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Reykjavik foodie guide


We can’t pretend that the Land of Fire and Ice doesn’t have rough reputation when it comes to food. With stand-out delicacies like fermented shark, sour ram’s testicles, and sheep heads, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of room for those who haven’t grown up with these more…adventurous… flavours. But beyond the dishes that garner the most attention there is a vibrant food scene full of exciting cuisine that still pays tribute to Iceland’s culinary heritage.

For foodies looking for things to do in Reykjavik, there’s plenty to find if you’re willing to look. Visit picture-perfect farms raising grass-fed lamb and fresh produce, tuck into world-class creations at award-winning restaurants, and explore the bounty of the sea with a delicious variety of fish, from flaky cod to delicate halibut.

See the top hotels in Iceland

City Walk & Food Tasting

Get a lay of the land as you head into town with a knowledgeable guide to check out Reykjavik’s sights and learn about Iceland’s history, from settlement to city. Enjoy sweeping views from the top of the Hallgrimskirkja church, brush up on the island’s volcanic past at City Hall, and then head to a pub in Old Harbour to take a tastebud tour with tapas-style treats. From succulent bites of lamb to freshly caught fish, bites of the country’s best fare pair perfectly with glasses of locally made beers. It’s the perfect place to continue chatting about Iceland’s past and get tips on other places to eat. If your time is limited or you’re feeling a bit hangry, skip the city walk and join up with Reykjavik Sightseeing to jump right to the food.

Golden Circle Farms

Leave the city behind with Gray Line Iceland and embark on a tasting tour of the Golden Circle, the name given to the route that passes around Iceland’s rugged perimeter. Pass through harsh volcanic landscapes of black rock, cruise past sprawling pasturelands dotted with grazing sheep, and check out dramatic headlands and coastal areas. Along the way, pop into a dairy farm to try yoghurt-like skyr served alongside homemade bread, roast beef, and river trout. Enjoy bruschetta and tomato schnapps at an organic farm, and cap off your day with adventurous bites of dried fish, followed up by smoked lamb, and sweet tooth-satisfying servings of pancakes with whipped cream, rhubarb jelly, and honey.

Iceland breakfast

Olgerdin Brewery

Open since 1913, Olgerdin Brewery is the oldest in Iceland and they’ve spent the last 100 years perfecting their best recipes, plus adding a few new ones along the way. Taste their finest creations as you team up with an experienced guide from Gray Line Iceland and head inside for a spirited tour sure to warm you up on even the coldest days. Sip sweet glasses of mead made from local honey, compare frothy pints of dark ales and light lagers, and take a shot of Brennivin, the potent herbal schnapps that still carries the nickname ‘black death’ because of the skull that once graced its black-and-white label.

Kopar Restaurant

Explore Iceland’s finer side with a delicious dinner at Kopar. Let Special Tours make all the arrangements at this award-winning restaurant keen on elevating the country’s rustic fare to the highest level of international dishes. From delicate scallops with dill cream and salmon roe to blue ling with a lobster-infused sauce, let each dish lead you through Iceland’s tastes in a serene environment overlooking the Atlantic with views of the Esja mountain range nearby.

Catch of the Day

Why let the fisherman have all the fun? Cut out the middle man and get an up-close look at the country’s maritime heritage as you head out to sea with Special Tours to cast your line into the deep blue waters of the Atlantic. Climb aboard a classic Icelandic fishing trawler and help setup your line to fish for cod, catfish, Pollock, and halibut. When you’ve landed your day’s catch, hand it over to the ship’s chef and let them turn your keepers into a memorable meal, served right on the boat surrounded by the open sea.

Iceland – Top Attractions and Inspiring Photos – a photo list by Trover

The post Reykjavik foodie guide appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 15 Aug 2017 | 10:32 am

How to see the Whitsundays from every angle


Whether you want to snorkel it, scuba dive it, fly over it, maybe just look at it, or even sleep out on it, the Whitsunday Islands offer everyone –young or old, tepid or intrepid, city slicker or backpacker – the opportunity to experience the Great Barrier Reef, whichever way you want.

The Outer Reef is roughly two hours’ journey from Airlie Beach, and stepping off the ReefWorld platform that’s moored here on Hardy Reef, the warm waters reveal fish of every size and hue, from tiny little yellow fish that hide between the fingers of branching coral to the big blue Maori wrasse.

