… this wasn’t the coldest we were while in Iceland.
Back in September, we flew to London to meet up with one of Alan’s oldest friends (they met as freshman in college) to celebrate his birthday in that wonderful, lovely, lively historic city. It was a whirlwind in and out of the city, focused mostly on culinary experiences – tea at Fortnum & Mason and lunch at The Fat Duck – so we didn’t have a whole lot on our agenda beyond those two things. In fact, the things I did have on our agenda were quickly tossed by the wayside when the weather refused to cooperate. No, it didn’t rain the entirely time … IT WAS HOT AS BALLZ. I’m not even exaggerating; I think it was the hottest weekend London has on record for the past decade or more. And since I don’t wear shorts or skirts, I was sweltering. So what did we do, you might be wondering? Well, we walked around the Camden Market, got ice cream at Milk Train (thanks to the tempting Instagram pics from angloyankophile), had dinner with Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi, searched the entirety of Bond Street for a waxed flat cap with ear guards (finally found it at Barbour on Oxford Street, of course), visited the London Transport museum (highly recommended for those who are interested in graphic design or civil engineering), hit up one of our favorite London pubs, and watched a man nearly die at another. Yes, you read that correctly. In one of the scariest experiences of my life, we were sitting in a pub on our way home for the evening when a man walked up to the bar and then collapsed, straight back. I honestly, I swear to god, thought he was dead. He wasn’t breathing, he wasn’t moving. It was terrifying. But thanks to the quick work of the female bartender which included mouth to mouth and chest compressions the man was eventually transported to the hospital alive. The big star of the trip, however, was our lunch at The Fat Duck. All I can say is OH MY GOD. It was everything you’ve heard of and more and if you’re ever lucky enough to get the opportunity to go, do not hesitate. There are very few meals I remember well after the event has come and gone, but this is one that will likely stay with me for a very long time. Funny thing is, two of these meals (the other is Quince in San Francisco) are with the same friend. He definitely ups our game when it comes to fine dining and haute cuisine. London is a city I love so much and was so happy to get a chance to visit again after our trip in November 2014. I’d love to visit again next year for a quick weekend getaway, but this time I’m thinking spring instead the end of summer because I just can’t handle hot temperatures anymore.
I’m currently sitting in my brother-in-law’s house in the Bay Area, having just flown from Dublin via Reyjkavik, Iceland, on a 48-hour stopover en route to California. A few hours after landing, this is what we were seeing. As you can imagine, it was pretty epic! I can’t wait to show you the rest of our trip.
Ireland is famous for its beautiful, majestic driving routes, some of which take several hours to take in properly. But The Sky Road, located outside of Clifden, is only 12km so it can be done as part of a larger day tour of the area. We had actually planned to go hiking in Connemara this particular Saturday but the weather was so fabulously terrible that we ended up scrapping our plans and doing something else entirely. When we were on our way home I realized a drive through Clifden would only add an extra 20 minutes or so to our overall time so we decided to make a detour since I’d heard others talking about this beautiful stretch of road. Obviously with bad weather we didn’t get quite the same vistas my friends had during a warm, sunny day a couple of weeks beforehand, but it was still a great way to see some “off the beaten path” parts of Western Ireland.
Funnily enough, leaving the area we encountered a major detour which had us driving through some pretty remote parts of County Galway … and adding about an extra 1.25 hours to our overall journey. Oops. Anyway, enjoy.
(Most of the time we had this narrow road to ourselves but when traffic that was rerouted from the other direction met up with us, it was very difficult to navigate because two lanes of traffic did not fit. Thankfully we didn’t have to worry with our awesome Land Rover.)