
    Read more

  • Oct14


    October 14, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

    We touched down in Reykjavik under the cloak of the early morning darkness , and despite our jet lag induced disorientation we decided to explore the town. Our collective knowledge of Iceland is boiled down to Two extremely useless bullet points. Point one: this is the home of Bjork. While this seemed like a trivial and useless fact, while wandering through Reykjaviks streets we saw no less than 10 individual references to the Icelandic singer. As it turns out much like John Stamos in the US Bjork here in Iceland is a national treasure. Point two: the streets here have been deemed to be so safe that parents often leave their babies unattended outside in strollers while they shop. We kept this factoid in mind while we navigated a large portion of Reykjaviks downtown. And just as we had come to the conclusion that you should never leave your baby unattended except maybe at a Nicholas Cage convention (another US national treasure) we saw it. Sitting just outside a small confectionery shop was a small tightly bundled baby, tucked warmly in its stroller without a guardian in sight. Having our second fact confirmed we half expected to see a crowd round the corner Bjork riding triumphantly on their shoulders , but no Icelandic singer emerged. Welcome to ReykjavikRead more

  • Oct13

    Dream suite

    October 13, 2018 in Iceland ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    We stood hands pressed against the double pane glass gazing longingly out at the oasis of luxury. Close but painfully out of reach was Singapore airlines flagship plane equipped with what could only be described as the finer things. Nestled inside its impressively large frame sits a series of private suites complete with quite possibly everything you could want out of air travel save for a futuristic teleportation portal. A quick interweb search will provide you with a visual example of what will most likely never be. Today we share the same fate. For now we stuff ourselves tip to tale and stare at a screen until sleep takes hold even in this impossibly awkward position. Awakened from a dream of fully automatic recliners and large double beds topped with mounds of sleep inducing pillows and stylish down comforters. We touch down in the land of ice.Read more

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