Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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The Icy Explosion

This is Strokkur, the biggest geyser in Iceland and the second biggest in the world. It can shoot twice as high as Old Faithful in the states, and it blasted off about every 5-6 mins or so… which seems like a VERY long time while standing around in the wintery mix of the frozen tundra. It was already fairly cold there, but all the moisture in the air made it a “wet cold”, which is a whole new level of cold.

Sometimes I am jealous of tourists. They can just stand out there, take a photo, and then drift off to the next thing. It must be nice! I have taken it upon myself to sit in front of this son-of-a-gun for two hours to try to get every interesting angle of each eruption. They are all different, and it’s unpredictable, so I have to wait for just the right one. There was a little snack shop about half an hour away, which I went to beforehand. I filled up my coat pockets with all kinds of chocolate-covered nuts… While sitting there between eruptions, I would get a little bored and eat these things. By the time this session was over, my body was in a caloric shock.

The Icy Explosion

The Icy Pit to Hell

 

Daily Photo – The Icy Pit to Hell

I thought Kiev was the slipperiest place on the planet until I visited this icy waterfall in Iceland. The ice itself was as hard as concrete, and it was covered with a fine waterfall mist, which did not add to the friction, to say the least!

I have more pictures of this spectacular and icy waterfall area coming soon.

The Icy Pit to Hell

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Stuck in Iceland

I’m not one of those Flickr self-portrait kinda dudes, but I went ahead and made one because I found sort of a cool place. Also, my sister likes it when I post pictures of myself. Bianca, you can see I am wearing inappropriate shoes for the snow in Iceland. If I was in the middle of a 10K in Texas, those Nike paper-thin shoes would come in handy.

This is out in the wiles, and I mean the wiles, of Iceland. I have no idea why anyone built this building here in the middle of nowhere, but they did, and it appeared to conform to the rule of thirds, so I could not resist.

This is in the most seismically active area of Iceland, where the Eurasian plate separates from the North American plate. In the distance, you can see the mid-Atlantic ridge.

Stuck In Iceland

All That is Holy – Amsterdam in HDR

I will take a break from posting Iceland pictures while I go out today exploring in the wiles of geysers and earth-turned-inside-out to bring you this shot from Amsterdam.

Will got very tired of carrying my tripod, and he claimed to be tired after standing all day at the game conference. I told him just to be quiet because he was in the house of God and God didn’t want to hear his blasphemous belly-aching.

This shot below looks great, with amazing details, in this large on black version.

All That is Holy

Icelandic Battleship – Whale Protection

I made it to Iceland! I only had a few minutes of daylight, so I ditched my bag in my room, threw on six layers of scarves, and headed down to the harbor.

This isn’t really a battleship. Iceland does not face many threats from the sea, except for when Greenland runs low on whales.

Icelandic Battleship in Falling Light

Deep Winter in Kiev

Kiev is a cold place in the winter. I can’t for the life of me figure out why the Germans chose to invade these old Russian cities in the winter months. They say the Russians had some significant success because they initially did not depend on tanks, which are not great in the snow, but instead relied on horse-cavalry.

All of this ultimately made me think that the only thing worse than being a German soldier during a Kiev winter would be being a Russian horse.

Over on the right there, you can see the huge statue celebrating the Great Patriotic War, which we know as WWII.

This Large version looks nice.

Deep Winter in Kiev

The Front Door, facing the KGB

This is the front door of the place I stayed in Kharkov. The apartment, up on the fourth floor, was quite nice, but the stairs were in *somewhat* of a state of disrepair. This was located in an older building just a few steps from the old KGB headquarters.

The Front Door, facing the KGB

Golden Onions

This is the Kievo-Pecherskaya Larva in Kiev, Ukraine. It started out as a series of caves and now has grown to a massive complex of monasteries. Unfortunately, it was so cold and windy outside, that I didn’t really have the ability to get a lot of shots all around this cave area. Actually, I did have the patience…. but Will was standing around looking quite bitter and cold, so we just moved on to the military war museum from WWII. I’ll have pictures from that in coming days/weeks.

Golden Onions

Ukrainian Homes

The Ukraine has some unique architecture. Below is a section of some interesting homes that I think look like they came right out of Smurfville or Disneyworld. In other parts of Ukraine, the buildings are all concrete, blocky, and throwbacks to Soviet government-mandated design, so it is nice to see a reminiscent style of architecture that seems to blend the olde world and the modern.

I’m leaving the Ukraine today to head to Amsterdam, where we have the Casual Games convention lined up. I’ll be pretty busy there, but I’ve always got the camera in the bag if an opportunity arises.

Ukrainian Homes

Snowy Forest of Kharkov

We worked late the other night then walked home from the city square back to our apartment. Along the way, we pass through this heavily forested area that looks quite skeletal and cool in the snowy midnight light.

I still have yet to get appropriate shoes and headwear for this part of the world. It is clear to everyone around me that I am not from this land.

Snowy Forest of Kharkov

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