This is where you get to choose your own adventure.

The ReefWorld pontoon is like a little floating village out on the Reef. It’s a hive of activity for the four hours that the mothership – the Cruise Whitsundays Seaflight – a modern, almost futuristic looking catamaran is moored alongside.

Everyone gets to see a bit of the Great Barrier Reef in their own way, some even taking a scenic helicopter flight over the nearby (and world-famous) Heart Reef.

Semi-submersible tours

For non-swimmers, the semisubmersible departs the pontoon every 20 minutes for a guide tour of the reef wall. Stay comfortably dry and gaze out the large flat windows at the marine-scape below, as a marine biologist explains some of the many complex interactions going on before your eyes – like cleaning stations – busy hubs where bigger fish come to get preened by smaller fish – an amazing little reef society hard at work. Once someone points out what to look for, you can see cleaning stations everywhere, and even spot the queue of fish waiting patiently nearby for their turn.

Whitsundays

Snorkelling

For those who want to get a bit closer to the reef society, floating still and silently above a cleaning station is one of the most rewarding ways to see a great variety marine life.

Discover Scuba Diving

Six metres below the pontoon, and not long after arriving at the Hardy Reef pontoon, people of all ages take the plunge and try their first scuba dive. The pontoon has a submerged platform, which makes it really easy (and less scary) to actually take the plunge. Divers skirt the reef edge, flying over coral bommies and stopping periodically to observe the delicate marine life at close quarters.

Sleepover on the Reef

At 3pm sharp, the Seaflight departs to take guests back to their resorts in the Whitsunday Islands or, if you’re not quite ready to leave the Reef, after the boat departs ReefWorld turns into ReefSleep. Left behind on the pontoon, the ocean stretching in all directions for as far as the eye can see, enjoy a glass of sparkling or a beer or two while watching the sunset.

Whitsundays fish
Night Diving

ReefSleep also provides an opportunity for night diving on the Great Barrier Reef – a chance to see a completely different set of creatures, like the fire urchins, the Lions paw sea cucumbers and the crazy alien-like shrimps who in their hundreds come out and clean up anything that’s been left behind.

After exploring the Reef at night, divers are rewarded with a barbecue dinner before retiring for the night in a swag under the stars, surrounded by the silent, living Coral Sea.

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

The post How to see the Whitsundays from every angle appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 11 Aug 2017 | 2:10 pm

7 awesome desert safaris in Dubai


With its seemingly endless ocean of sand and desolate beauty, the Arabian Desert holds a certain mystique to captivate the imagination. During your visit to the sprawling metropolis of Dubai, an excursion to the majestic and barren landscape located right on its doorstep is a must. No matter what kind of traveller you are, there are plenty of ways to explore this vast wilderness, from ripping across the tawny dunes in an ATV to indulging in the traditional comforts of a Bedouin-style camp. Check out our favourite desert-related things to do in Dubai, and discover your ideal adventure in the city’s enchanting arid backyard.

Take me to Dubai!

See the top hotels in Dubai

Ride camels

Travel back in time to the Dubai of yesteryear with a ride on “the ship of the desert,” also known as the dromedary camel. These single-humped ungulates have carted travellers around the Arabian Peninsula for thousands of years, so there’s no better way to experience the landscape as it once was than this tried-and-true mode of transportation. Join a Platinum Heritage safari, meet your camel for the morning, and enjoy the rhythmic sway of your steady companion as you make the short trek to a Bedouin camp. Once you arrive, your hosts just might introduce you to another camel-centric tradition—a zesty meat dish!

Cruise the dunes in an ATV

Rippling hills and valleys of sand, and no roads anywhere in sight—the Emirati desert is a playground paradise for ATVs. Let the guides at Alpha Tours take you on the ultimate dune adventure in a vehicle that’s more than up to the task. Hang on tight and prepare for a high-speed good time as your expert driver races through tight turns, steep climbs, and long runs across expansive stretches of wilderness. As the sinking sun paints the sky, head for a campsite to unwind with a delicious Arabian feast.

Check out the wildlife

While the Arabian Desert’s hot, dry climate is unfriendly to most plant and animal species, there are some resilient critters that have adapted to this extreme environment. Seek out Dubai’s remarkable wildlife on a tour with Platinum Heritage that leads you into the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, in which you can spot oryxes, gazelles, Arabian wildcats, and a variety of bird life. Afterward, get up-close and personal with desert-loving birds of prey as expert falconers introduce you to their impeccably trained avian companions.

