The vast basin that is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Soaking in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Steam swirls into fog in this otherworldly basin of chalky blue and black as I attempt to slowly lower myself into the water. It has not been a good week for me. My knee went out a few days before boarding a plane to Iceland, and I've been hobbling Read More

DCIM999GOPRO

Diving Silfra, Iceland, between the Continental Plates

Tentative: In the illustrated dictionary of my imaginings, the word has a picture of me sitting between the Eurasian and North American continental plates, getting up the nerve to immerse myself in water that is 35 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm so ready Read More

Icealnd photos

What to Buy in Iceland: Shopping for Sweaters, Outdoor Gear, Lava Jewelry, Mud

Standing in the middle of a corral filled with Icelanders herding sheep this way and that, I notice that the colors of the sheep are the same as the colors of the sweaters worn by men, women, and children. The journey from sheep's back to shepherd's Read More

Dawn in the eastern Iceland town of Eskifjordur came with a spectacular view of the dock behind the rustic restaurant, Randulf's Sea House. Photo by Cardozo

Seeing Eastern Iceland, The Often Overlooked Side

  My trip to Iceland was a visual wonder...from the brightly painted buildings to the mountains to the people and their history. But while so many people do the Ring Road or stay close to Reykjavik, I went east to the less visited side of the Read More

Icelandic horses have long manes and thick coats.

Joining the Rettir, Iceland’s Annual Round-up of Sheep and Horses

I'd been driving aimlessly on a back road near the village of Sauðárkrókur in northwest Iceland when a group of parked cars caught my attention. Usually, cars on the side of the road meant tourists and something to see, like a waterfall. These Read More

A view of Iceland's lava fields

Journeying to the Center of the Earth at Thrinukagigur Volcano, Iceland

“Because it’s Sunday,” says Saga (pronounced Saya), swinging her long blonde plait as the minibus accelerates away from Reykjavik’s Hafnastraeti car park, “I have a treat for you. Candy!” She holds up a box of chunky-looking chocolate-covered Read More

The scenery knocks your sox off (Photo credit: Roberta Sotonoff ©2012)

From the Window of Norway’s Flam Railroad

It is cold and wet. Standing next to Myrdal, Norway’s railroad tracks—a tiny town that is about a four-hour bus trip from Oslo, I am lost in a crowd of about 500 people. But the weather and the crowds can’t dampen my spirits. I am about to embark on Read More

Reindeer Sleighride (Photo Credit: RogersPhotos)

Driving a Reindeer Sled at the Arctic Circle in Finland

Reindeer have a bit more sense of dignity than sled dogs at the prospect of pulling a sled through the snow. They do not jump up and down in place yipping excitedly at the sight of a sled, as dogs do. I’d been dogsledding the day before, across Read More

Peterhof

St. Petersburg’s Peterhof by Hydrofoil

Summer in St. Petersburg: white nights, cruise ships, guided tours...  and crowds everywhere. Museum queues are reminiscent of bread lines during the Communist years, tour groups are marched through the palaces as if on a conveyor belt, and in some Read More