Travel Date: Friday, February 17, 2017
We all wake up early and wait outside for our bus by 8 AM. Everyone is a little groggy. And you can tell the morning people from the non-morning people. We are going to tour the south part of Iceland, on what is called the Golden Circle tour.
Our bus finally arrives and we board it.
I guess we are all on the left side of the bus, except for Jon. He had to be ‘that guy.’ 🙂
The sun rises, and we can actually see outside.
We make a pit stop in a small town: Hveragerði
It looks like everyone is either heading for the restrooms or the Bakery and coffeehouse.
Dang! There is a line here too?
I noticed the Hverabraud (rye bread baked with hot spring steam). So I decide to purchase it.
There is a lot more goodies to get.
I think I’m also going to get the Pizza.
But first I have to take a number. It looks like I’m number 86.
Finally, after a short wait in line, and a cold pizza slice but filling for my belly, we get back on board the bus and drive off. More small mountains along the way.
We stop at Kerið: a pictureque lake created inside a volcanic crater.
I begin walking up the hill.
And take a few panoramic photos. This was one of the better ones.
Other mountains in the distance.
At one of the small peaks of Kerið.
The crater view from that peak.
I continue walking. As you can see the ground is muddy and a little slippery.
I noticed the pathway to the bottom, and I really really want to go down there. But I only have 10 minutes left. Going down is not the problem, but running back up is.
I decide to go back to the bus.
It starts to trickle.
We stop by Faxi. It is a smaller waterfall, with a Salmon Ladder on the left. This is the picture from the top of the hill.
I quickly walk down since we don’t have much time to spend experiencing this view. This is Salmon Ladder.
A panorama view of Faxi waterfall.
And a video.
I notice a trail and follow it.
A different look at the Faxi waterfall.
Now it is time to walk up the Salmon Ladder.
The view from the top of Salmon Ladder.
And the Faxi Waterfall.
I quickly jog back to the bus. I slipped a couple of times. It is getting wetter and slicker, and I need to watch my step.
We stop. Time to walk around.
And in the distance I see the waterfall: Gullfoss
It is a thing of beauty.
I decide to get a closer look.
I head back on the path.
And towards the center point, where you can walk to the lower level.
If it is a raining, watch those steps and grab the railing.
As I walk on the lower level, I notice the walls on either side. So dark, full of character, and probably interesting stories.
The view at the lower level is more intimate and a different perspective.
I walk back up and head back to the tour bus.
We are all wet, and ready for lunch.
We turn around and head back to Reykavik. But first a stop at the Geysir attraction, and the tourist trapping of winter wear and food.
The lines are quite long.
I go for the Traditional Lambmeat Soup for kr 1790 or roughly US $17.90.
And looking at the Icelandic beer selection I grab an Einstok Arctic Pale Ale
I ended up having lunch with strangers, meeting new people, and sharing travel stories. After lunch, I walked over to the Geysir.
The views of the mountains, and the geysir run off was beautiful.
It looks like people are walking over and heading to the left side.
I follow the crowd.
And patiently wait for the eruption.
Moments after the eruption.
And when the water gets sucked back in.
The full video
I decide to walk around to the other side and get a different perspective.
I forgot that the mountains were in the background.
And the size of the eruption is quite large.
Time to head back to the bus, and get away from this light rain trickle.
We make our way to Thingvellir National Park to see the fissures separate between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
The surrounding landscape is beautiful.
We begin our walk to the fissures.
There are lots of people, and lots of photo takers.
The lone Icelandic flag waving in the background.
In the distance is the Althing, the national parliament of Iceland, which was established at the site in 930 AD. Sessions were held at the location until 1798.
I continue walking.
I get to the top of the fissure.
I just wish the clouds weren’t so gloomy. But the landscape makes up for it.
It is time to head back to the bus.
All of us are tired, and ready to crash. I take a power nap on the bus ride.
We arrive back at the apts.
And I try a piece of the Hverabraud. It is tasty.
After a nice long nap, and phone charging, it is time to pre-game before going out.
We are all in a jovial mood.
Walking around the various streets of Iceland.
Graffiti? or Street Art??
We stop by the famous hot dog stand: Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, and grab some hot dogs.
After the obligatory touristy hot dog trial, we head back to the center of the city, and debate where to dine at for our real dinner.
Ben, Dionna, and I decide to venture out for some local Iceland food. We stop at the Geysir Bistro.
I love the random local art in various locations.
Dinner was visually stimulating, and delicious.
Ben and I didn’t want him or her to be lonely.
We walked around to meet up with others, who plan to “Lead Us into Temptation.” 🙂
They decided to go to a Mexican restaurant El Santo.
It was a short reunion. By the time we got there, they had already begun closing their tab. And then we all headed back home. So much for leading us into temptation!
Things to appreciate:
- Cassie organizing the Golden Circle bus tour, and having someone shuttle you around.
- Tasting hot steam baked bread: Hverabraud
- The various attractions: Kerid, Faxi, Gullfoss, Geysir, Thingvellir National Park
- The pre-gaming shots that I’m too old for, walking down the streets of Reykjavik with my new friends, and being a little tipsy and jovial.
- The delicious local hot dog
- The wonderful food and company at Geysir Bistro
- My Samsung mobile phone and the amazing camera it comes with/
- Bus Tour: $68.00 (Golden Circle)
- Breakfast: $8.52 (Almar Bakari Hveragerdi: kr: 940 )
- Lunch: $24.82 (Geysir Haukadal: kr 2740)
- Dinner: $61.10 (Geysir bistro og bar: kr 6750)