Jeeps desert Dubai tour

Stay overnight

Nomadic Bedouin communities have roamed the Arabian Peninsula since ancient times, so there’s no better way to get a taste of life in the desert than to spend the night under the stars at a traditional camp. Head out with the guides at Platinum Heritage for an evening of hospitality and entertainment around a roaring bonfire, complete with shisha, henna, and the graceful sway of belly dancers. If you’re a morning person, wake up early to catch the fiery spectacle of the desert sunrise before heading back to the city.

Go sandboarding

Take a snowboard, subtract the heavy gear, substitute sand for snow, and you have sandboarding. Strap your feet into a board and try your hand at zipping down the dunes with the folks at OceanAir Travel, who have designed a desert adventure to please the thrill-seeker. After working up a sweat carving down mountains of sand (no chair lifts in the desert means walking back up for every ride), you also have time to take out a quad bike or race across the rolling terrain in a dune buggy.

Get the luxury experience

If champagne and glamping are more your speed than camel rides and 4×4 racing, cater to your fine tastes with an escape to Platinum Heritage’s private desert retreat, where a lavish 6-course dinner awaits you. As you watch a dazzling blanket of stars appear in the deepening twilight, recline on plush cushions and linger over a sumptuous menu starring dishes like white truffle custard with caviar, tea-smoked lamb with fennel, and Australian Angus rib eye steak. C’est magnifique!

Soar in a hot air balloon

The Arabian Desert stretches across an area of nearly 2.3 million square km, and an aerial point of view offers a breathtaking perspective on its sprawling grandeur. Start your day early and climb into a hot air balloon with the guides at Alpha Tours for an unforgettable sunrise flight. In the cool morning air, watch the sunlight spread over craggy mountain peaks and rolling sand dunes as far as the eye can see, and keep an eye out for wandering camels and spotted gazelles before touching down on the ground again.

Hot air balloon desert Dubai tour

The post 7 awesome desert safaris in Dubai appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 10 Aug 2017 | 10:57 am

Perfect 10: Creating the 10th Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix


F1 journalist Stewart Bell has his ear to the ground when it comes to all things Formula 1. He has the lowdown on Singapore’s big race and why it’s going to be a race to watch:

The world’s finest drivers threading the barriers under lights at up to 320km/h, trackside parties, live performances from top international artists, numerous food and beverage offerings from hawker-style eateries to luxurious hospitality, all in the heart of Singapore. The Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix has established itself as one of the world’s great sporting events, a spectacle few can match.

It’s no surprise then that since the inaugural event, more than 200,000 spectators have attended each year, with almost 400 million more watching on TV globally.

And this September 15-17th, the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix will celebrate a special milestone – its 10th edition, which is expected to be a blockbuster. A titanic battle ongoing for the world championship between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will come to a head.

Here are the 10 things that will ensure the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix is a milestone to remember:

 1 min 47.187

That’s all Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo needed last year to cover Singapore’s stunning 23-turn, 5.065km Marina Bay Street Circuit in his Red Bull Racing RB12, setting the timing screens alight as the race’s fastest lap.

But for that to happen, a dedicated crew of more than 4,000 worked around the clock for 22 weeks to set-up the temporary facilities – 2,608 concrete barriers, nine grandstands, nine entertainment stages, numerous hospitality facilities  and 1,600 lighting projectors were installed throughout the 799,000sqm Circuit Park.

“Everything must be ready for the 250,000 spectators coming through the gates and the global TV audience of hundreds of millions,” says Australian Jonathan Giesecke, Senior Project Manager at Faithful+Gould, Official Engineering Project Manager for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.

61 Laps

For 308km of F1 on Sunday. This race usually hits the maximum two-hour time limit. Discovering the best places to watch the cars thread the barriers on each lap is all part of the experience, especially with the action so close in Singapore.

A slew of new ticketing offerings have been introduced this year, such as single day tickets for selected grandstands and the Premier Walkabout ticket category to allow fans to customise their experience over the weekend. This is in addition to a new junior ticket for all Zone 1 grandstands, Super Pit ticket category as well as three new Combination packages, which provides flexibility to explore all of the different parts of the Circuit Park over the weekend.

