RTW Day 39 – Iceland’s Golden Circle

IMG_3325Today we checked out Iceland’s Golden Circle via a tour with GeoIceland. The Golden Circle is basically a 300km loop from Reykjavík and back, and takes about 9 hours. The Golden Circle shows the site of the first Icelandic and the Western World’s oldest parliament, a massive waterfall, and the geyser that gave all geysers their name.

This blog post will rely heavily on Wikipedia for names, because the Icelandic alphabet has 30 characters, including Þ, which looks like a funny B/P, and is the “Th” sound, so Þor, rather than Thor.

Anyways, first stop was Þingvellir, and was the site of Iceland, and the Western World’s oldest parliament. This is located in a rift valley called Þingvallavatn, which is where two tectonic plates are moving apart, leaving a gap. It was here that we noticed that it was -7 degrees, and actually silly cold. It was so cold that when my fingers were operating the camera, they went past pain to no feeling. Back into the pockets they went. Should have been a double jersey day, alas, my regret of the day.

IMG_3343The next port of call was Gullfoss, or Golden Falls. This is a massive two-part waterfall, that looks amazing. My photos can’t do it justice, which is not surprising, considering my fingers were too cold to work. You should look at Google Images of Gullfoss.

We then moved onto the star of the tour in my opinion, the twin geysers of Geysir and Strokkur. But first, it was time to eat lunch. The Icelandic Meat Soup, or Kjötsúpa, was recommended to us, and was our lunch pick. It was a very simple lamb and vegetable soup, but very hearty, savoury, and rich, with a fatty aftertaste. I didn’t need lipgloss after eating this, just needed to lick your lips and the lamb fat would take care of the rest.

We then walked to Geysir and Strokkur, which are next to each other. I think I only fell over a couple of times, which was both shameful, and kinda funny. Strokkur erupts every five minutes or so, and is caused by superheated water. There’s a large pipe filled with water. The bottom of the pipe heats the water, but because of the pressure of the water above, the boiling point is raised to 127 degrees celsius. Once the whole pipe of water reaches that temperature, it flash boils, and all the energy is released with an eruption of water out the top. So there you go!

IMG_3357As we returned, a storm descended over Reykjavík, as snow gets builds up against our hotel room window. And we’re on the 5th floor! I hope our flight tomorrow to Oslo goes well!

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