All posts filed under: Travel

Lounge Review: No. 1 Lounge in Gatwick South Terminal

On our way back to NY from Copenhagen, we had a stopover at Gatwick South Terminal for 5 hours. The South Terminal is small and dated and also serves as a hub for British Airways at Gatwick Airport. The terminal has two levels with the usual shops and fast food restaurants…nothing particularly outstanding. There is a small Harrods’s gift shop at the terminal for last minute British gifts. The terminal itself is overcrowded. When I was there in March, it was hard to find a seat anywhere. Luckily for me, I had access to the No. 1 Lounge at the terminal. Besides the No. 1 Lounge, there is only a British Airways Lounge, thus making both venues busy like the terminal. The No 1 Lounge’s entrance is on the second floor and located between Dixons and JD Sports. I walked through a nondescript entrance that resembled a service entrance to another set of double doors where I was greeted with a representative who was tougher than a NYC bouncer. Apparently the lounge was full around …

Weekend Unexplored: 2 Days in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen was the last stop on our week long Nordic trip. My group purposely scheduled Copenhagen at the end of our Iceland adventure as we wanted a balance from our rustic Icelandic adventures. We did not have anything planned out for Copenhagen besides our dining options, so the weekend was more spontaneous. Copenhagen also has a burgeoning food scene that rivals NYC in quality and innovation with two restaurants currently listed in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. I was in charge of booking the restaurants and I took on the challenge with glee. Day 1 We had an early flight from Reykavik to Copenhagen on Iceland Airlines. After an uneventful flight, we easily found a taxi and headed to Hotel Nyhaven located at the end of the picturesque Nyhaven Harbor. When we arrived around 1:00 pm, our rooms were not yet available so we left our luggage with the front desk staff. At this point, we were starving as we had been up since 6 am for our flight. My original plan was to eat …

5 Days in Iceland in March

Iceland was not high on my destination priority list as I had always imagined the country to be very cold and bleak. Ruffing it does not appeal to me, especially for a New Yorker. I was glad to be proven wrong for once! An opportunity came up when my snowboarding group decided to go to Iceland this year and I quickly signed on board. Luckily, my friend had been to Iceland before and planned our itinerary based on what she had experienced. This post will detail our 5 day itinerary and tips we picked up along the way. First, the pace for our 5 day road trip on Golden Circle was leisurely. This is a deviation from my normal jam-packed itinerary, however, it did forced me to prioritize the top two things I wanted to do each day and to slowly take in the scenery. A significantly amount of the time was spent in the car as the sites are one to two hours’ drive from each other. We also decided to visit Iceland in …

What to pack for Iceland for Winter and Spring

I recently went to Iceland in the middle of March and, like most people, I was furiously googling on what to pack leading up to the trip. The weather is so unpredictable that Iceland can get three seasons a day, if not within a few hours. Even though my group went in the middle of March, the weather was winter in some areas and early spring in others making it difficult to pack efficiently. Furthermore, I do not own any real gear for trekking through uneven terrain and the unpredictable weather of southern Iceland. At the same time, I did not want to spend more money on a new wardrobe that I only wear once. This packing list is what I ended up bringing and is what works for the Icelandic weather. Ski or snowboarding gear If you have snowboarding or ski gear, you are half way done. It rains in Iceland…a lot and at random times. It can be sunny one minute and pouring the next. I ended up bringing a waterproof and windproof Marmont …

5 Days in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has been on my bucket list for a long time, but I did not have the opportunity until recently. My goal was to really explore Barcelona at a leisurely pace. My friend came on this adventure with me and we settled on a Tuesday to Sunday itinerary. In this post, I will highlight our trip to Barcelona and what we learned from it. Day 1: Tuesday (Arriving in the afternoon) We arrived in Barcelona in the early afternoon and both of us took separate taxis from the airport as we were in different terminals. Prior to this trip, my friend and I were warned to be cautious of taxis and pickpockets in Barcelona. I did not truly believe that Barcelona was an unsafe city as it is an international European destination.  Unfortunately, the following taxi incident shook my faith in the city. After getting dropped off a block away from my destination, my taxi driver grabbed a 50 euro bill out of my hand and drove off after I disputed the fare. The fare …

Restaurant Review: Pagu – Japanese Spanish Fusion (Boston,MA)

I had an opportunity to visit Boston for the weekend and Pagu was on the top of my list for dinner. Boston has recently seen a surge in restaurants exploring fusion cuisine and Pagu is a promising star. My friends and I made a reservation for Friday and were asked to put a deposit of $25 per person for the reservation. This was something new to me, as a required deposit was more prevalent at ultra-exclusive restaurant where a meal can easily costs a few hundred dollars. Pagu has average pricing, which made this policy a bit perplexing. Once we arrived, we were quickly seated at a table far removed from the kitchen bar that we had requested. After speaking with the host, we were promptly moved to the kitchen counter. This is a seating area surrounding the beautiful open kitchen where one can watch the magic happen. For our meal, we selected a few different tapas to share and they were either hit or miss. The service was attentive overall and the staff tried …

Must Do’s: Oxford, England

I traveled to Oxford for work several times over the past few years and fell completely in love with this English city.  Oxford is full of picturesque historical buildings that have been perfectly preserved.  You feel like you are walking through history along the cobble stone pathways.  The local myth is that Hitler wanted to make Oxford his new headquarter and therefore ordered for it to be “left alone” during WWII.  We are fortunate enough to have this city  preserved for our enjoyment. It’s also favorite location for the film industry.  You might feel a sense of familiarity with the buildings as Harry Potter was filmed at Christ Church, Bodleian Library and New College.  Downtown Abbey also used Oxfordshire (the suburbs of Oxford) for their filming locations. For more information on locations used by the film industry, click on Film locations. Here are my recommendations for Oxford. Getting to Oxford: Oxford is a close day trip for those staying in London.  I normally fly into London and stay a day or two to visit friends before heading to Oxford.  My …