“There’s also a new Empress Grandstand which will offer spectacular views of the cars slowing down between Turns 11 and 12 of the Marina Bay Street Circuit before they cross the historical Anderson Bridge,” says Michael Roche, Executive Director, Singapore GP.

Singapore F1
1600

That’s the amount of lighting projectors needed to create one of the greatest spectacles in world sport. The bespoke, state-of-the-art system from Italian lighting specialists DZ Engineering has not only delivered optimal visibility for night racing conditions since 2008, but also wowed fans all over the world as the track is lit up against the city backdrop.

The lighting projectors are strategically positioned around the track, ensuring the drivers can attack the racing line with minimal glare or reflections from wet surfaces or spray from other cars.

Setting up the system of 1,600 light projectors, 108.4km of power cables and 240 steel pylons is not the work of a moment. But to reduce timeframes the power cables are housed within Aluminium trusses – similar to light fittings at concerts – safely and securely well-above ground level.

33,000

The number of plates served in the Formula One Paddock Club throughout the event, by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose new restaurant The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar will be one of the highlights of Singapore’s famed Formula One Paddock Club.

The Formula One Paddock Club is where royalty, captains of industry and plenty of rock stars rub shoulders in a super-exclusive enclave, designed to not only put them at the heart of the sport, but in the lap of luxury. It is, absolutely, the finest way to enjoy the pinnacle of international motorsport.

Other hospitality options include the new industrial-themed Apex Lounge located opposite the podium, the luxurious Sky Suites, directly across from the F1 team garages, Club Suites and the Green Room on the main pit straight, and the Turn 3 Premier Grandstand for a fantastic view of the opening corners (1-3) and the action that happens there lap-after-lap.

24

The number of Grammy Award winners who have performed at the event since 2008. This year’s line-up is one of the best-ever, with global DJ sensation Calvin Harris, pop superstar Ariana Grande, synth-pop veterans Duran Duran, US pop rockers OneRepublic, American DJ duo The Chainsmokers, British singer-songwriters Seal, and Lianne La Havas, and spoken word performer George the Poet.

Naturally, organising a bigger and better entertainment line-up each year is not the work of a moment, “it’s a combination of listening to our fans as well as active engagement with multiple agents to check who is on tour,” says Michael Roche, Executive Director, Singapore GP.

“We have a mountain of work to do once any artist is confirmed – as it’s not just the one act. We try to balance our entertainment offerings between the younger music acts and the evergreen acts to cater to fans of all age groups.”

Singapore F1 aerial view
700

That’s the sheer weight (in tonnes) of Formula One cargo, which is flown into the city-state on seven jumbo jets. This precious cargo from the teams, weighing the equivalent of 280 African elephants, includes the all-important cars. Once the cars are on the ground, the teams’ advance parties arrive to set up the garages.

However, all of the teams stay on European time to ensure they’re razor-sharp for the night racing – with drivers, mechanics and engineers going to bed in the early hours of the morning and getting up around lunchtime to start their days.

“The flights actually work out in our favour in that respect, because we arrive in the evening, the guys get there and can have a big night if they like for their first night in Singapore and they don’t actually have to go to bed until 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning,” says Red Bull Racing team manager Jonathan Wheatley.

3-4kg

This is the amount of fluid lost by drivers during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix. They’re under maximum physical stress, with cockpit temperatures soaring to 55 degrees at racing speeds.

To ensure the drivers retain concentration over the race distance, and keep cool under pressure, they put the hard yards in pre-event, with more heat training once on the ground. And it pays off.

“The last few years I’ve put emphasis on Singapore with my training, and I think the results I’ve shown that I’ve been on the podium three years in a row there,” says Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who knows the faster, more furious F1 cars this year will provide an even bigger challenge there.

500

This is the number of accredited media who head to Marina Bay every year to cover the event across broadcast, print and digital. The 23-turn street circuit generally makes for great racing, and normally at a crucial point in the World Championship – with this year’s edition set to be a white-hot battle between Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

The FIA International Media Centre is where it all happens, above the F1 team garages, with journalists and photographers working long into the night to get the latest news from the paddock to the eyes of the world. The sport normally stays on European time to ensure perfect concentration at night, so it’s a mid-afternoon start going through to early morning.

