Featured | Iceland | Travel

Iceland’s Golden Circle

March 3, 2014

On our sec­ond day in Ice­land, our plan was to dri­ve the Gold­en Cir­cle route. After hav­ing our first Ice­landic break­fast at the farm we were stay­ing at, get­ting dri­ving rec­om­men­da­tion from our host, and check­ing out the waf­fle-eat­ing ducks and the hors­es, we hit the road.

Like most of the days we got to spend in Ice­land, it was wet and windy. It was also a lit­tle chilly, but we’re Cana­di­ans. Any­thing above zero degree is not worth com­plain­ing about. ;-) I think the aver­age tem­per­a­ture dur­ing our stay was around 6° Cel­sius.

After stop­ping only once to take a look at the view from a look­out area, we arrived at Ker­ið crater lake/caldera. It is inter­est­ing­ly com­posed of red vol­canic rock (instead of black). One side of the caldera was a lit­tle less steep than the rest and we saw a bench down there so we decid­ed to walk down to the edge of the water to check out the view. (Actu­al­ly, I just want­ed to sit on the bench. Heh.)

kerith

Our next des­ti­na­tion was Thingvel­lir Nation­al Park, which is a site of nat­u­ral and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance. It’s a place where the North Amer­i­can tec­ton­ic plate meets the Euro­pean plate and also the place where the Ice­landic par­lia­ment began in 930.

This is the Drown­ing Pool in Thingvel­lir where they used to drown wom­en who com­mit­ted such crimes as get­ting preg­nant out of wed­lock, and behead crim­i­nals in gen­er­al in the old­en days.

drowning_pool

This is the beau­ti­ful Thingvel­lir church and farm­house on the oth­er side of the park. We could’ve walked there but it was rainy and we got lazy so we drove to the park­ing lot on the oth­er side, which still required us to walk a fair dis­tance so our lazi­ness didn’t real­ly pay off. It was still a nice walk, though.

thingvellir

On our way out of Thingvel­lir, we stopped at a small restaurant/souvenir shop where we had a light lunch and bought some post­cards. I had a soup. Not sure what kind of soup (corn, may­be) but I was starv­ing and it tast­ed good. We also stopped to take a pic­ture of this cute lit­tle hut.

hut

Our next stop was Geysir. It’s an inter­est­ing area with many hot springs and a cou­ple of gey­sers. The most active one is called Strokkur. We saw it erupt­ed at least 3 times while we were there.

strokkur

The Geysir gey­ser (the Eng­lish word “gey­ser” is actu­al­ly orig­i­nat­ed from the Ice­landic word “gey­ser”) has been dor­mant for decades but still looks rather intim­i­dat­ing.

geysir

Once we’d seen enough of Geysir, we took a short dri­ve to the beau­ti­ful Gull­foss, which is one of the largest water­falls in Ice­land. It looks pret­ty impres­sive and pow­er­ful.

gullfoss

We stopped at a cou­ple of oth­er places after: Faxi, a small­ish water­fall, and Skalholt, a church of his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance. Then we just drove until we found a place to have din­ner (in Reykholt, and there are sev­er­al places called Reykholt in Ice­land) where I had my very first bowl of lob­ster soup. I was so hun­gry I for­got to take a pic­ture of it but it was deli­cious! I didn’t real­ly take too many food pho­tos dur­ing this trip. I’ll try to be bet­ter next time. :-)

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