Part 2: The Golden Circle
Þingvellir National Park
We started our Golden Circle tour at Þingvellir, clamoring around the rifts between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The canyon valleys formed by the continental drift are stunning to behold. The rock formations can get jagged in areas, making some easier to traverse than others, but there are amazing views to be had anywhere you're standing.
(We found out right afterwards that it was actually the American plate - oops!)
Next we headed up to the visitor's center to enjoy the view from the overlook.
Next, a stroll to Silfra Canyon, where snorkelers and scuba divers come to experience an iconic dive between two continents. Lovely views along the way.
Scuba Crossing. Be alert.
Next we made our way over (and up) to Öxarárfoss, a gorgeous waterfall located on top of a hill.
Super happy to be there.
Getting gas in Iceland is an adventure (at least the first time... and maybe one other time).
You start by finding a station up on a hill behind what looks to be an old hotel, where NOBODY is around, but the pump seems to be working. Try to figure out the instructions, put your card in, scream when the machine starts making loud noises, pour gasoline all over yourself, think you've filled your tank, drive away and find out you've only managed to put in .24 cents worth of gas. Here's a video demonstration.
Our next Golden Circle stop was Geysir, an exciting area filled with bizarre geothermal pools (aka. Science Puddles), some of which are prone to frequent and random eruptions.
Strokkur, the geyser that erupts most often and explosively, can be seen in the next three photos and video. Crowds stand around the pool watching in anticipation for the tell-tall dip and bubble in the pool just before an eruption occurs.
Took a climb up the hill behind Geysir to look out at the view and pose all fancy for this panorama. There were tons of cairns up there.
Cairns have been tradition in many cultures for hundreds of years. In Iceland, they were markers to let travelers know they were on the right path. Some ancient cairns remain, but many have been added by tourists.
The original Great Geysir was once one of the highest known geysers. It seldom erupts anymore, but is occasionally revived by earthquake activity.
Icelandic for Golden Falls, Gullfoss is the one the most (if not THE most) popular waterfalls in Iceland. It's also incredibly beautiful and full of rainbows!
And that concluded our Golden Circle Tour. Off to our hotel for the night.
Loved the other hotel guests.
Especially this one. Next Up: The Ring Road!
a story by @thatlalagirl #iceland #goldencircle #travel #travelphotography #stellerstories #europe #waterfall #nationalpark #stellarplaces #icelanding2016 #goexplore #stellericeland See more at ThatLalaGirl.com Flickr and Instagram Instagram: @thatlalagirl Stay tuned for the rest of my two week Iceland trip!