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My Three Best Kept Travel Secrets

I’ve been tagged this week by both Gray at Solo Friendly and Shannon at A Little Adrift to take part in TripBase’s 3 Best Travel Secrets Project. TripBase is creating a master resource of little known restaurants, locations and activities from travel bloggers all over the net.

I found this assignment somewhat challenging. I’m such an open book and I try to share all of my cool experiences with you guys. It was hard for me to find three lesser known things that I haven’t already blabbed all over the internet. After some brain wracking, I’ve managed to come up with three activities that I haven’t previously discussed, that aren’t completely obvious and that are really worth going out of your way to see and do. Here goes:

Eat Lobster in Höfn, Iceland


Most visitors to Iceland stay close to Reykjavik, venturing out only for a day trip to the Golden Circle or maybe up to Akureyri. If you rent a car and venture eastwards however, you can check out some incredibly charming coastal towns. My favorite was the relatively large (2000 people) settlement of Höfn. The cheery town sits between the vast cold Atlantic and the largest ice cap in Iceland, the stunning Vatnajökull. It’s a great base for exploring the glaciers and for winter sports, as it was rather chilly even in June.  Lobster is the specialty of this fishing village and makes the whole trip worthwhile. Whether you have it whole, or tossed on a salad or pasta the crustaceans are fresh and delicious here.

Play Archaeologist on the banks of the Thames

Nowhere is the rich history of London more apparent then down by the Thames; the major artery that pumps through the city’s heart. The Thames is a tidal river and the strong waters stir up the bottom silt to wash all sorts of interesting tidbits from the past ashore. At low tide a walk along the banks of the old river is an opportunity to discover all sorts of interesting debris: old bricks, shards of pottery, and bones of indiscriminate origin.  On a fifteen minute scavenge along the shore I found an interesting looking (possibly Victorian) bottle top, the lid of a clay jug and countless painted tea cup shards. Hardly priceless artifacts, but who knows where they started life. The make  neat and free souvenirs!

Be Awed by Škocjan Cave in Slovenia

Slovenia has a unique geography that includes an extensive underground cave system. The Postojna Caves are better known and easier to reach, but the less touristy Škocjan is a truly amazing experience as well. Škocjan is an extensive network of huge connected caves and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The 90 minute guided tour into the only partially lit caves feels like a Jules Verne novel or a descent into Middle Earth. The highlight is walking across a tiny bridge which spans an epic underground canyon while an invisible river rushes some 45 meters below. Not for the faint of heart, but if you are brave enough it’s strange, beautiful and bizarre.

So there you go, 3 new places to visit! I’m spreading the love and passing the challenge on, to:

Candice at Candice Does the World (and awesome new blog that you should totally check out by the way)

Nancy at Nancy the Gnomette

Lauren at Lonely Girl Travels

Aelle at Des Mots Pour Se Taire

Dan at The Eight Hour Layover

I’m off to New York again tomorrow to go meet the good people at Sosauce, as well as Dave, Andrew, Grant and more for some rousing Travel Writer Karaoke! Looks for  a rundown on that next week, as well as a recap of my London adventure!

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16 Responses to My Three Best Kept Travel Secrets

  1. Travelfusion December 3, 2009 at 8:04 AM #

    Cool ideas! I’ve never walked down near the Thames looking for treasures but it’s right up my alley – thanks for the idea, I’m going to put it on my list of things to discover here in London!

    Cheers,
    Kathryn @Travelfusion

    • Steph December 3, 2009 at 8:10 AM #

      It’s a fun experience! There’s a place on the Southbank near the Tate Modern where it’s easy to climb down (only at LOW tide remember). Also the further west you go the easier it is I think.

  2. Shannon OD December 3, 2009 at 8:25 AM #

    That picture of Iceland just looks unreal! Great tips – you did indeed give me three new places to see! 🙂
    .-= Shannon OD´s last blog ..A little insurance…Travel insurance with World Nomads =-.

    • Steph December 3, 2009 at 12:34 PM #

      That ice cap WAS unreal. I just kept staring and staring at it. So massive and beautiful.

  3. Candice December 3, 2009 at 9:04 AM #

    These are amazing, I love that you found a possibly Victorian bottle by the side of the Thames. And thanks for the shout-out!
    .-= Candice´s last blog ..The Epic Prologue =-.

  4. aelle December 3, 2009 at 9:14 AM #

    Sweet! Thanks for tagging me!
    .-= aelle´s last blog ..Typographies =-.

  5. Gray December 3, 2009 at 5:38 PM #

    Outstanding secrets, Steph! Thanks so much for sharing them. You rose to the challenge quite well. Those caves do sound like something you’d see in an adventure movie.
    .-= Gray´s last blog ..My Three Best Travel Secrets =-.

  6. Andrea December 3, 2009 at 6:43 PM #

    I like everything about this post.

  7. Abhi December 3, 2009 at 10:08 PM #

    The cave looks amazing!

    Finding stuff on the bank of Thames – super interesting idea! 🙂
    .-= Abhi´s last blog ..Tequila Sunrise =-.

  8. Harry Wordsworth December 4, 2009 at 6:49 AM #

    Thanks a lot for sharing these secret with us.I found it interesting and enjoyed your post a lot.I really liked that Iceland a lot.

  9. Stop Having a Boring Life Rob December 5, 2009 at 11:20 AM #

    Cool blog, I’ve been to London numerous times for family ties but never done that archaeologist theme. Will keep it in mind.
    .-= Stop Having a Boring Life Rob´s last blog ..Thinking With Head, Eating With Hand =-.

  10. Katie, Tripbase December 6, 2009 at 4:18 AM #

    Want to get to Iceland, great secrets thanks for sharing!

  11. Jaime October 14, 2010 at 9:18 PM #

    Hmm I am gonna have to do that when I am in London. I would have never thought of that. Thanks for sharing all these secrets!!! What other secrets are you not sharing…lol 😉

    • Steph October 18, 2010 at 11:18 PM #

      All secrets will be revealed in time- but email me when you head to London- I am an expert!

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