Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Iceland 2016: Golden Circle

The famous tour in Iceland for short term visitors is the Golden Circle loop. From where we stayed, we drove towards Gullfoss. The waterfalls were impressive, though we were later going to find out that Iceland is so full of waterfalls that you'd be hard pressed to find waterfalls elsewhere that impressive after you're done.

Just 5 miles away from Gullfoss was the Geysir area. Apparently, the Geysir here was the prototypical one that all the others in Yellowstone, etc., are named after. One of them was extremely regular. The hot pools, etc., look very familiar if you've been to Yellowstone, but still a good reminder that you're in a geothermal region.

The surprise find of the day, however, was Laugarvatn. I was drawn to it by the faulty guidebook, which implied that the hot springs near the lake dumped warm enough water that you could swim in the lake from the thermal springs. When I got there, I discovered that all the warm baths were at Fontana. Fontana was much less of a zoo than the Blue Lagoon, and much more kid friendly besides! Most of the pools were actually shallow enough that Bowen and Boen had no problems wading in them. If you bring a family to Iceland, I'd actually recommend Fontana over the Blue Lagoon. It's also cheaper to boot. We spent several hours there before moving onto Pingvellir National Park.

Thingvellir National Park was unassuming on the Eastern Entrance, but once we got out on the ridge and looked down into the parliament area, I knew we had to hike. A short, beautiful walk into where the parliament was and then a return in the late afternoon light hammered home why Iceland was considered a photographer's dream. Instead of getting just an hour of golden light, you got 5 or 6 hours of it! Everything looked stunning.

We got back to our home base around 9:00pm, ate a late dinner, and went to bed completely unworried about jet-lag.
Post a Comment