Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A second rotation of the Golden Circle

When I visited Iceland in October 2013 I did the Golden Circle tour and of all the luck it happened to be their first snowfall of the season that this time around I decided to do an "express" verson of the tour to view it during what I hoped was better summery weather.  While the sun did come out at odd times it was mostly a rainy day...sigh...oh well, Iceland is not known for its great weather.

We visited three main attractions:  Thiingveller (Parliament Plains) National Park, the Geysir area and Gullfoss waterfall - in the opposite direction from the last time with less time in each place.

Thiingveller looked different this time...not white but wet....this is the national park where the first General Assembly of Iceland took place in 930 and was held here until 1798.  The area is a protected shrine and held in high esteem by Icelanders.  It is also situated on the mid Atlantic tectonic plate boundaries - meaning it is basically in the middle of Europe and North America and both plates can be seen within its boundaries.

On the full day Golden circle tour you walk this path....once was enough, especially when I did it in the snow!

The bathroom has a nice view but you have to pay for the privilge....NOT good when you don't have any Icelandic coins...several on our bus were left crossing their legs...luckily I had just enough change...last time I was here I had to use a credit card!  

Next stop...the Geyser area...the Stokker geyser is the only one that errupts regularly. Geyser is an Icelandic word that means "to gush".  Last time I was there I watched it over and over again - this time just twice....then I went hunting for the delicious lamb soup they sell in the cafeteria!  I do have my priorities you know!  And we all know how I love my food....

As this will likely be my last trip to Iceland (unless the craving for their delicious licorice/chocolate bars is just too hard to resist..) I got myself an Icelandic wool ear warmer in the wonderful shop there.

Last but certainly not least was the beautiful Gullfoss ("Golden Falls")Waterfall.  Absolutely beautiful and this time I was lucky enough to see the rainbow....

I enjoyed the day but was glad I hadn't opted for the full day tour as this trip was mainly to see it without snow and to try and get decent pictures.  As I mentioned it did rain on and off but given Iceland's weather it could have been much worse!

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