Underwater restaurant; the structure, an inclined concrete pipe 34 meters long and partly positioned out of the water and partly under the sea, was designed by the architecture and design studio Snøhetta.
Taste refined starred dishes with a view of black cod, mackerel, new-born lobsters, rare jellyfish and wrasse, the colorful fish of the North Sea: a few weeks ago you can do it in the “Under” restaurant, the first underwater restaurant in Europe, in waters of Lindesnes, in southern Norway, surrounded by a wild marine nature. In Norwegian the name “Under” means “below” but also “wonder”, “wonder”; and it is precisely this that inspires this record-breaking, unique and original venue, with its 5 meters of depth and the large panoramic windows of 11 meters wide.
The structure, an inclined concrete pipe 34 meters long and partly positioned out of the water and partly under the sea, was designed by the architecture and design studio Snøhetta.
The avant-garde cuisine is managed by Nicolai Ellitsgaard, a young Danish-born chef, at the head of a brigade of 16 people with experience in starred restaurants. For an underwater dinner we spend about 230 euros per person, excluding wines, for a total of 18 courses based on rare red and tiny algae but tasty local crabs, among the most curious raw materials of the menu. To dine underwater, however, you have to wait for September or put yourself on a waiting list.
A treat for architecture enthusiasts
The building itself is an architectural gem. It is reminiscent of a rock formation that is rising out of the sea; almost like a kind of art installation. The award-winning architect firm, Snøhetta, has designed the spectacular building.
Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 34-meter long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest directly on the seabed five meters below. The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.
A monumental glass wall provides panoramic views of the sea
When you step into the restaurant, your unique undersea journey begins. Here you can descend all the way to a depth of five metres without a diving suit. Just walk down the stairs. At the mesanin there is a bar with a relax area where guest can sit before and after the meal.
Down in the restaurant, the notion of an “ocean view” takes on a whole new meaning. There, a huge glass wall will give you an unique insight into the bustling life in the sea (Skagerrak) outside.
You will get to watch all sorts of fish species swim by, depending on the time of year. Normal fish species in this area is pollack and cod, colourful wrasses, urchins, crabs, lobsters in gladiator battles, spiny dogfish (i.e. mini sharks) and distinctive seaweed and kelp in the changing seasons… And you can see a live performance of the roaring, stormy sea when nature is in turmoil.
Seals have also been observed outside the window, but marine researcher Trond Rafoss hope it will not visit very often, as it scares the other fishes away.
Locally caught fish, seabirds and wild sheep on the menu
Of course, the restaurant experience is not just about the fish that swim by outside. The fish and seafood that is served on your plate is a very important ingredient. Naturally, there will be an excellent selection of seafood at Under. But you also have the option of tasting seabirds and wild sheep that have grazed in the archipelago nearby.
The head chef at Under is named Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen, and that means that the food is something to look forward to. Pedersen was formerly the head chef at the acclaimed gourmet restaurant “Måltid” in Kristiansand city centre, and he has also worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant Henne Kirkeby Kro in Denmark.
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In some wooded areas on the outskirts of Copenhagen six gentle giants (wooden giants) by the sculptor Thomas Dambo have appeared, a specialized artist, as we have seen in the past, in recycled wood sculptures. Dambo’s enormous sculptures have been hidden in Denmark, in Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup. All six works were built only with second-hand pieces of wood, made with the help of local artisans.
Among them are “the little Tilde”, “the friendly Teddy”, “Thomas on the Mountain”, “Oscar under bridge”, “The lady of the Hill” and “Louis Sleepy”, all hidden in places, not so secret , of the woods near the capital of Denmark. Each of the giants was made by hand, with construction material from demolished buildings and local trees that fell due to bad weather.
The sculptures are not passive with respect to the viewer, and can be used for active interaction. You can climb on it, use them as observation points or simply explore them, as in “Tilde” which hides as many as 28 bird houses instead of its belly. The installation is destined to become one of the most popular during the (short) Danish summer.
