Allison 🛫eternalarrival.com (@eternalarrival) — 🌍 Writing about Balkans & offbeat travel
⛰ Read my article about the Faroes
⛰ Read my article about the Faroes
As a Californian, I'm endlessly fascinated by buildings over 100 years old - sorry guys, it's a thing we're all afflicted with, like saying "hella" and always mentally assessing if things are earthquake-proof. . So, as you can imagine, I go a bit crazy for Old Towns. And cute red-walled, turf-roofed Tinganes in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, is basically as old as an Old Town gets. Home to a parliament in the literal Viking ages (825), the buildings you see now date back to the 16th and 17th century. . Tórshavn may be one of the smallest and most isolated capital cities in Europe, but I'll be damned if it's not the coziest! . @visitfaroeislands#visitfaroeislands#sponsored
I wrote about hiking in Faroes over on @visitfaroeislands earlier this week (link in bio!) and I couldn't help but think how different these islands must be now. . When Megan and I were there in August, the grass was a brilliant green, the sky was light until nearly midnight, and even when the sun set it stayed so close to the horizon that the sky never got truly black. . Now, I wouldn't be surprised if this lighthouse has already been hit with a few snows, and the sun is setting earlier each day - around 3:30 PM these days. . Could you live in a place of such extremes, or would you just rather visit? . #visitfaroeislands#sponsored
When you travel, do you already know what photos you want to take for Instagram, or do you prefer to be surprised? . We drove past here in a taxi several times, not knowing what the hell it could be - just that it looked odd and that we wanted to stop and explore it. . Turned out it was Belgrade's largest and oldest continually running farmers' market! It celebrated its 170th anniversary last year and is a protected cultural landmark in Belgrade just a short walk from Hotel Moskva (and the best cake in Belgrade). . I love stumbling upon unique places like this! Where's the last random place your curiosity pulled you?
To renew or not to renew? . Sremski Karlovci is on the verge of a major makeover with its neighboring city, Novi Sad, chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2021. . The preparations undergone to become the Capital of Culture is intense. We spoke to the mayor of Sibiu, a former Capital of Culture, and she revealed that they worked on renovating the city for more than 5 years - all for one year of spotlight. . I actually first visited Novi Sad in 2016 when 2021 seemed so far away and they were already preparing. Even two years later the city is looking vastly different and it'll have a ripple effect on nearby towns as well. . As delighted as I am that old buildings will get the TLC they deserve, I must admit part of me will miss the charm of decay. . Part of progress, or should we leave things be and let time show on its bones? I'm undecided.
Welcome to Belgrade. . Third time in Serbia and second time in Belgrade and I can confirm, this city is still one of my favorites in Europe - and the world, actually. . Working hard behind the scenes while based in Belgrade for the next two weeks (and stopping to sample the city's impressive international food scene - I mean, any city in Europe that doesn't fuck up Mexican food has my heart). . Can't wait to show you more of this beautiful city!
Bulgaria. . I've lived in this beautiful Balkan country for about 5 months of the past year and it keeps surprising me with how much it has to offer. . After several road trips through the country - some 4 or 5 trips - I still had yet to see Belogradchik Fortress in the far north of the country, nestled in a small sliver of Bulgaria between Serbia and Romania. . After doing a spontaneous 4 day road trip through Serbia, we decided to make a long detour through Belogradchik on our way back to Sofia. . We had the fortress all to ourselves for the first 30 minutes of exploring and paid a mere €3 for entry. . Bulgaria, I love you!
