Category: Travel

Travel Writing Articles by Katalina Watt.

Surviving The Chilkoot Trail

Surviving The Chilkoot Trail

This summer I survived my first backpacking trip and I had an amazing time conquering the Chilkoot Trail. It was my most challenging hike so far and prior to taking off, I was worried about a myriad of things including slowing down the group and having a miserable time. Instead, I became even more hooked on hiking and experienced history and gorgeous landscapes. Here are some of my key pointers for anyone preparing to undertake this historical trail.

The Chilkoot Trail runs between Skagway and Bennett and through the Alaska-BC border, but the route is commonly mistaken to run through the Yukon, and we did, in fact, drive down from Whitehorse. The trail was established during the Klondike gold rush and many artefacts are preserved along the way with historical markers. Our stats: 54km (detours for historical sites); 5 nights (Finnegan’s, Sheep, Deep Lake, and Bear Lune); 22lbs my pack; 1000m elevation gain.

  • Have a good group and stay close together

I was really lucky to be the most novice out of my hiking group. Even though I was eager to be as prepared and informed as I could be prior to the trip, I found it reassuring to be with a bunch of experienced hikers. It should go without saying, but to get the most out of the Chilkoot it’s important to have an understanding of environmental conversation and historical preservation. The trail acts as an outdoor museum, with many fascinating but fragile objects left there for posterity and context. It is also important to follow the trail’s rules about conservation and safety, such as using bear lockers and greywater sites.

We were acutely aware of our itinerary and timing, having to walk a certain amount of kilometres per day to make it to our next campsite. However, with several recent black and grizzly bear sightings on the trail, we were keen to stick together as a group. We all walked at different paces, a fellow hiker letting me know that I was walking on average a quarter of a step more than everyone else – being shorter of stature definitely made the trail more of a challenge!

  • Pack light but essential gear

We had two stoves between five of us and meals distributed between the most experienced hikers who were used to carrying heavier packs. We had a gravity filter for the group’s water supplies, bear spray, and lightweight camping gear. Be prepared for all weathers and trail conditions by carrying several layers, including ones that are wind and waterproof. We also had gaiters for mud and snow. Some days we got a bit of light rain, buffeting winds, and then blazing sunshine and calm all in one day! Remember to bring your essential luxuries i.e. the extra things you consider necessary for your happiness on the trail, not just your survival. For our group is was good food and entertainment. We had all brought reading material and card games, which definitely helped keep up our spirits! We had also organised a meal plan prior to departure, so we split the ingredients amongst the group. It’s much easier to cook more elaborate meals for a large group, whereas I can understand the appeal of simpler food supplies if you’re a solo traveller.

My pack essentials:

  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Compressing sack for sleeping bag (also doubles as a storage space for clothes when empty)
  • Ziplock of biodegradable toiletries
  • Snacks (essential calories!)
  • Camping Stove
  • Change of shoes & dry socks for camp
  • Packing cube of changes of clothes
  • Layers: short sleeve base layer, long sleeve base layer, hiking trousers, leggings for underlayer, fleece, pyjamas, raincoat (also for wind protection)!
  • Book
  • Light
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Plan a schedule and stick to it

The average time taken for the trail is 5-7 days and you do need to apply for a permit. You can definitely do it over more or fewer days and we saw people running the trail in one day! I would advise taking all the detour trails to check out the historical points of interest and being overcautious in terms of time.

There are several campsites along the trail and they all have wooden platforms for pitching tents for conservative reasons. We stayed at Finnegan’s Point, Pleasant Camp, Sheep Camp, Deep Cove, and Bare Loon. Because of this, the difficulty of our days increased with our summit day on Day 3 from Sheep Camp to Deep Cove being a gruelling 17km over the Scales and Chilkoot Pass.

The conditions passing over the summit can be extremely changeable and we found the Ranger Talk at Sheep Camp to be enlightening in terms of history and necessary in terms of safety and hiking preparations. It’s important to start early on summit day (we began at 5am) to avoid avalanches and there are no camps between Sheep Camp and Happy Camp over the Pass. We had a much needed break at Happy Camp before pushing on to Deep Cove. It’s important to take care of yourself and your fellow hikers but it’s also crucial to plan a reasonable schedule and stick to it so you can make your onward travel connections!

