BigWorldAndSmallWorld Blog

West Iceland the Sagaland in winter

Posted in Iceland,Nature,Travel and Adventure,Vacation,Winter by Administrator on the June 23rd, 2022

In January 2018 I took a 5-day trip to Iceland for a Mid-Atlantic Travel Tradeshow sponsored by Iceland Air. It was a very well organized trip just for travel agents. We can choose which hotel we wanted to stay at and which tour we wanted to take from a selection list. In winter time, there is no direct flight from Minneapolis to Reykjavik, I had to route to Chicago. But in the summer time, there is direct flight from Minneapolis to Reykjavik, therefore it is much convenient in the summer.

Upon arrival, the first evening we had a welcome dinner at downtown Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center hosted by Iceland Air. The Center is a modern building with nice architecture and wonderful lights. We were treated with great hospitality by the host who offered us a huge selection of delicious bite size food and drinks. BTW, is a good website not only for booking flights, but also for day tours as well.

The 2nd day we had a full day tradeshow. Prior to the trip I had already made meeting appointments with vendors and tour operators that I’m interested in finding out more about. Because my schedule was almost full and each appointment was merely 15 minutes; therefore I did my homework ahead of time and marked on my schedule each appointment’s booth number so that I can get to each booth promptly. From 9am to 5pm, in between appointments I had just enough time to cover the entire tradeshow floor; it was a very efficient day. I found today to be very helpful for me because prior to the trip I knew nothing about Iceland, but now I learned a lot by talking to vendors and I had a good idea about Iceland as a whole. That evening, we were entertained at Valsheimilid with lovely food, good company and entertainment.

The 3rd day we were on a full day excursion of our choice. I had chosen the West Iceland the Sagaland tour because of its nature. West Iceland the official tourist guide that I acquired yesterday at the tradeshow became very handy; otherwise I had to say it’s pretty hard to follow the names of the places we were going. As the map shows the Snæfellsnes peninsula projecting out the most on the west was where we toured. I stood there before the 844 meters high Hafnarfjall Mountain outside Borgames and Eldborg Crater rising 60 meters above the surrounding lava, I was amazed by the winter wonderland.

We had a tasty lunch at the ancient fishing station called Arnarstapi in a room with magnificent glacier view. Arnarstapi is known for its stunning basalt cliffs, ravines and grottos as well as unusual rock formations in the ocean. The Snæfellsjokull National Park is the only coastal park in Iceland. We walked on slushy and spongy moss-covered lava fields, it was an interesting walk. We took a nice coffee and cake break in the afternoon along the coast somewhere on the way heading back.

In the evening we had another great food and entertainment.

The 4th day is also the last day, today I went to the famous Blue Lagoon. The colors of the water was so beautiful, words just can’t describe it. The lagoon is big some area deep and some area shallow. The water felt warm even in the coldest January.

After the Blue Lagoon, the bus took us to the airport and I took the flights home. On the way home, I can’t help but thinking next time I want to visit Iceland again in the summer. I want to take a bus tour all around the island on the ring road as the map shows. This way I get to see a green Iceland and all the attractions; that will be fantastic! For a bus tour, I recommend these companies Reykjavik Excursions and GJ Travel

Below are some helpful websites for reference:
1. The Tourist Board for Iceland:
2. Keflavik Airport:
3. Visit Reykjavik:
4. The Iceland Review:

Winter in Minnesota Can Be Fun

Posted in Family and Friends,Minnesota,Winter by Administrator on the February 22nd, 2022

Having been lived in Minnesota for over 25 years, I know Minnesota winter can be long and hard. We are lucky if it does not snow on Halloween or in May. Over the years I have learned a few tips to overcome the cabin fever. As I was looking at the pictures on my phone, I realized winter here is not all that unbearable. First tip, we use school’s winter break (normally a week in early March) to take a vacation in warm places such as San Antonio, Death Valley, San Diego, Florida Keys, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah’s National Parks. When we returned home, I always felt winter goes by more quickly. A short warm weather break makes a big difference. Second tip, do something outdoors such as making a snowman or snow-tubing. Before the pandemic, we used to host Japanese students in February and March for 3 weeks. This gave us the opportunity to take our students out and about and to check out local winter wonderland such as Minnehaha Falls, museums and Como Zoo and Conservatory etc.

Above pictures in the order are snow-tubing, Minnehaha Falls and Walker Art Center.

Como Zoo and Conservatory in the winter and how about a hearty meal at Cafe Latte?

Let’s make a snowman or two! My sons, my sister and my niece and one of our Japanese students had so much fun.

Don’t forget the Ice Castle. I really love this place.

When I saw these pictures, I couldn’t help but smile. My son just loved snow.

Winter wonderland is beautiful, especially after the first heavy snow.

I hope my blog cheers you up on this snowy day. Being a travel agent I had the privilege to go to Iceland in January for a travel trade-show, I’ll share that experience in another blog.