“We have received great reviews amongst the international press, with many regarding Singapore as a must-visit destination on the Formula One calendar. This is certainly a feather in our cap,” says Mr Colin Syn, Deputy Chairman of Singapore GP.

Singapore F1 signage
250,000

That’s the average number of spectators heading to Marina Bay Street Circuit every year, spreading out across the 799,000sqm Circuit Park – equivalent to approximately 80 soccer fields. Hugely popular, a ticket to the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix not only offers fans a night of fantastic racing and international artists.

For the family, there’s so much to see and do. On track the action never stops – with F1 and fantastic support categories in Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific, and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.

Off-track, kids young and old can get their hearts racing with fun interactive activities like the Pit Stop Challenge, where you can challenge yourself against the Singapore GP off track pit crew by changing a tyre. You can even get behind the wheel of a race simulator, for a few laps of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

3min 40sec

This is the exact duration of the now-traditional post-race fireworks display. It’s a performance that has to be timed to perfection, triggered as the winner crosses the line to take the chequered flag. Check out the podium celebration after that – before heading on to the Padang stage for the Calvin Harris concert.

But as the race weekend begins, the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix organisers are already planning the pack-down, and dismantle of the circuit – for its return to city streets with minimal disruption to traffic and businesses. “Nothing is left to chance with over 25,000 crew members working around the 799,000sqm Circuit Park,” says Michael Roche, Executive Director, Singapore GP. “To ensure a smooth delivery of the event, all activities are planned down to the finest detail, and every department relies on a minute-by-minute guide.”

The 2017 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX will be held from September 15-17, with more information at singaporegp.sg

The post Perfect 10: Creating the 10th Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 9 Aug 2017 | 1:58 pm

London adventures for history lovers


With its roots in the Roman Empire, London teems with historical landmarks and compelling cultural artifacts. With so many things to do in London, planning a history-rich holiday in the Square Mile can leave you feeling knackered. Not to worry. We’ve composed a list of adventures for history lovers visiting the city for the first time.

Take me to London!

See the top hotels in London

Scholar-Led Portrait of London Tour

London’s charming Georgian lanes and cloud-reaching contemporary edifices have seen some of the world’s greatest historic moments. Treat yourself to a discovery tour with a scholar from Context Walks to acquaint yourself with the lineage of the city. Your approachable guide regales you with stories of the Roman city of Londinium and the Merry England of the Middle Ages. Then, study the Turn of the Century—when London was the world’s most populous city—right up through today.

Following the tour, stroll along the River Thames to Twining’s—the English tea shop in the Temple district. Sip a piping cuppa and commit the stories you’ve learned to memory. Or, peruse the tea museum—a real testament to one of England’s oldest traditions.

Westminster Abbey & Changing of the Guard

A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the esteemed coronation site and final resting place for members of the British monarchy—and the pros at City Wonders do it best. Join a friendly guide for a look at Westminster Abbey and a chance to see the Changing of the Guard. The rousing walking tour continues to Buckingham Palace, where the Royal Family’s famous balcony is on full display.

Next, stroll through Westminster, landing at the Star Tavern for lunch. Feast on tasty bits like cod and chips, allowing your bartender to regale you with stories of the site’s history—the pub was once a popular hangout for London’s inner circle of master criminals.

Buckingham Palace

Windsor Castle Tickets

You love Queen Elizabeth. The only thing you’re sure to love as much as HRH is her weekend residence at Windsor Castle—a convenient hour’s journey from London by train. Avoid long lines with skip-the-line admission furnished by Golden Tours. Once inside, tune in to the audio-guide and peruse the State Apartments—where priceless works by Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt line the walls.

While in Windsor, consider a visit to the Frogmore Estate, where 13 hectares of gardens run up against the grounds of Windsor Castle. Stroll along the gurgling River Thames and keep your eyes peeled for the region’s preponderance of frogs—for which the 17th-century manor was named.

Admission to Kensington Palace

Whether you’re crazy for William and Kate or long to relive the glory days of Princess Di, a visit to Kensington Palace is on every history buff’s bucket list. Tickets to the permanent and temporary exhibits lend you a captivating look at the rooms that have served as the royal appointments since 1689. Tour Kensington Gardens and the State Apartments, as well as the eminently anticipated exhibit “Diana: Her Fashion Story.”

