This Makes Iceland Worth It

Lava restaurant at the Blue Lagoon overlooks the spa pools.
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

I expect the Northern Lights to highlight my trip to Iceland, but my visit to the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik turns out to be even more heavenly. A geothermal spa, the Blue Lagoon features large pools of 100-degree bluish-white water,…

Nordic Jesus

Statue of Jesus, Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

I am always amused by how Jesus Christ is depicted as a fairly contemporary-looking white guy in so many American churches. I like that when I visited Russia, I saw a lot of religious art depicting Jesus with very dark…

Cold Spring for the Holidays

Cold Spring, N.Y. on a snowy day
Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

I could make myself crazy going to five different stores to get all of the ingredients for a homemade bûche de Noël along with coffee, after-dinner liqueurs, everything for a very-vegetable Christmas dinner, plus appetizers, snacks, bread for sandwiches afterward—or…