Iceland doesn't play when it comes to pretty churches. Even the smallest communities tend to have a beautiful church - this one was in the town of Þingeyri, population 260! . Don't miss my post about the beauty of one of Iceland's less-discovered regions, the Westfjords! Link in bio. . #icelandlocal#myicelandtravel#sponsored@icelandtravel
Even by the Westfjords' high standards, the town of Flateyri is gorgeous. Yet over the last few decades, locals have left this town in droves after catastrophic avalanches, fishing regulations, and the lure of Reykjavik's economic opportunity turned once-bustling Flateyri into an eerily quiet place. . Now, Flateyri gets by on smaller fishing operations but many locals are also reliant on tourism. Its old book store - the oldest still-operating store in Iceland - is a popular stop in the Westfjords, and the much-loved Nonsense Museum attracts international attention as well. . At times it seems Iceland is over-touristed, but as I road-tripped through some quieter parts of the country I truly see how tourism can be a force for good, preserving towns and traditions and businsses that otherwise would shutter, just as easily as it can be a force for ill. . Read more of my thoughts on this on my newest blog post about the #Westfjords - link in bio. . #icelandlocal#myicelandtravel@icelandtravel#sponsored
Icelandic horses have been bred in complete isolation for the last 1,000 years, making them unique in the world. They're shorter than most horses, but extremely muscular and stronger than they look. They're beloved for their shaggy mohawk-like manes and relaxed personalities. But the coolest thing I learned about Icelandic horses is that they have a special gait no other horse has. It's called tölting, which is likely a very silly but very smooth fast walk - and it is a lot of fun! . . #icelandlocal#myicelandtravel@icelandtravel#sponsored
When would you rather visit Iceland - summer or winter? My trip to Iceland was my 4th time to the Nordic countries but only my 1st time in the summer! . I fell in love with the endless days, long hours of perfect light, and sunlight - and it wasn't as cold as I expected, either. While there were definitely more people, there were still some off the beaten path places where I could find some peace while still enjoying the benefits of being there in peak season. Plus, I got to explore the more remote and most beautiful areas of Westfjords which are pretty inaccessible to visit during the winter due to extreme weather and bad road conditions. Win! . . #icelandlocal#myicelandtravel@icelandtravel#sponsored
Dynjandi (literally "Thunderous") is the pride of the Westfjords and one of the most majestic waterfalls I've ever seen. The forces conspired against photographing it properly - a lost camera clip rendered my tripod and ND filters totally useless, and road construction shaved off 45 minutes worth of time I could have used photographing this beauty. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and do your best and accept that you won't get the Instagram-perfect picture - but at least you will have the memory. . Luckily, with its massive height of 100 meters, width ranging from 30m at the top and cascading out to 60m by the bottom, it's hard not to take an impressive shot - even if it's not the one you imagined. . #icelandlocal#myicelandtravel@icelandtravel#sponsored
Iceland wins the top prize for cutest churches. Bonus points for stunning settings against the Atlantic. This beauty in Hellnar is one of many such Icelandic churches but something about the late-evening light, the peek of blue ocean behind it, and the streaky clouds made this one extra special. . #icelandlocal#myicelandtravel@icelandtravel#sponsored
In the last month, between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, I've interacted with more sheep than people. . I love sheep - my aunt lives on a sheep farm so when I'm home in California, I see them quite a bit. They've all got such distinct personalities in their own way, like this bossy lady leading the way up the path with her two little ones in tow, on quiet Flatey Island between the Snæfellsness peninsula and the Westfjords in Iceland. . @icelandtravel#MyIcelandTravel#IcelandLocal#sponsored
It's ironic for a travel blogger, but I get motion sickness incredibly easily, and boats are the worst culprit. But many of my favorite things lately - a boat ride through the bird cliffs of the Faroes, a humpback whale watching tour in Hólmavík, a car ferry out to Kalsoy for an incredibly remote hike, any boat that takes me out scuba diving - have all involved boats. I just have to suck it up and pretend I'm not seasick. It works, mostly. . This cute harbor is in Stykkishólmur, Iceland, and it's where I caught the ferry to take me to the Westfjords via Flatey Island, a remote and little-known part of Iceland that is a breath of fresh air compared to much of the more established tourist circuit. . #MyIcelandTravel#IcelandLocal@icelandtravel#sponsored
Where has always fascinated you? As a kid, I was awestruck by faraway seeming places - places in the far Arctic north or the strangely spelled Stans of Central Asia. I made it to Iceland a lot later than everyone else, but the magic here is real. . The thing about Iceland is that while it is super touristy, the tourists tend to follow the same well-Instagrammed path. Which means that with a little creativity and planning, you can have gorgeous parts of Iceland practically all to yourself AND support local economies which have slowly been losing their population to Reykjavik and greater tourism opportunities down south. . I'll be sharing with you my photos of Western Iceland and the Westfjords in partnership with @icelandtravel and their mission to support these smaller communities! . #MyIcelandTravel#IcelandLocal#sponsored