Consider pairing a morning visit to Kensington Palace with an afternoon look at the British Museum, home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of history, art, and culture. Nearby, the London Review Bookshop beckons, and its Cake Shop is the perfect place to curl up with a classic piece of English literature.

Guided Tour of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Of all the things to do in London, a visit to the V&A—the world’s largest trove of decorative arts and design—is a must-see mission. Make the most of your time inside this sprawling institute with a guide from Amigo Tours, who introduces you to the museum’s celebrated oil paintings, cutting-edge fashion installations, and everything in between.

After the tour, sate your appetite at the swanky Cinnamon Club—an Indian eatery housed in the former Westminster Library, with hardbound books lining the walls and cardamom- and masala-infused morsels to sample.

London museums

The post London adventures for history lovers appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 8 Aug 2017 | 10:56 am



How to see Iceland’s coolest natural wonders


A country of volcanoes, waterfalls, grasslands, and fjords, Iceland packs a lot more into the land than just ice. And you don’t really know ice until you’ve stood on top of a glacier that hasn’t melted since the last Ice Age. Some of the best things to do in Reykjavik and across Iceland involve getting to know the combination of primal forces that shaped the island, from the volcanic tunnels to frozen waterways, and we can help you find your ideal adventure.

Thingvellir National Park

There’s no single place that says more about Iceland than the rift valley that rests just inland from Reykjavik. Here, you can stand right on the divide between the North American and Eurasian continental plates and explore the plains filled with evergreens, geysers, and broad waterfalls that empty into shallow canyons. A guide from Gray Line can show you some of the most incredible sights, including the spot where the world’s oldest parliament met for almost 900 years.

Volcanic sightseeing

Being one of the most geologically active places in the world has its benefits, since that’s how Iceland got most of its incredible scenery. For a terrific up-close look, Gray Line runs a tour that takes you right into the crater for a look at the dormant magma chamber of Thríhnúkagígur. If that’s maybe a little too close, you can get the 10,000-foot view with a flight with Atlantsflug that takes you over the slopes of Hekla, one of the most active volcanoes on the island.

Iceland natural wonders

Lava caves

The network of lava tubes that snake through the mountains offer up a look at the underground wonder that is the most intense natural plumbing system in the world. You can follow the routes of the ancient lava flows at a destination like the Leidarendi cave, where a guide from Arctic Adventures shows off the sights on a subterranean adventure.

Glacier visit

Snow covers pretty much the whole island when winter comes, but you get the most truly unique scenery in the spots where it stays through the summer as well. There’s nothing like exploring the vast, white deserts spread out from blackened volcanic mountains that stand out over the snow and through canyons carved over thousands of years by the weight of the frozen rivers. Reykjavik Excursions can take you out for a hike across the plains and ice tunnels of Eyjafjallajökull, or you can zoom across the landscape with Arctic Adventures and a snowmobile ride across Langjökull.

Drive up a mountain

The best parts of Iceland’s countryside don’t have much in the way of roads, but you don’t need to let that stop you. A good 4-wheeler and the right guide can take you to some lofty vantage points among the high mountain ridges, motoring through glacier lakes and admiring the scenery all the way to the Atlantic. Safaro Qiads cam take you way uphill as you explore the scenery in a buggy—or, if you want the full off-road experience, in an ATV.

Iceland quad biking

See it all

It’s hard to appreciate just how diverse the scenery is before you’ve seen it for yourself. Plenty of day trips are waiting to help you get over that hurdle, with journeys through some of the country’s favorite regions. You can join Reykjavik Sightseeing and head to the South Coast, home to sights from the Sólheimajökull glacier to the towering waterfalls of Skógarfoss and Seljalandsfoss. If you want to hit the Golden Circle instead, you can join Gray Line for a sightseeing trip that shows off the hot springs at Geysir, a snowmobile ride across the Langjökull glacier, and an up-close look at the gigantic staircase-like waterfall of Gullfoss. If you want an adventure that adds in a ride on an Icelandic horse instead, then Reykjavik Excursions has that covered.

 

See the top hotels in Iceland

 

Iceland – Top Attractions and Inspiring Photos – a photo list by Trover

The post How to see Iceland’s coolest natural wonders appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 3 Aug 2017 | 10:32 am

6 unique experiences to try in New Orleans


You could make the case that everything in New Orleans is a little off the beaten path. Caught between the traditions of the American South and the customs of the Caribbean, the Crescent City is its own unique blend of Creole goodness and bayou-voodoo magic. Turn up the heat on this Cajun cultural gem and uncover exactly what makes NOLA so unique as you explore things to do in New Orleans that you can’t do anywhere else.

