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Thirsty work in San Diego, the craft brewing capital of America

Raise a glass to the Californian city with more than 200 craft breweries and tasting rooms

It is early morning and I’m swimming in a coffin-shaped pool surrounded by gnarly ancient cacti, overlooked by a 12-storey floral mural. It was an invigorating way to wake up listening to the muted stirring of downtown LA – and I needed it after only two hours’ sleep. The night before, the Mad Men vibe at the stylish lobby bar of the Hotel Figueroa had led me to order a couple of late-night Old Fashioneds to help me on my way. Clearly, I should have had a few more. As my Californian sister-in-law told me: “LA for cocktails, San Diego for beer.”

Related: Beyond Comic-Con: San Diego’s beaches and Pacific views are its real stars

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Ice, fire and feuds: on the trail of Iceland’s sagas

The tales of heroes and feuding families in Iceland’s chronicles inspire this countrywide walking, hitchhiking and camping trip

The sagas are “our national identity”, says Icelandic actor Oddur Júlíusson. Based on historical events that mostly took place between the ninth and early 11th centuries, they have been narrated in the farmsteads of Iceland since the Middle Ages. Júlíusson performs the Icelandic Sagas Greatest Hits in Reykjavík, a comedy version in both Icelandic and English of all 40 of the “family sagas” – tales of feuding, romance, surprisingly intricate legal processes, sorcery and sea battles. “We are constantly reminded of these stories,” he told me, “and we name children after characters in them.”

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