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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :-)