Flights to New Orleans

Hotels in New Orleans

Sultry tour of Storyville

Always known for excess—and for decades home to a legally sanctioned Vice District—New Orleans has been luring good times-seekers to its shores for centuries. What today is centered around Bourbon Street once sprawled over an entire neighborhood known as Storyville, a largely rules-free zone where upscale brothels flourished, saloon doors were always swinging, and music legends honed their skills in jazz clubs. With Two Chicks Walking Tours, you can take your pick up adult-oriented explorations for a spirited peek at New Orleans’ saucier side, whether you pick the New Orleans Burlesque Tour, the Dead Sexy Tour—which goes from the one-time red light district to an above-ground cemetery—or the Brothels and Bordellos Tour, which looks at the role of the world’s oldest profession in NOLA’s history.

NOLA cemetery

Hurricane Katrina tour

Of course, it’s not all party beads and cocktails in NOLA. The city’s seen more than its fair share of trouble and heartache, most recently in the form of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged the city in ways that—despite its indomitable spirit—it still hasn’t fully recovered from. With Celebration Tours, you can see the areas hardest hit by the storm. Visit the still-desolate Ninth Ward and also get a peek at the ways the city is recovering at spots like the Musicians Village, a community of candy-colored homes built to ensure that low-income musicians who lost their homes to the hurricane had places to live, so that New Orleans wouldn’t lose its culture and sound. With Gray Line, you can delve ever deeper into the stories of the storm, learning all about the breached levees and rebuilding efforts before paying a visit to the moving Hurricane Katrina Memorial.

Mississippi River cruise

Get into the spirit of the Big Easy with a classic paddleboat cruise along the muddy waters of the mighty Mississippi with New Orleans Paddlewheels. Aboard the old-timey Creole Queen, drift along past the Old World architecture of the French Quarter and the bustling Port of New Orleans, listening as a guide shares facts and stories about the Crescent City past and present. The cruise takes you into the heart of swampy Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, where you can disembark for a tour of the Chalmette Battlefield, the site of the Battle for New Orleans and the final combat of the War or 1812.

NOLA River Cruise

Go down in the bayou—at night

Spanish moss drapes from the branches of cypress trees, unknown critters splash in the reeds, and there’s nothing to illuminate your path through the moody, spooky waterways of Honey Island Swamp but the lights on your boat. On an after-dark swamp tour with Cajun Encounters, you can keep your eyes peeled for gators, boars, and nutria, of course—but there’s also a chance you’ll spot the swamp’s eerier inhabitants, like the legendary Honey Island Swamp Monster.

Evening ghost tour in the French Quarter

With its centuries-old buildings, narrow lanes, and like-nowhere-else atmosphere, the French Quarter is ripe for ghost tours. Plus, if the setting didn’t lend itself perfectly to spooky stories already, the history of this former colony—with its pirates, crime dens, and pleasure-loving lifestyle—provides plenty of fodder for intriguing tales. Meet up with the storytelling pros at Haunted History Tours, grab a go-drink, and hit the streets for an unforgettably creepy quest into the past of New Orleans. From the infamous LaLaurie Mansion—once home to a serial-killing madame—to locations known for paranormal activity, this outing introduces you to the supernatural side of America’s most haunted city.

Eat a Po’boy!

From the spicy seasoning of Cajun cuisine to hearty gumbo served in jazzy taverns, New Orleans’ food is as special as the city itself. One of NOLA’s signature dishes is a sandwich known as a po’boy, a hearty heap of filling on baguette-like French bread. Legend holds that the sandwiches got their name from the “poor boys” who frequented a deli near the French Market during a four-month strike against the local streetcar company. Whatever the origin, this humble sammy is must-try New Orleans fare. Head to the Court Tavern—run by the same folks behind the French Quarter culinary institution Court of Two Sisters—for dressed roast beef plus a Southern side like gumbo, jambalaya, or red beans and rice.

Things to do in New Orleans – a photo list by Trover

The post 6 unique experiences to try in New Orleans appeared first on Out There Starts Here.

Source: Out There Starts Here | 1 Aug 2017 | 11:14 am

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