Go on a treasure hunt to find The Six Forgotten Giants in the western municipalities of Copenhagen: Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup.
Eliminate stress! For three days, during daylight hours, they lit the fire, paddled in a canoe, swam and fished. At night, instead, they admired the starry sky from the roof of the glass cabins that housed them. The protagonists of this experience in contact with the most pristine nature of western Sweden, are five people from different countries, but all stressed by their work. The project that involved them, entitled “The 72 Hour Cabin” and conceived by researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, had as objective to understand if such a type of holiday could influence their psychophysical well-being.
How eliminate stress
The experiment, at the end of the stay, brought the expected results: in the group, composed among others by a French taxi driver, a German police officer and a British television announcer, the stress level decreased by 70%, the blood pressure has dropped, anxiety has diminished and creativity has exploded. Hosting the participants was an uninhabited town of Dalsland, an area renowned for its idyllic mountains and dense forests, the endless plains and crystal-clear lakes, which is two hours away from Gothenburg, heading north. The five homes of wood and glass used for “The 72 Hour Cabin”, available today from May to September with three-day packages, are a project by Jeanna Berger and are located on the private island of Henriksholm, owned by her family. A jewel in the middle of Lake Ånimmen, ideal for immersing yourself in undisturbed nature and forgetting stress.
Four more were added to the first cabins: two, very scenic, located near the Dalslands Activities center in Dals Långed near Steneby, where activities such as horse riding, kayaking and archery can be practiced. The others remain within the lush park Baldersnäs on Lake Laxsjön.
But how to reach this corner of Sweden
You fly to Gothenburg, from there you can rent a car to get to Dalsland, or use the public train and bus service.
Iceland is on top fashion travel in 2019. Northern Europe is increasingly the protagonist in the agency. From alternative destinations, almost niche, Scandinavia and the Baltic Republics have jumped in a few seasons among the most popular, almost fashionable destinations. Cool, in every sense. If until recently the Nordic countries were perceived as a predominantly summer destination due to the midnight sun, the novelty is that they are increasingly in demand even in winter, especially due to the boom in travel to see the northern lights and possibility of living experiences in contact with nature.
The Norwegian fjords remain the favorite destination of many. The most popular formula? Obviously cruises, which allow you to see even more countries while keeping costs down.
Thanks to the effect Throne of Swords, for some seasons in the agencies there has been a real boom in Iceland, also because, they add, “it is a destination that has a very short season, where DIY is almost impossible for the difficulty finding accommodation. First the classic tour of Iceland was very popular, but because of the high prices, the demand now focuses mainly on Reykjavik with day trips “.
Iceland is a fabulous and wonderful destination, for this climbing to top of the fashion travel destination, but there is a small detail that often makes those who want to explore desist: it is very expensive. Sometimes too much. But nothing is impossible and, with some simple precautions, you can save money while enjoying a wonderful holiday: here are some tips to visit the island of ice with a low-cost trip.
The cost of living in Iceland is much higher than in many other European destinations and also in Italy: both for accommodation and meals, finding an economic alternative can be difficult. But there are some tricks that will allow those who are more adventurous to visit the land of ice and fire and save.
Low cost flights to Iceland
Those who want to save money and have time available can choose a flight with a stopover with one of the major low cost airlines: Easyjet flies to Reykjavik from London and other European cities.
Stay in Iceland for little money
The cost for housing in Iceland is quite high. There are few hotels and, during the high season, they quickly run out of available rooms. But there are other accommodation options at lower prices than hotels.
Farms and guesthouses in Iceland
Farms and guesthouses are the best solution for those who want good value for money, without giving up the comfort of a room. This type of accommodation is taken by tourists during the summer, so it is best to book in advance to secure a room. If you want to stay on a farm, choose one that offers breakfast included in the room price: you can enjoy fresh local produce.
