A Kiruna Winter Itinerary – Five days in Swedish Lapland

In the far north of Sweden above the Arctic Circle is a small town named Kiruna.  During the winters, Kiruna is a white wonderland. Winter comes early and stays late, yet that does not slow the city down.  Over a Thanksgiving break, I spent five jam-packed days exploring Kiruna and Swedish Lapland.  Here is my five-day itinerary for Kiruna. Continue Reading . . .

Spotlight Thursday – Amusment that never came to Pripyat, Ukraine

Every Thursday, I will be posting a photo from my travels and a spotlight on the location. Today’s Spotlight Thursday is from my dark tourism tour of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.  Pripyat, Ukraine was a  hip young city in Ukraine that was virtually unknown outside of the region.  That anonymity was elevated to infamy in the early hours of  26 April 1986.  Just a few miles away from the city was the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station (Cherynbol, the Soviets couldn’t call it the Lenin disaster after all). Continue Reading . . .

Two Days in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with ChernobylWEL.COMe

It’s been 30 years since the Chernobyl disaster changed the world.  Its effects are still felt in the surrounding areas. I was born 4 years after the disaster but I have always known its name.  I was aware of the disaster but had never really understood the causes, effects, or results.   Over the years, I had seen many of the Buzzfeed or Dailymail collections of photos from the Chernobyl exclusion zone but a Chernobyl tour had never crossed my mind.  Yet, in November 2015, I arrived in Ukraine for a two-day tour of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with ChernobylWEL.COMe. Continue Reading . . .

A private viewing of the Brandenburg Gate

There is a chill in the air as I exit the subway station.  First order of business is to find a coffee shop for breakfast. I found that I picked places I could just point at pastries since I couldn’t read the signs. I ordered a nice pastry filled with berry compote and hot tea.  I had a quarter mile walk through the streets of Berlin before I arrived at my destination, the historic Brandenburg Gate of Berlin, Germany. Continue Reading . . .

Without a Plan ~ Winter Road Trip in Iceland

A cold wind slams into me as I walk out the Keflavik International Airport.  I am actually in Iceland and it’s early February.  I unlock my rental car and program my Reykjavik hostel into my GPS unit.  I have my hostel for tonight book and have to return the rental car in two and half weeks.  I am about to embark on a winter road trip in Iceland without a plan.  I have a 10 item bucket list of things I want to do. Continue Reading . . .