Day 2 in Reykjavik: Whale Rider

The start to Day 2 in Iceland was a rainy mess! 😅🌧🌧 But nonetheless the day’s event was not to be missed – as I have booked a whale watching tour in the Icelandic sea! 🐳 🐋 (Though the awful weather had me bound to the hotel room in the entire morning after breakfast! 😂 FYI the lack of hot food in my hotel was breaking my heart! 💔)

Reykjavik Old Harbour
By the harbour
Our tour boat
I wonder which ones will we see?

Our tour boat set sail from the Reykjavik Old Harbour at 1pm and the tour lasted about three hours. Due to the nature of whales being wild animals, sightings are not guaranteed (though it is claimed that if no sightings occurred, then you are welcomed to book a free tour for another day 😂) but I have every fingers and toes crossed 🤞 that we will see something exciting! So overalls suited up and ready to go! 🛥

Harpa
Viðey in the distance
😂 🏴‍☠️
Another tour boat on the hunt

It was a bit of a long wait to get things going, but even sailing on the boat feels like such an adventure as we set off into the unknown! 🌊 🌊 Mind you, if you are somebody who is prone to seasickness, I really won’t recommend you doing this as this boat was rocking so much you get flung around even if you sitting firmly still on your seat! 😬😬 (Going for my toilet break in the lower deck at one point was quite an adventure! 😂) Though they do have sick bags ready for you as a couple of my fellow tour group people discovered… 🤢 Oh and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get soaked by the end! 😝 💦 💦

The trick of spotting those whales is apparently looking at where a swarm of seagulls gathered as it means there are many fishes nearby which will attract whales to come and eat them. After about an hour into the tour (almost felt like falling asleep lol 😴), we finally made our first discovery in a school of dolphins. I do apologise for all of the sightings being low-quality videos as it is SUPER tricky to get them in photos! They literally popped out of the water and will be gone the next second! 😠

Dolphins! 🐬🐬

We also managed to find a few killer whales and a bigger whale (I don’t know the name of it) which I missed to snap completely! 😂 The captain will shout out if they spotted anything and everyone will scramble to one side of the boat with their phones and camera! 📱 📸 It was absolute chaos! (“It’s at 9 o’clock!” “Where is 9 o’clock??” Many of us were simply running like headless chickens. 🤣🤣) Honestly, I was worried we would tip the boat over!

Killer whale
Lol literally disappeared within seconds

On the way back, we also visited the iconic puffin island.

Puffin Island
Stunning scene!

After a long three-hour journey in the sea, I was finally back on dry land and I was starving! (FYI it felt so good getting out of those disgusting wet overalls! 😂) I then visited Hi Noodle for a late lunch/snack/early dinner. 😂🍜

Hi Noodle Ramen Bar
Their menu
The signature Dan Dan Noodles 👍👍

After a quick nap in the hotel, I then went outside to pouring rain again (this time forgetting my umbrella… 🥲 ☔️) I was hoping to visit Aurora Reykjavik to see images of Northern Light, but unfortunately it was closed earlier than the time I checked, so I settled down in Lamb Street Food for another meal! 😂

Lamb kebab, meatballs and salad

After the rain has seemingly stopped (and it did), I took a long walk to the Seltjarnarnes area including paying a visit to Gróttuviti lighthouse (about an hour of walking from where I was for dinner.) Here are a few snapshots of the area.

By the time I made it back the centre of Reykjavik, it was absolutely buzzing with people with bars and clubs in full swing! And the area was even more beautiful with the Hallgrímskirkja lit up in the night.

Rainbow Road at night 🌈🌈
I thought this chocolate & orange ice lolly goes well with the background! 😂
The lit Hallgrímskirkja

What a jam-packed day it has been!