In Iceland on a camping trip
If you visit Iceland in the summer months and are ready for an adventurous vacation you can choose to stay in the numerous campsites, scattered throughout the island. Most of the campsites are equipped with lawn pitches for tents, shared kitchen and bathrooms with showers and hot water, and some also have a laundry room. In Reykjavik you will find numerous rental services where you can get curtains, perfectly sanitized sleeping bags and even pots and stoves for cooking. If you are traveling with a tent, there is no need to book: the lawns where you can settle never fail!
Traveling by camper in Iceland: a low cost solution
There is another rather smart and adventurous way to halve the cost of accommodation and meals for a wonderful tour of Iceland in close contact with nature: renting a camper. Iceland is very organized for camping and the areas equipped for campers are numerous. Unlike those who sleep in tents, those who choose the camper will have to book their position in advance. Both at Keflavik airport and in Reykjavik you will find numerous car and camper rentals: compare the different companies and book in advance to find the lowest prices.
If you decide for a different solution from the hotel it is good to equip yourself better before you leave: a way to save in Iceland is also to limit shopping, especially not to buy expensive and technical clothing on site, bringing everything in your suitcase from the start .
Another valuable tip concerns cash: Iceland is very organized in terms of payments and credit cards can be used even for the lowest amounts. So avoid changing large amounts of money, especially in offices near the airport, where the exchange rate is usually disadvantageous.
Finally, an economic idea to enjoy a healthy and proper relaxation without spending on a luxury super spa: Iceland offers everything in nature and for free, just go to the numerous natural thermal pools that dot the land of ice. You can find thermal springs turned into wellness centers but also free swimming pools completely immersed in nature, where you can relax in the water at a temperature of about 38 ° C.
Top fashion travel for this year, a natural paradise awaits you, just don’t be caught unprepared and you will be able to enjoy all the wonders of Iceland, without spending a fortune.
Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland has been selected by the US travel magazine AFAR as one of the world’s 27 best new hotels. Every month, AFARreceives hundreds of emails announcing hotel openings; and this year, they have issued their first-ever Stay List, a compendium of the world’s best new hotels; vetted by their staffers and contributors.
Blue lagoon location
AFAR praises the hotel for offering a way to experience the mineral-rich geothermal spa “without the selfie stick-wielding throngs”. It is located next door to the main lagoon, providing exclusive access to newly created pools for hotel and spa guests.
The review praises the design of the hotel rooms, which include floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies, maximizing the enjoyment of the colors of the landscape.
“It’s easy to spend an entire day floating in the geothermal pools, but when you’re ready to go farther afield, guides can take you on a hike up the dormant volcano behind the hotel,” the review concludes.
As recently as in February; the Retreat at Blue Lagoon was on the 2019 list of Travel + Leisure for their editors’ picks of the best new hotels in the world.
Built into a lava wall on the west bank of the Blue Lagoon, the restaurant is a breathtaking location for experiencing the fresh, local, seasonal pleasures of Icelandic cuisine. The restaurant is a breathtaking location for experiencing the fresh, local, seasonal pleasures of Icelandic cuisine.
For many people visiting Iceland, a trip to the steamy waters of the Blue Lagoon is the highlight. Now that highlight could be about to get even better.Because of the lagoon’s growing popularity; a new luxury hotel has opened next to the deep blue mineral-rich waters, allowing visitors to upgrade their stay to something a little more private. Opened in the fall of 2017, the 62-room Moss Hotel gives guests exclusive access to the attraction’s reviving facilities. The Blue Lagoon expansion will also see the opening of a new dining room, the Moss Restaurant, and spa, known as Lava Cove. The venue, according to the Blue Lagoon; was created in order to “erase the boundary between nature, wellness, hospitality, and affluence” ;through the “extraordinary powers of the geothermal seawater, the beauty of Blue Lagoon’s volcanic surroundings, and the luxuries of world-class service.”