Iceland Lava Fields

Lava Fields outside Reykjavik

Lava Fields outside Reykjavik

Quick few photos.  We went out into the blue mountains near Reykjavik and went around 1km into an old cave that was only 2000 years ago a magma chamber. The cave was so low at times I had to almost get on my knees.

Lava Cave Entrance Iceland

Lava Cave Entrance Iceland

Lava Fields Iceland - Dan

Lava Fields Iceland – Dan

Lava Fields Iceland - Rachel

Lava Fields Iceland – Rachel

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Night View of Iceland Volcano Erupting.

Night Volcano Eruption Iceland

Night Volcano Eruption Iceland

Night Volcano Eruption Iceland

Night Volcano Eruption Iceland

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Iceland Erupts!

Iceland Fissure Eruption

Iceland Fissure Eruption

Well we are here in Iceland and as we wanted there has been an eruption, but a very small one.  No need to worry it is far away from where we are.

If you want to see the live webcam feed of the eruption you can find it at the following link:
http://www.livefromiceland.is/webcams/bardarbunga-2/

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Britain Road Trip!

Weymouth Beach Panoramic

Weymouth Beach Panoramic

Firstly, this is going to be a long one so grab a drink and find a comfy chair.

We headed out from London with our hire care towards seaside village of Weymouth.  We soon realised that we had made a major oversight when booking times for our road trip.  First bit of traffic was 15 minutes outside of London then continued for the next 3-4 hours all the way to Weymouth 130 miles from London.  We had booked our trip to start our trip on a Friday of a bank holiday weekend!  Wow there are a lot of people in Britain.

We arrived at Weymouth and were pleasantly surprised by how pretty it is.  We checked into our little BnB where we met a lovely little couple who welcomed us and we headed off into town.  After  walk beside the “beach” I noticed the tower of an old brewery and headed that way.  We stopped off for a few beers and looked around the old streets before having dinner at an old converted wharf pub.

The next day we headed off to Bournemouth via a little town called Lulworth where we hiked up to overlook Durdle Door.  Lulworth dates back to before the Romans and on the hill view from our hike we could see the outline of an old fort located on the opposite hillside.  It is also known for its fossils from Jurassic Period.  Very pretty views but began to fill up with tourists just after our hike so we didn’t hang around long.

durdle door

durdle door

We arrived at Liz’s house in Bournemouth.  Those of you may remember her as the drunken pom from our wedding dirty dancing with Olly.  lol  She was nice enough to offer us a bed for two nights and be our tour guide around Bournemouth.  Liz hooked us up with one of her students who was working at a local tapas bar and we enjoyed half price drinks all night…there was a lot of drinks that night.  Next day Liz took us our to the New Forest which is known for its wild horses and donkeys.  Not joking, within 1 minute of entering the area we were stopped on the road due to a heavily pregnant horse and it’s partner blocking traffic and not moving.  There are a few very nice pubs inside the forest, we visited two whilst given the opportunity.  Rachel attempted to pat a wild horse; both Liz and I thought it was a bad idea, Rach was very hesitant but found a nicer horse after a few attempts.

After our short trip in Bournemouth we headed out once again to our next destination.  We bid farewell to Liz but felt very sad that we may not see her now for another few years.  The next destination was Bath.  On our drive to Bath we decided on a drive-by of stone henge.  Bad idea, very very very bad idea.  We didn’t hit any traffic until 5 km out from Stone Henge and spent the next hour driving 5 km.  What a lot of people decide to do is instead of just doing a quick drive by, they stop on the road outside Stone Henge and take photo’s…. Rachel and I had a few short words for these people mumbled under our breaths.  We arrived in Bath and spent the evening walking around and did a tour of the Roman Baths which ticked both Rachel and my history nerve.  The next day we walked around the whole of Bath but had a bit or rain so cut it short, not before we visited a lovely garden Rachel had seen online and just had to see.  In these gardens was an old bridge with graffiti dating back to 1700’s – the bridge is known as a very popular place for proposals.  Due to the weather we were the only ones in the whole garden.  Next stop was the Cotswolds.

Last location for our road trip was a two night stay in the Cotswolds.  Frustratingly small roads full of range rovers made for an interesting arrival which required a few beers to settle the nerves.  Next day we went on a 20km walk through the walking tracks via small medieval village of Bibury.  I managed to twist my ankle at one stage, thanks Mom, which made for a very sore 6km walk back but once again was settled with a few beers at the local pub.  The walks were so lovely with rolling green hills, thick english forests, old stone fences, churches in every small town and sheep shit at every step.

Our road trip came to an end and we headed on our last day back to London via Oxford.  A night near Heathrow then off to Iceland! Next update will be from Iceland!

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Last bits of London

A quick one to update our last bits of London prior to our small England Road Trip.  Our last full day in London was spent at Westminster and houses of parliament.  I’ll let the photo’s tell the story.  Next post will be on our Road Trip  – Weymouth, Bournemouth, Bath, Cotswold’s.

Aussie Van Westminster Abbey

Aussie’s are invading England.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Big Ben

Big Ben

Rachel at Houses Of Parliament

Rachel at Houses Of Parliament

 

 

 

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London Pub Crawl.

London Pub Sign

London Pub Sign

Our first few days in London have included an average of 20km walks per day but nicely offset by 2-3 pub visits a day. Our second day we went to the imperial war museum where i got my fix of war history.  Rachel took a lovely photo with her big guns on display.  Next we went off to the Borough Markets for a big of a food fest followed by a sneaky pint.  We walked along the Thames to see some old wharfs and buildings, followed by another pint.