Short But Sweet

Having been swamped by work this week, I, like a lot of people, can find it difficult to truly relax and separate myself from the stress and business of work life. This also unfortunately kept me away from blogging in the past week, but I am determined to hopefully balance between two and continue to update here whenever I can. 💪 Honestly, this Friday feeling could not have come sooner! 😝

For me, autumn is the season of beginnings. Whether starting a new school, new college or new job, this time of year signifies the turning of a fresh page in many people’s chapters. As the weather becomes chillier after the long heat wave that was last month, I always craved for something warm and hearty. And, for me, no other food is better than a proper bowl of Japanese ramen in that retrospective. 😋

Tonkatsu Ramen

It’s a short and sweet moment of comfort which we all need in this busy time. And, speaking of sweet, I also dropped by to my favourite ice cream shop in London. 😉 (I wrote a post about the place months ago which you can see here👉 https://tangosbaking.home.blog/2019/05/29/its-never-too-cold-for-ice-cream/) If you’re looking for some unique, new or Asian-inspired ice cream flavours, do pay this place a visit if you happen to be in London!I promise you would not be disappointed! 😁

Lychee-Raspberry Sorbet and Sweetcorn Ice Cream

As I enjoy every spoonful of my sweet treat in the bright street of Central London, I wish you all the best in the weeks to come! 😉

Day 1 in Glasgow: Road Trip in the Rain

In the Hobbit, Gandalf said to Bilbo Baggins, ‘The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.’ There is something about travelling to different places that is vastly different and so much more exciting than simply seeing or hearing about them on TV and on the internet. Compare to the old me who preferred the comfort of staying at home, I now often find myself not being able to stay still on the same spot!

Hence, yesterday, my mum and I headed out for a brief 2-day trip to Glasgow by taking a bus from home. (It was quite last minute as we only decided for sure a few days ago.) The weather, however, was not on our side as the roads were all drenched by the heavy rain all day. But we still made sure that we made the most of it after we arrived.

In Glasgow… 🌧🌧

Marching our way through the rain ☔️ , we dropped by Lychee Oriental for lunch. It is a renowned Chinese restaurant in the area run by Jimmy Lee who once appeared in the Great British Menu on BBC. The restaurant offer a nice two-course lunch every day for a very reasonable price of £11.90. No surprises here except it was a nice, rustic, homey meal that quickly filled us up for the day. (I personally quite liked the chicken satay and the fried noodles.)

Lunch in Lychee Oriental

The weather though really wasn’t appealing enough for us to stay any longer outside, so we decided to check into the hotel and rest a bit first before the evening.

easyHotel (on the right) where we stayed

We stayed at easyHotel which was a very cheap stay, costing under £44 for a twin room for one night. When we arrived though, we were still an hour too early for the official check-in time (3pm). This meant we ended up wondering some more in the rain before hiding inside the hotel opposite to it for the time to pass! 😂

Though the room was generally pleasant and very clean, the shower was very tiny (there was no actual cubicle and the curtains kept sticking to me as I was showering 😅), and also annoyingly (which I only noticed after booking…) WiFi and even the TV are all extra charges. However, for those of you who may be just looking for a quick night of sleep, this is the ideal place for it!

Dinner in Ichiban

While I was napping, my mum was looking at the tourist information leaflet she got from the hotel reception and found this Japanese restaurant called Ichiban. We decided to head there for dinner, squeezing together under one umbrella ☂ (the rain was even worse at that time… 😓😓) We ordered the signature ramen and a mixed sushi platter, plus some char siu (roasted pork) on the side. The ramen was good with a hefty portion and a good broth, and the sushi was also well-made. The char siu though we found was a touch too salty.

Yee Kwan Ice Creams 😋😋

It would be unlike me (or rather us lol) that we didn’t have some desserts after meal. The restaurant also offers Yee Kwan ice creams on their menu (which I knew before from watching Dragons’ Den 😂 ). We ordered the black sesame seed ice cream and pink guava & passion fruit sorbet. The sorbet was perfect with its lightness and sweetness with a slight tang, and the black sesame was very flavourful with the nuttiness from the seeds. (My mum was loving them both lol.) If you see these ice creams for sales anywhere, I would strongly recommend you to grab one! 😋 😂

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel just as the rain thankfully died down. My mum especially was ready for bed after a long day, but it seemed that our day was not over yet when we discovered there was no hot water in the shower… 😓❌❌ (P.S. we ended up moving to the room next door. 😛)