Wildlife in Faxaflói


Reykjavik City Walk

Today it’s so sunny! It’s almost too hot for wearing a scarf. 🙂 The perfect day for a walk through Reykjavik.

This is Domkirkjan, the city’s oldest church.


Here we see the entrance to The Parliament Garden.


This is Fríkirkjan, and Tjörnin.


View from one side of Tjörnin. You see Landakotskirkja on the right.


Since there are no flowers yet, I had to find something else with a bit of color.


Sunshine on moss is always pretty.


Very cute view of Hallgrímskirkja.


A house close to Hallgrímskirkja.




Kirkja & Mariska


The ugly lime-green house.


The square close to our apartment.


Esja, queen of Reykjavík’s mountains.


Mariska & Esja attempt no. 1 (and final attempt).


New job

Since the beginning of this year I have a full-time job at a destination management company in Reykjavik and I’m enjoying it. The company has some really interesting projects lined up. I’m very happy that I can work in Dutch. Of course not everything is going smoothly yet, and I still have to learn a lot of things. It’s quite different from running Actie Redactie. With mixed feeling I said goodbye to parts of Actie Redactie, like my website and business mail. One day before the mail service went offline I got a request to edit a new book for a publishing house. I had to decline this assignment, which felt a bit sad/weird/counterintuitive. But I know it’s the right decision and as I said I’m very happy with my new job!

Here is Reykjavik all is going well. Living together is quite awesome and we have a good routine going. Spring is not really in the air, since springtime doesn’t exist here … but to be fair temperatures are at least a couple of degrees above zero and we have had some beautiful sunny days. Daylight is increasing: today’s sunrise was at 8.20 and sunset is at 19.00! No flowers yet though, and the grass is having this foul rotten smell because it has been covered by snow for so long. Yep, we’re not there yet.

I’m looking forward to the Easter trip that’s planned to Hraunfossar, Barnafoss and Deildartunguhver. It’s going to be nice to explore an area I haven’t been to before.
Okay, that’s the news from my side. How’s everybody doing? 🙂

My favorite card and board games – Part I

I’ve been going to board game clubs all my life. When I was a teenager I mostly attended to socialize. A fun group of people met every month in the club house of a community garden in Haarlem. Sometimes I didn’t even play games and only talked. For a long time I wasn’t that interested in board games to be honest. This changed on New Year’s Eve 2012-2013 with the introduction to Pandemic. I was never introduced to the concept of cooperative games before. But with this genre my interest in board games got a boost. In Reykjavik I attend board game evenings every Wednesday. What follows is my top 10 of the games we play.

10) Colonial
My number 10 is Colonial. Colonial is a board game about the colonial times, from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution. You play as a ruler of a European state (for instance the Netherlands). You send your people around the world to explore new grounds, find good trade opportunities, acquire and maintain monopolies, and occasionally start a war with competitors.

Why I like it: Even though the gameplay seems difficult at first, it is quite easy to keep track of. You can follow different strategies which make it interesting. I personally like it best if I can focus on my own exploring and expanding projects. The theme can be a bit painful though, as you can monopolize slaves as one of the resources too …

9) Munchkin
Munckin has been around for quite some time, first published in 2001. It’s basically just a simple and fun card game. In this game you walk through dungeons and kick in doors. Behind the doors you will find either monsters or treasure. If there’s a monster you have to defeat it or try to run away. Other players may come to your aid … but the chances that they will backstab you are equally high.

Why I like it: Munchkin is just a silly game. I love the funny and cute style of the game.

8) You’re Bluffing!
You’re Bluffing! is my number 8, in the Netherlands better known as Koehandel. This is a typical bidding and bluffing game. In this game you auction animals and try to get the best price for them. The goal is to get as many sets of four animals as possible. The most exciting part is the trading with other players, because this happens with blind bidding and this is where the bluffing part comes in.

Why I like it: As mentioned above, I especially like the blind bidding part. It’s important to bid just enough money, but also make sure you don’t lose too much.

7) Blood Bound
In Blood Bound two clans of vampires battle each other. All identities are secret and the goal of the game is to find and kill the Elder (highest rank) of the opposing clan. During the game you slowly find out who belongs to what clan. When the Elder is found, lower ranks can defend him to keep him alive as long as possible.

Why I like it: This game reminds me a bit of Capture the Flag, but it’s a simpler version and you don’t have to run around to play it. I like mystery games like this, in which it takes some time to find out who is who.

6) Saboteur
In this game you play as a group of gnomes who are building tunnels to find gold. However, in this group there are a couple of saboteur gnomes. Their goal is to prevent the other gnomes from reaching the gold. They will build tunnels with dead-ends and force the other gnomes to start all over again! Luckily there are some cards that stop the saboteurs from building tunnels. But are you sure who the bad guys are?

Why I like it:  I think it’s a lot of fun finding out who the saboteur gnomes are, waiting for people to show their true colors. I also think it’s a fun challenge to hide it when I’m a saboteur, it’s definitely a good way to practice deception skills.

Stay tuned for the next blog, in which I will cover the top 5.

Review Violife vegan cheese

Since October 2013 I’ve been following a vegan diet. This has mostly worked out, although I made a couple of honest mistakes. I tried freeganism for a short time too, so I ate some non veggie food on purpose as well. 🙂

One thing became clear to me during the last 1,5 years – I have a difficult relationship with vegan cheeses.

On the one hand I like the idea of eating cheese, because cheese used to be my favorite food in the world! I still struggle with not eating cheese. Therefore I support people/companies/brands that invent new vegan cheeses.

On the other hand I hate all the vegan cheeses I tried. They just taste absolutely disgusting (Daiya! Divina Teresa! Yugh!). However, when I discover a vegan cheese that I haven’t tried before I still want to know if it has a taste I can handle.

I first tasted Violife on a grilled tofu, cheese and mustard sandwich at a café. I felt skeptical but couldn’t really say that I hated it right away. This is why not much later I bought two kinds of Violife vegan cheese at Krambúð. One with herbs and one with olives.

I tried the one with herbs:


These are the ingredients:


And … I actually like this one! It tastes like a bland, very young cheese. It’s not the ‘taste explosion’ that some real cheeses offer, and it’s not as enjoyable as the real deal, but the fact that I can say that something made of mostly water, coconut oil and starch can taste like cheese is pretty amazing.

After the first taste I made a cheese and oregano pancake with it. Violife cheese melts really well and is suitable for this purpose! Tomorrow I’m going to make cheese croissants, another favorite from the old days.

I hope the one with olives has a good taste as well.