  • Befriend your fellow travellers

We had some lovely chats with other hikers along the way. Part of the wonder of hiking is experiencing gorgeous nature and connecting with other people face to face, without screens or other distractions. You have to make your own entertainment, and conversation with strangers was often welcome after a long day chatting with your own group! You’ll run into the same faces on the trail and often be in close proximity with the same people so it’s a good idea to get to know them. It also makes it easier for smaller groups/solo travellers to tag along with a larger group for bear safety.

  • Have fun and take lots of photos!

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Winter Melts to Spring

Winter Melts to Spring

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Winter and the first inklings of spring have been full of travels and outdoorsy adventures. After Christmas I travelled to Calgary to catch up with old friends and take a festive break. We drove back to Vancouver and decided, with time and weather a factor, to break up the journey visiting pals along the way.

We stopped at Banff for the day and I’d almost forgotten how picturesque the town is in winter. After that, we headed for Nakusp, nestled in the snow-capped mountains. We stayed in a quaint cabin and enjoyed hiking into some hot springs. We were blessed with some spectacular views and solitude at the hot springs which were frozen wonders. We stayed with pals in Vernon and enjoyed hiking to frozen lakes and wine-tasting.

Upon our return to Vancouver, we took advantage of the snowy conditions to ski at Mount Seymour. Despite previous attempts at skiing, I had my first official lesson and felt much more confident on the slopes. We spent a gloriously rainy day trekking to Quarry Rock along the Deep Cove to Baden Powell hike.
On some unusually temperate and sunny winter days we hiked around Lighthouse Park and Pacific Spirit Regional Park to enjoy the clear blue coast, dense rainforests and a city retreat to the forest trails.

We took a few days to explore Salt Spring Island and stayed in a lovely wee cabin a short cycle from both Long Harbour and Ganges town. It was a perfectly secluded cabin on a farm which had been created to be self-sufficient and sustainable by its owners. We had a compost bathroom, fireplace and outdoor claw-foot bathtub! Taking a bath under the stars and snowdrift was magical. We sampled some delicious local fare, peeked at art galleries and handmade crafts, wandered around the harbour and had some gloriously sunny winter hikes. We left Salt Spring refreshed and rejuvenated and already keen to return in warmer weather for camping.

West Coast Autumnal

West Coast Autumnal

Moving to Vancouver has been a big change with many adjustments, but one of my favourite things has been having some lovely opportunities to get around the city and out into the mountains during Autumn, my favourite season.

During the initial settling in period, we camped around various remote spots north of Whistler. Our favourite was definitely the hot springs of Sloquet, and even though we got rained out, I loved making friends with other wanderers and taking an evening dip by candlelight. I even found some joy in the challenge of putting up and taking down a tent in the rain and trying to cook with a headlamp in a race against the light.

We also met up with some old friends and made some new ones on a day hike around Lake Garibaldi. We were very lucky with the weather and got some majestic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. We had some great life chats and ate our body weight in carbs back in Whistler afterwards!

We took a lovely bike ride around the seawall in Vancouver, taking in the beaches and mountains.

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Goodbye England: Staycation in Devon

Goodbye England: Staycation in Devon

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me and my Mama to take a wee trip together, and past adventures have included Barcelona, Florence and the Lake District. As I’m moving away in less than two months (eek!) we decided to have a simple staycation in Devon.

We stayed in a remote and adorable cabin in Cornworthy, and were blessed with a complete absence of both signal and wifi. Whilst it was mildly inconvenient to be off the grid for planning our activities, it was also incredibly liberating because I spent so much more time reading out in the sunshine and having proper conversations with my Mum. It’s so easy to talk without really communicating when you’re both busy and stressed, so it was nice to feel so disconnected from responsibility and city life.

We drove to the dinky town of Dittisham where we took a boat (which is summoned by ringing a wee bell, so cute!) across the River Dart to Greenway, the summer home of Agatha Christie. The home itself was gorgeous, with tons of fascinating objects, information and first editions of all Christie’s work. We had a great time walking around the gardens, geeking out with the lovely volunteers of the National Trust and generally acting like old ladies together. They had a voluntary donation stand of extra produce from the gardens, and there was something satisfying about making our dinner with those veggies. The estate also has some gorgeous gardens and rambling woodlands which feature as locations in quite a few dramatisations of Christie’s novels.

