The Seaside Calls


One girl's mission to escape monotony

Black Books | London, England

Collinge & Clark Bookstore

If you have never watched Black Books, you’re missing out.

Black Books was written by and stars Irish comedian, Dylan Moran. It’s about an ornery bookshop owner, Bernard Black, whose worst nightmares include interacting with people and being responsible, both of which are necessary for successfully maintaining a business (in other words, he’s basically me). He hires Manny (played by Bill Bailey), an upbeat and friendly employee who proves to be great help in running the shop, but whose positive attitude and work ethic drive Bernard mad. It’s one of the few shows I can re-watch over and over again and never stop laughing.

To give you a little taste, here is one of my favorite scenes.

Black Books was filmed in a bookshop in London called Collinge & Clark, so obviously that was the #1 attraction I wanted to visit during my stay in the city. Unfortunately, the shop has very irregular hours, so it wasn’t open on the day I could squeeze in a visit, but I was happy enough to see it from the outside. Plus, it gives me a very legitimate reason to visit London again.

If you held a gun to my head and told me to definitively state what the best sitcom of all time was, I’d honestly have to say Black Books. It’s THAT good. I’ve literally seen it at least 30 times all the way through.

I’d like to say I’m a Fran, but in reality, I’m a total Bernard. Chaotic, messy, antisocial… but also strangely attractive 😏💕

I made my brother pose with me.

So that’s all for this short & sweet entry in my travel journal! If you haven’t already, watch the show, visit London, and hunt down Collinge & Clark. The British Museum is within walking distance, and there’s also a Shake Shack nearby, which is by far the best fast food chain ever.

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Looking for a new show to binge? Get the full series on DVD!

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Last Day In Reykjavik | Iceland

Day 10 In Iceland

Last Day In Reykjavik

This trip, my first trip abroad on my own, was such an incredible experience. Time flew by, but by the end I had begun feeling homesick… I kept dreaming about my dog and not seeing him when I woke up made me really sad. Anyways, I kept it low-key on my last day. I went for a little walk, had breakfast at the Waffle Wagon (which, by the way, made the most delicious waffles I’ve ever had) and rummaged through a few local bookshops.

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This bee was one of the only insects I saw when I was in Iceland! Another one of the many reasons why it’s an amazing country!

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 To my absolute heartbreak, Reykjavik’s cutest bookshop, Bókin, was closed. I decided I’d venture into every other bookshop I came across. I found several, and though they didn’t have the charm of a small local bookstore, they did have a fantastic selection of books in a wide variety of languages.

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I still can’t believe how proud I am of who I became while on this trip. I rented a car and took a road trip ,  explored a plane wreck, made new friends, drove a snowmobile on a glacier, grew as a photographer, and faced many of my previously held fears. I think 20 is the perfect age to take your first solo trip abroad, and I will always encourage others to step out of their comfort zone, and into something far greater.

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What’s in my suitcase

 

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Snæfellsnes | Iceland

Day 9 In Iceland

Snæfellsnes

The peninsula of Snæfellsnes is about a two hour drive from Reykjavik, and spans about 90 kilometers. The area consists of marshes, black sand beaches, mountains, glaciers, and a few small towns.

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Arnarstapi

Iceland restaurant
The little restaurant I ate at at the base of Mt. Stapafell

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Iceland hill
That glacier in the background is called Snæfellsjökull

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Iceland house

Djúpalónssandur beach

As I walked towards the ocean, there were these massive walls made of hardened lava that you had to walk through.
As I walked towards the ocean, there were these massive walls made of hardened lava that you had to walk through.

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One of the beaches even has the remnants of a 1913 shipwreck strewn across the shore, which was super cool to me because I kind of have an obsession with shipwrecks.
One of the beaches even has the remnants of a 1913 shipwreck strewn across the shore, which was super cool to me because I kind of have an obsession with shipwrecks.

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I love the volcanic sand… If you look carefully, theres a couple kissing in the bottom left corner.

What’s In My Wardrobe

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Hallgrímskirkja | Iceland

Day 1 In Iceland

Feels Like Home

I finally landed in beautiful Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland! I had booked a room in an idyllic apartment which I found through Airbnb (I ONLY use Airbnb when I travel, and I strongly recommend it to everyone). I reached my apartment on August 1st, after roughly 13 hours of traveling, and I slept all day! When I woke up around 7pm, it appeared to me  that that’s kind of what you’re supposed to do in Iceland! It seems like everyone sleeps in the daytime and then hits the city around midnight and stays out until the bars close at 5 am. All night, from my window, I could hear loud music playing and see people taking walks, and then at 6am, it all stopped and the city was completely silent. A night owl like myself could definitely get used to living in such a city!

This is my roommate’s friend singing from our balcony… Don’t ask me why.

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My street (Laugavegur)
My neighborhood
My neighborhood

Hallgrímskirkja

The next day around noon, I ventured down to Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik’s iconic church. It can be seen throughout most of the city, and my apartment was no exception. Feeling confident in my navigational skills, I decided to just walk towards it until I got there, no map or anything. So what if I got lost? There is no safer city in the world to get lost in! So I grabbed my walking shoes, my lucky scarf, and my camera bag and started walking. One thing I have noticed every time I’ve visited Europe is that people WALK differently than they do in the States. No one ever seems to be in a rush; while we Americans love to speed walk, Europeans love to stroll. So, when in Rome… Even at my leisurely European walking pace, it only took me about 20 minutes to get there, and when I did, it was as breathtaking as I had imagined.

A shot taken about halfway down Skólavörðustígur, which intersects Laugavegur about 100 feet away from my apartment.
A shot taken about halfway down Skólavörðustígur.

Hallgrímskirkja

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Hallgrímskirkja
A statue of Lief Erikson, the famous Icelandic explorer
This statue of Lief Erikson, the famous Icelandic explorer, stands in front of the church
The back of the church. I wanted to get some shots of the chapel, but there was a wedding going on.
The back of the church.

After basking in its glory for a few minutes, I went inside and bought my ticket for the elevator (I wanted to get some shots of the chapel first, but there was a wedding going on). Once I reached the top, I waited for the other tourists to clear out of the room, and then I rushed to a vacant window from which I could photograph the beautiful rooftops of Reykjavik. It was a pretty high window, and I’m a pretty short girl, so even though I stood on the stool they had provided, I wouldn’t have been able to see out the window if I hadn’t had my camera on me. For someone who loves color as much as I do, this was truly a wonder to behold. As I stared in awe at the beautiful city, I was rudely awakened from my deep thought by a loud “BONG…BONG…BONG…”, which caused me to fall off of my stool. Turns out the church had a functioning bell tower, which was located directly above where I stood. I took that as the church’s way of saying “give the other tourists a chance, Nena! You’ve been hogging the window for 20 minutes!”

The view from the top of Hallgrímskirkja
The view from the top of Hallgrímskirkja

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I honestly could have stayed there all day, taking in the beauty of the city and the cool ocean breeze, but it was time to start making my way to the next location