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Trips
Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Work took me to Philadelphia last month and I was able to go a day early to explore the City. The weather was perfect for walking so I explored on foot, hitting the famous sites and neighborhoods in between.

Philly felt like a mini-NYC. An older city mixed with modern design and a lot of American history, yet smaller and more easily explored in just a couple of days. 

Here are a few of my favorites.

Philadelphia
Salida, Colorado in Winter

Salida, Colorado in Winter

Salida means ‘exit’ in Spanish and the Colorado town was given that name for the Arkansas River’s exit out of one valley and into another canyon. Today it seems Salida is anything but an exit, but rather than entrance into central Colorado.

The town itself, the largest historic district in the State and once a stagecoach and railroad stop, has transformed itself into an arts and outdoor mecca. In town, galleries dot the streets, and outdoor activities exist in town and in the surrounding mountains. Hiking, including nearby 14ers (peaks over 14k feet), whitewater boating, mountain biking, skiing, fishing… well, pretty much anything. 

Somehow this turned into an advertisement for Salida, which it wasn’t intended, but easy to do. We make an annual winter trip there to ski and this year extended our stay to a week allowing for more time out with the camera. Below are a few highlights.

Downtown Salida before the Town awakes.
Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands

Part II of our fall trip.

The Faroes has been a bucket-list destination for me for years, and while I love Iceland, truth be told, the Faroe Islands was the reason for this trip. We had to fly through somewhere to get there and I’ll never pass up the opportunity for more time in Iceland.

If you don’t know much about the Faroe Islands, you’re not alone. Probably the question we most received before (and after) the trip is, “where?” So, a quick primer: The Faroes are a group of islands (18) between Iceland and Norway (you can probably already tell why I wanted to go since those two are among my favorite trips ever). They are part of the Kingdom of Denmark, though self-governing since just after WWII. Fishing is the main industry and there are more sheep than people (~50K people, ~70k sheep), though tourism, pre-COVID, is increasing.

And you may start to hear more about them. Tourism is growing and they continually have tourism campaigns that get international attention. For example, Sheepview, which was their petition to Google to add Streetview to their country (Google initially declined, but all the press changed their minds).

The landscapes are stunning with mountains running into the sea, and the often poor weather only adds to the dramatic views, though also making it challenging to get outside sometimes (we spent two days inside due to weather). It just made the good weather days all the more rewarding.

A hiker looks out towards Tindhólmur.
Iceland: Snæfellsnes and the Westfjords

Iceland: Snæfellsnes and the Westfjords

This past fall we were fortunate to travel internationally for the first time in two years. We chose Iceland and the Faroe Islands for their relatively easy access (i.e. direct flight from Denver), manageable travel restrictions, and the fact that most of our activities would be outdoors.

We had both been to Iceland before separately and had seen the sites closer to Reykjavik, so for this trip, we headed to the western side of Iceland to experience Snaefellsnes and the Westfjiords region. 

I’ll post photos from the second portion of the trip, to the Faroe Islands, soon.

Happy New Year and safe travels in 2022!

Trip planning. I bought some Icelandic beer at home for added motivation. Fun fact: Beer makes booking airfare even more fun.
Faroese Folklore

Faroese Folklore

One of the things I love about travel is the tales you come across, from the religious-based, to mythology, to folklore. They can seem so ridiculous on the one hand, and yet oddly charming on the other. I just imagine the circumstances that led to the genesis of these stories (I mean, assuming they’re not real…), and I suspect that at least in the northern latitudes that the fickle weather and long nights of winter had something to do with their creation.

Here are three such tales from the Faroe Islands that we heard while visiting there this fall.