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We drove to Dartmoor National Park to do a few trails. We stopped at Newbridge, planning to start with a gentle looping track. We brought a picnic spread, took our lunch by the river. It started off so well, but we ended up blazing our own trail when we managed to get off the beaten track. All’s well that ends well as we made it out alive and saw some great hidden views. After such an unanticipated workout, we decided to reward ourselves with a genuine Devon ice cream.

We were extremely fortunate with the weather, almost aghast at the sunshine and clear blue skies. Although it was only a few days away, I always really appreciate little jaunts into other parts of the UK and none more so than when I’m about to leave my home for the next couple of years.

Tanlines in ANZ and Fiji

Tanlines in ANZ and Fiji

Before the big move to Canada, I took two months to explore Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. I met lovely folk, saw beautiful landscapes and discovered that my face is 70% cheeks and 30% teeth.



We have a lot of family in Brisbane, but unfortunately we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. My Aunt had recently got married, and I got to spend some quality time seeing everyone and catching up. All the tiny people had grown up way too fast and there were even new babies to play with. As I’d been to Brisbane before, I didn’t do a lot of the touristy things, but I really enjoyed the Museum of Brisbane, Mount Coo-tha Lookout, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Botanical Gardens. I also unleashed my inner kid at Dreamworld theme park, riding all the rollercoasters and eating ice cream.

Cabarita and Stradbroke

We took some day trips to Cabarita Beach and Stradbroke Island. We did some lovely coastal walks, and in Stradbroke my cousin showed us where the dolphins swam by. They were curious things that came right up to the shore and we were able to feed them.

Byron Bay

I bid my relatives farewell and headed down to Byron Bay on the Gold Coast. It’s a wee beach town, consisting of one main street and the beach, and full of travellers and hippies. No shoes, no problems. Most people were inked, barefoot and sporting dreads or dyed hair. I spent a day there soaking up the sun, swimming in the ocean and meeting travellers in my hostel. The next morning a group of us got up before dawn to climb up to the lighthouse and catch a beautiful sunrise.

Coffs Harbour

I stayed in a wonderful hostel in Coffs Harbour, Aussitel, which had been recommended by a friend. The hostel organised a free trip up the hill to for a scenic walk around the rainforest, and we visited Coffs’ most iconic attraction the Big Banana. I took a trip up to Mutton Bird island, which had some fantastic views over the ocean.

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Port Macquarie

Of all the towns I visited on the East coast, I think Port Macquarie was my favourite. I took a coastal walk where I stumbled upon a collection of nudists. I was very British and ran away. I visited the Koala Hospital, where I learnt many surprising facts. For example, koalas are very fussy eaters; there are only a few species of eucalyptus they can consume, and then their palates depend on species native to the koala’s place of birth, as well as personal preference. So the hospital has a resident botanist who basically is a chef for the koalas.. We also took a trip Douglas Vale vineyard and historical home, which is run by a team of dedicated and sweet volunteers. They do a free tour and tasting, but appreciate donations which go to the upkeep of the house and grounds. I’m no connoisseur, but it was pretty damn good wine.


I spent a few days in Sydney, and I befriended a lovely group of travellers. I stayed near The Rocks, a stone’s throw from the main landmarks. I spent a lot of time reading in the gorgeous Botanical Gardens and admiring the Opera House. We went up the Harbour Bridge pylon lookout, which had great views of the city and was more reasonable than a bridge climb. I adored the Art Gallery of New South Wales where I learnt heaps about the history and culture of the Aboriginal people and admired some cracking student art portfolios. I spent time geeking out at Sydney observatory, and we spent a cracking day at Bondi beach doing the coastal walk to Coogee. My highlight was visiting the Blue Mountains, which were phenomenal. We hiked around looking at waterfalls and mountains before hiking up the Giant Stairway. It was a pretty intense 900 steps but I was incredibly proud of myself for making it to the top. We felt like we’d earned the spectacular view of the Three Sisters.

New Zealand

New Zealand has been one of my dream destinations for such a long time, and I went on a Haka Tour, which was the perfect choice for me. We had a wonderful tour guide, Willow, and I was with two different tour groups for the North and South island. I met so many lovely people, and it’s strange how intense touring can be. All of us felt like we knew each other so well after such a short amount of time. We packed so much into  sixteen days, but it was ideal having a small group where you had a lot of flexibility. We were also very lucky with the weather, as it was on the cusp between autumn and winter, and we avoided most of the snow and rain.


