I welcomed 2016 with a lot of hope and a pint of Guinness at a random British pub in Tokyo. Although I was alone in a foreign land, I could sense an air of positivity in the air. It was my first trip since I left my full-time job (again), and I was looking forward to more trips and more firsts. I didn’t know it then, but that year was going to be a rollercoaster ride, to say the least.
As soon as we walked into our room in Munich, I had to say it. “I hate to admit this,” I told my blogging partner Yoshke, who was in charge of booking our accommodations, “But you did great finding these hotels.”
“Of course,” he answered. The smug look on his face turned smugger. But giving credit to where credit is due, it was truly amazing how he was able to find good hotels and hostels that are within the very limited budget range and the multiple restrictions that we set for this two-month European trip.
Most people think that Iceland is expensive.
Well, I hate to break it to you but, uhm, Iceland is really expensive. Reykjavik, its capital, is probably the most expensive city I’ve set foot in. It could cost you an arm, but you know what? It will treat your senses to an endless succession of wonder that you will gladly give your other arm for another go at it.
That’s not to say that splurging is the only way to go. There are ways to minimize expenses, as we learned during our stay. And that is what we’re gonna share in this post.
It’s that time of the year again!
You know that another Game of Thrones season has begun when your Facebook news feed is flooded with cheers of excitement, cries of anger, and death threats for friends who are posting spoilers. It is not difficult to understand why HBO’s highly entertaining and often wildly brutal adaptation of the George RR Martin novels has reached the legendary status in pop culture. It has all the right ingredients: compelling characters, convincing production, unpredictable plot twists, and the right amount of fantasy. And dragons! Put it all together and you get a weekly serving of wonder. Brutal at times, but still pretty mindblowing.
But there’s one more thing that always captivates me about this phenomenal hit. On the Season 6 premiere, for instance, when the khalasar made their way to Khal Jhaqo with Daenerys Targaryen in tow, I was so drawn to the arid landscape that surrounded them that I googled it right away. Bardenas Reales in Spain, it turned out.
I have been so fascinated with GoT’s choices of filming locations that I have come up with a mission: visit as many of them as I can. The first that I set foot on was Essaouira in Morocco, which was where all Astapor scenes were shot (including that part where Khaleesi freed the Unsullied and ordered them to kill their masters). And when I backpack across Europe later this year, I’m certainly making stops in Northern Ireland, Croatia, and Spain.