On the seventh day there was THE GOLDEN CIRCLE.
This tour was one of the great splurges of the trip, and it was definitely worth it to us. The tour company picked us up at our guest house, and dropped us off there too. We spent a fair amount of time on the bus but the tour guide Anna made it really entertaining with all of her interesting facts about the area.
First stop was Thingvelir national park where we were able to spend some time between two tectonic plates (nowhere, as our tour guide liked to call it), I believe she said it was the only place where we could stand in between the plates above water.
This first stop was my favorite, because while the landscape was beautiful, the feeling of being in an incredible place happens largely in my head, knowing that I’m standing in between two tectonic plates. It feels huge and unassuming all at the same time.
We actually had an unexpected stop on the way to the geyser Strokkur because some Icelandic horses were standing close to the side of the road and the tour guide wanted to give us the opportunity to interact with them! It was a really nice detour, those horse were adorable. I always forget how huge horses faces are.
Once we made it to the geyser area to see Strokkur, it was so cold that it hardly made sense that boiling water was coming out of the ground 20 feet away from where my fingers were going numb. The geyser gave very little warning about when it was going off, so it really lends itself to just looking at it without trying to capture it, but I am so guilty of getting a little wrapped up in trying to photograph and videotape it.
It was hard to walk away from this particular place because I kind of got the feeling that I could stay there forever waiting to see it go off just one more time. Time to move on.
We were taken to Gullfoss, a series of waterfalls called the golden falls, and they are so old. We watched them for a while and our tour guide was kind enough to show us a photo she took of the waterfalls in the summer, which confirmed for us that we need to come back to Iceland to see what it’s like in the summer also!
Gullfoss was the show stopper for my husband, witnessing something that old has a way of reaching you.
Finally after that it was time for the most hands on activity, the visit to The Secret Lagoon.
In Iceland it is requested of visitors to any hot springs that they shower naked before putting their bathing suits on and getting into the water, which some visitors find a little uncomfortable. I noticed a lot of lagoon visitors choosing to shower with their bathing suits on before stepping outside to take a dip but the downfall there is that you’re soaking wet before getting in and you have a stretch of being outside in below freezing weather in a sopping wet bathing suit and nothing else. Not my cup of tea. I’ll follow the prescribed course on action in this case…
What a really cool tour. We took the trip with Sterna tours and they offer a variation that includes a stop at The Secret Lagoon at the very end. Seeing such incredible places as the space between two tectonic plates, a geyser, and Gullfoss waterfalls is amazing enough, but on top of that we got to relax for an hour in natural hot springs while drinking a cold beer.
That night after the tour we decided to have a fancy dinner, one last food splurge towards the end of our lovey honeymoon, and it was delicious! We visited a restaurant called Old Iceland Restaurant and I’m so happy we did.
I got to try some Icelandic cured salmon and a seafood soup that tasted exactly as creamy and delicious as I had hoped, and Erik chose to eat the lamb steak. A perfect way to close a day centered around a golden circle tour.
This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later,