We started in Christchurch, which was hit by an earthquake in 2011 and is still in a state of recovery. It was fascinating to see how the community has rallied, with street art and a container mall. On the drive out we were greeted by beautiful mountains, a theme which was to continue.

Lake Tekapo

We stayed in a lovely wee hostel which looked out onto the lake and surrounding mountains, and I was a bit awe-struck by the Church of the Good Shepherd. It stands on the lake shore and is an extremely popular spot for weddings. We also did some drunk stargazing by the lake and on the drive the next day we drove past Lake Pukaki with views of Mount Cook and stopped at a salmon farm and deli for lunch. It’s surreal feeding the salmon one minute and then feeding on them in the next.


We had a great time in Queenstown, which is often described as ‘the Banff of New Zealand’. It’s a tourist town where everyone is passing through or earning their keep to fund a lifestyle of extreme and winter sports. We took the gondola to check out the sweet view, ate some Fergburgers (the most delicious I’ve ever had), and patronised the local pubs. We took a day trip to Milford Sound, which was strangely made more dramatic by the wuthering weather, and I did a Canyon Swing (check it out) backwards and upside down.


A group of us tackled Mount Iron, and I was pretty pleased with myself for getting to the summit in a respectable amount of time. We all marvelled at why That Wanaka Tree is so famous, as lovely as it is, and on the road we had more scenic and food stops, including a taste of whitebait.

Franz Josef

In Franz Josef we had a lot of group bonding moments, including a limo trip to karaoke and coming fourth in the most disorganised pub quiz ever with a team name full of inside jokes. The only way to access the glacier is by air, but I did a three hour hike which brings you pretty close. My highlight in Franz was finally skydiving (check it out!) after having it on my bucket list for years. We did the alpine rail crossing back to Christchurch, which was a scenic ride full of life chats.

Kaikoura and Picton

In Christchurch the South Island group parted ways, and myself and Willow drove North to meet up with our new group. We stopped in Kaikoura, where I swam with dolphins in the open water. After that we drove to Picton where we saw seals, including baby seals learning to swim! From there we took the scenic ferry ride to the North Island and our first stop in Wellington.


Wellington is my kind of city. We geeked out hard at the Weta workshop, learning about its history and chatting with the lucky sods who work there. I spent a whole day at Te Papa: I rode earthquake simulators, learnt about Maori culture and checked out a moving and edifying exhibition on Gallipoli, which featured huge scale sculptures by Weta. We also packed in a trip to the theatre, a visit to the night food market and a secret rooftop bar. So trendy.

Lake Taupo

On the way to Lake Taupo we drove past Taihape, famous for its gumboot throwing, and Huka falls. At Taupo we went for a late night soak in some secret hot springs. Sadly, there was too much snow on mountains for the highly anticipated Tongariro Crossing – which features the real life Mount Doom – but gives me all the more reason to go back! We did an alternative hike up Mount Tauhara which involved swinging on vines across lakes of mud, and scrambling up rocks in the dense rainforest. It had rained extensively before we arrived, so we went Grade 5 white water rafting, which was slightly terrifying and great fun.


On the way to Rotorua, we stopped at the Thermal Wonderland and mudpools, which were astounding and fascinating. I spent some time in Rotorua Museum learning about Maori culture and learning about space in VR. One of my favourite activities was the evening we spent at Mitai Maori Village, which is a dinner and cultural experience involving a Hāngi (traditional Maori cooking method) and performance. It was very respectful and they were welcoming of questions from the visitors, so I felt we learnt a lot.



I was very excited to visit the Shire and it did not disappoint. It doesn’t feel like a film set, because most of the vegetation is real and they have gardeners who tend to the grounds all year round. Hobbiton is located on a working farm, and we were told many stories about Peter Jackson’s particularity about getting Tolkien’s world right. I was delighted to answer the tour guide’s fan questions correctly and discover that I am the perfect height for a hobbit hole. At the end of the tour you can have a pint at The Green Dragon tavern, and they actually brew their own ales and ciders.


On the way to Waitomo we stopped at a Kiwi sanctuary at Otorohanga, but the main reason we were there was for the glowworms. I got a personal tour on my caving trip, and felt like a less glamorous version of Lara Croft in my gumboots and helmet. As well as being hobbit sized, I discovered my height was advantageous for squeezing through crevices.