Rach shower off her big guns

Rach shower off her big guns

mmmm Pimm’s

We migrated our way through Soho and department stores etc.  and as you guessed it, followed by a quick pint.  We had dinner at a pub in Soho and with our feet burning and backs sore we retired to our accommodation.

Today was spent going to Westminster Abbey in the morning followed by a walk past big ben and houses of parliament.  With most of the touristy things out of the way we decided to stop of at one last market @ Camden Markets and spend rest of the day lounging around watching the London life go past and having a pint or 3.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tomorrow we check out of our hotel and pick up our hire car to start our mini road trip, first stop Weymouth, then onto stay with Liz in Bournemouth.

The weather has been quite lovely, with most days around the low 20’s.  The sun is quite hot but when it ducks behind a cloud the temperature and cold wind really hit you.  Although, the weather is better than what we left in Melbourne so we aren’t complaining.

Enjoy the snaps

So glad it wasn't a clown.

So glad it wasn’t a clown.

Big Ben Houses of Parliament

Big Ben Houses of Parliament

Dan - Imperial War Museum

Dan – Imperial War Museum

mmmm Pimm's

mmmm Pimm’s

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You sound like you’re from London!

London Pub

Pub crawl – Drinking my way through London

London, London, London with your pubs, shops, cars, people, food and so many places of historic significance; I love you.  As opposed to last time we visited, this time we were earlier in the year and warmer weather greats us.  It’s funny to say but I have come from Australia to London and got a tan.

We arrived in London at around 2pm after a long 21 hour flight from Melbourne via Dubai.  Feeling absolutely dirty we decided to check into hotel, shower up, change our clothes and then go for a short walk to stretch our legs.  Well the short walk took us around the whole of Hyde park and by time we got back we had clocked up a good 10km.  We are staying in one of the many lovely little hotels near Bayswater station just a short 40 second walk from edge of Hyde park.  We find it a lot quieter than when we stayed in Paddington but the room is a lot smaller – more like a room with a bed and a ensuite.  All we need really as we don’t intend on spending much time here.   After our long walk we headed to the pub for my much desired bangers and mash and not so desired pint of warm beer.  By 9:30pm we were in bed sound asleep due to jet lag.

Day 2.  I won’t bore you with all the details but give you a quick summary.  As with the usual Dan & Rachel style we headed out with no plan on what to do but more a general direction and see where our feet took us.  Well we visited Portobello Road Markets then walked too Harrods, then to Buckingham Palace, Soho, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street and West End.  In total we completed a 30km walk through London.  With our feet burning we decided to retire to our hotel room prior to heading to the second Pub of the day.  I seem to have decided that i will try all the different brews i can in London- three pubs down how many to go?

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live.  Money is no object right?

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live. Money is no object right?

Big observation from first tow days is that there are way too many rich people in London and by rich i mean filthy rich.  We saw some apartments for sale for 13 million pounds for a 991 year lease….oh and we counted about 10-20 rolls royces in one stretch of road some of which were customised.  Later after talking to Liz i found out that it may be due to end of Ramadan and a lot of Muslims coming to London to spend up big, which in turn ship their cars over to travel around London.

Household Cavalry Museum

So shiny but he didn’t move a muscle.

Tomorrow we intend to visit the imperial war museum followed by Westminster Abbey and maybe a market or two.  Enjoy the photo’s and i’ll follow up with more.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Rach with a huge cock

Rach with a huge cock

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live.  Money is no object right?

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live. Money is no object right?

Sign says don't feed the birds... yup sure, i'll try not to feed the huge cock.

Sign says don’t feed the birds… yup sure, i’ll try not to feed the huge cock.

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Iceland v 2.0

Iceland_2.0_Blog_Begin

We are off again for another great adventure.  This time we decided to be a bit different this time and decided on Iceland.  Again!? Yup, we loved it so much that we are going back, this time to conquer the whole island on a big road trip.  I’m armed with a new upgrade DSLR Camera and with a higher degree of experience up my sleeve.  

So, stay tuned for lots more iceberg licking, volcano worshipping, beer drinking updates on their way!  Iceland Version 2.0 starts now, with a side of UK.  

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New Beer & Labels

I finished bottling my Bavarian Bock, named Grump Dark Beer:  Should be ready in 6 weeks for tasting.

Grump Dark Beer

Grump Dark Beer

Then next up i started the brew and bottling of a Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer.  That will take another 3 weeks before it’s ready for tasting but in the mean time I created the label for it which i’ll have printed shortly:

Admiral F.R.Eckles Ginger Beer Label

Admiral F.R.Eckles Ginger Beer Label

 

I also updated the brew board but don’t have a photo right now.  Next up will be a Sparkling Ale which I’ll start in around July.

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Homebrew Bavarian Bock

Brew Board Updated

Brew Board Updated

Off to another homebrew.  Equipped with my brew fridge to have better control of my fermentation temperature.  I went down to Grain and Grape in Yarraville and asked what i could brew that would give me a dark beer in between a dunkel or a white rabbit dark ale.  I was pointed at a Bavarian Bock.

Pitched the yeast at 22 degrees (Celsius) and slowly brought temperature down over the next day to a stable 16-17 degrees.

Bavarian Bock

Bavarian Bock

Have gotten a bit of a green tinge to the brew after first few days.  Smells okay to me so no infection just must be the yeast and ingredients doing its stuff.

OG was 1060.

Just designed and ordered new labels to be ready in time for bottling on 06th June.

Grump - Dark Beer

Grump – Dark Beer

I’m off to Darwin for a week so will give an update after bottling.  Lager will be ready for tasting on same day (06 June).

 

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