We had a cheeky pit stop in Paeroa for some famous L&P, and in Coromandel we did a lovely coastal walk to Cathedral Cove and did a pendant bone carving workshop. Our final drive was from Coromandel to Auckland where the tour ended.


We spent our first day in Nadi on the mainland, where we had a lovely Airbnb host who was incredibly helpful and even made us dinner! The next day we boarded the Yasawa Flyer to head to the Yasawa Islands, and our first stop was the wonderful island of Wayalailai and Naqualia resort.


We first got off the ferry onto a bumpy little boat where folk are more often given life jackets to cushion their bums on the huge swells, and you wonder if you’re going to make it back to shore. We were greeted with a welcome song and an enthusiastic greeting of “Bula!” Very quickly we learnt to adjust to Fiji time, which means everything runs to a vague schedule and no one is surprised when things are late. The culture is quite relaxed, and after a week we were walking around barefoot and watches were only necessary for knowing when the next meal was. We were camping during our first week, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. We got through several bottles of sun screen and deet battling against the sun in the day and insects after sunset. Luckily we got some good breezy days and a bit of rain which broke the intensity of the heat. Besides, it’s not too bad lying in a hammock or on the beach all day working on that tan, and nothing quite beats falling asleep to the sound of the ocean.

We took a hike over the hill to another more secluded beach, away from both resort and village. There was some excellent snorkelling there and it was great having the space to ourselves. We experienced a Fijian feast, with a traditional kava ceremony. Kava is a drink made from pounded roots, and pretty much looks like dirty water. I disliked it at first but by the end I was converted, and you haven’t truly been to Fiji if you haven’t tried kava. It’s mixed in a huge ceremonial bowl and then passed around the circle in bowls made from coconut shells. You are supposed to clap and say ‘Bula’ as a sign of respect. Beginners are usually given a “low tide” tiny portion, but by the end of our stay we were calling for “tsunami” where they fill the bowl to the top. Every meal had musical accompaniment followed by the sweetest words: “More food everyone”. We visited the local village and went to a church service, where we heard the most beautiful choir. We took a trip to a smaller island, which used to house a resort, which was destroyed by Cyclone Winston, and it was surreal seeing the devastation firsthand. We spent a lot of time snorkelling and walked over the sandbar between the islands to visit the village school. I loved seeing the library there, and it was moving to see how few books there were, but how every one was clearly well-thumbed and treasured. We met some great travellers and spent a lot of time drinking and playing card games.

Blue Lagoon (i.e. the worst place ever)

We took the Flyer furthest North to Nacula Island. Blue Lagoon Resort, a ridiculous fancy and non Fijian run resort, was supposed to be the luxury portion of the holiday but quickly turned into a nightmare. In summary, it started with the worst restaurant service ever, but after we complained it escalated into the general manager shouting at us and pretty much accusing us of being liars and freeloaders. There was no real attempt to make amends for the horrible experience we had while we were there and we are definitely following up and complaining higher up. Even so, we refused to let it spoil our holiday and swiftly moved on to Oarsman’s Bay, which unfortunately was next door, but fortunately was lovely.

Oarsman’s Bay

After hearing of our experiences at Blue Lagoon, the manager offered us a bure (cabin) for the camping price, which we happily accepted. It was a lovely little place with an open air shower, which made for a spectacular way to start the day. We had some great communal dinners with the other travellers and the beach was absolutely gorgeous. We did a hike where we could see all the way to the other side of the island, and our trip to the famous Samailau cave was breathtaking. We also kayaked out to a private island to spend the day snorkelling and sunbathing. You can pay an extortionate amount to camp there overnight…or do what we did and kayak there and back for the day for next to nothing.

We ended the trip back to our Fijian home of Naqualia. It was lovely to see familiar faces and we treated ourselves to a discounted bure, as they were so chuffed and welcoming upon our return. We hiked to the summit of the island for sunset, had some fabulous snorkelling days and watched the locals spearfishing our supper.

It was finally time to go home, and now to plan the big move to Canada!

Skyrim, or Iceland

Skyrim, or Iceland

Iceland has been extremely high on my wanderlust list for several years, and February truly seemed to be the time to visit. A few of my pals were travelling there the week before us and had gorgeous photos and stories enough to whet my appetite.



We knew we wouldn’t have time to see as much as we wanted, which is the traveller’s curse, but also gives me an incentive to come back! In light of this, we booked several Airbnbs along the West coast of Iceland and planned to loop back around, giving us a few days in Reykjavik at the end of the trip.

After spending a night in Reykjavik gathering our bearings, we drove from Reykjavik to Þingvellir, quickly realising that we wouldn’t be able to pronounce anything correctly. As well as the runic symbols I vaguely remembered studying in Old English, combinations of letters we considered familiar were actually pronounced completely differently. Usually I strive to speak some of the native language to be courteous, but I felt like Icelandic was a bit of a stretch.


It was incredibly liberating and humbling driving around a country with such an iconic and striking landscape. The population of Icelandic is so small that every town felt almost interchangeable and strange, juxtaposed against the mountainous skyline. We could drive for hours, almost snowblind on the brightest days, with our view of volcanoes, craters and mountains unobscured. We stayed in a small cabin in Varmabrekka, near Borgarnes, and I was struck by the glorious silence of the evening. Waking up to see the river and being surrounded by mountains was such a change from the bustle of London and one I always relish.


The next day we set off from Varmabrekka, resupplied at Borgarnes and drove further West. We drove towards Snaefellsness in search of the elusive Landbrotalaug, a secret hot spring not to be found on Google Maps. Following directions from other travel blogs, we found the ‘hot pot’, a tiny two person hot spring next to the gorgeous Eldborg crater. After this, the idea of going to the Blue Lagoon seemed unthinkable. This was our secluded adventure. It began snowing, which made staying in the hot pool for eternity a very appealing prospect. After running back to the car, pink as newborns and half-dressed in damp socks, we continued our journey to our destination for the evening, Hvammstangi, or the Land of the Seals.




We didn’t see any seals, but the cottage we stayed in was lovely. There were some cabins nearby, and someone from next door came by in the evening to tell us that the Northern Lights were out. I didn’t take any photos as they weren’t bright enough to be captured, and I was too gripped to do anything but stare. The sky cleared just long enough for us to get a good look at them, as well as the myriad of stars out that night.




The next day we began meandering our way back to Reykjavik. We drove South and stopped by Grabok, walking a hill to get some stunning views. It was a clear bright day, and so we decided to take advantage of the daylight. We kept driving towards two of the Golden Circle attractions, Geysir and Gulfoss. I’m really glad we decided to do something traditionally touristy. We spent most time by Stokkur, one of the smaller geysers near Geysir which erupts more frequently. The whole area, while busy, is gorgeous and generally didn’t feel too overwhelming and crowded, even after our unbroken isolation.








Gulfoss is a gorgeous waterfall, which in February was partly frozen. It was pretty darn majestic, but I was much dismayed at other visitors who ignored the safety barriers which warned of falling rocks and traversed across the ice (frequently in inappropriate footwear) to get closer to the waterfall. Even in my hiking boots with good traction, I didn’t feel very comfortable getting close to the safety rail near the edge.

I look like a marshmallow


After that we drove back to Reykjavik, which felt somewhat bizarre after staying in remote cabins for several days. We walked about the city, which didn’t take long, looking at the iconic sights such as the Harpa concert hall, which we named ‘the fish building’ because the glass windows look like scales. Hallgrimskirkja is the largest church in Reykjavik, which I found surprisingly pretty, considering the architecture is more modern than my taste.



The next day we got our Icelandic culture education from the National Museum of Iceland, an extensive and eclectic collection of historical objects detailing the history of the country from the settlers to the modern day. My favourite part was the children’s dress up section where you could dress like a settler and play with a toy farm, but yeah.

After that, we decided to lower the tone and visit the Museum of Phallology. When I read this on the list of recommendations, I really hoped it was what I thought it would be. Oh happy day, penis specimens abound! The museum was founded by a retired teacher, whose interest in phallic specimens began when he received a bull’s pizzle to be used as a cattle whip when he was a child. The museum is somewhat informative, but mostly silly. I enjoyed standing next to a pickled whale penis which was was possibly taller than I am.

Ooh shiny
For vegetarians only
I’m almost as tall as a penis!

On our final day we visited the Volcano House, a fascinating free little museum which has samples of past volcano eruptions and was very informative. There was also the most enthusiastic guide I’ve ever seen – it was incredibly endearing how passionate he was about geology and answering people’s questions.

There’s still so much I want to see and I definitely hope to visit Iceland again. It truly felt like some kind of fantasy landscape, and I kept thinking of Skyrim or the Lands Beyond the Wall from A Song of Ice and Fire.

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