Just two more Iceland posts to go. Isn’t this place unreal?! When you come to Iceland, the main tourist route is the Golden Circle, which consists of three main stops in a 300km loop. The first is the national park Þingvellir, which is important for two reasons. 1) it’s the site of the original parliament of Iceland established in 930 and 2) it’s also the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The second is the geothermal geysers consisting of Geysir and Strokkur, which are absolutely phenomenal, erupting every 10 minutes or so.
The last is the waterfall, Gulfoss, which, too, is pretty phenomenal.
Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! You guys are the best. After working yesterday we headed out to Roskilde to attend the Royal Danish Ballet’s summer series. Coincidentally, our first date was this exact event three years ago so it was very apropos. Roskilde is Paul’s favorite town so we spent some time exploring the city including the cathedral, churches, harbor, and charming streets. If you ever get to Denmark, Copenhagen is great, but the smaller towns are more walkable and cozy.
The Golden Circle consists of a three major tourist sites: the waterfall Gullfoss, the geothermal geysers including Geysir, and the national park and site of the first parliament, Pingvellir. These are all awesome, but you know what’s even more awesome? Going off the beaten track. Well, most things in Iceland are of the beaten track so that’s not very hard. Paul had remembered a crater he had visited the last time he was there so we went on a crater hunt. First, we ran into this red rock mine, which was located next to a mountain. After climbing the mountain we found out that the it was in fact a crater.
THEN, we drove to another site where Bjork had what I think must be the best music venue of all time. She performed on a raft on the water of this crater:
Darn that automatic timer.
Are you getting the sense that Iceland is just amazing? (Asif I haven’ttalkedabout it enough) I do have to thank a few people for giving me some really awesome travel tips. Jenna was an absolute sweetheart for giving a huge itinerary including a Google map that we used. She wrote about her adventures in several parts starting here. Michelle, Marlou, Linda, Kurt, Brenda, Gnomie and Anne also gave me some really awesome advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know!
So far I’ve covered our Iceland trip without mentioning the capital, Reykjavik, once. For shame! It’s the largest city in Iceland though it feels like a town compared with other cities. I was struck by its mountainous yet Scandinavian feel. A lot of homes are built out of corrugated iron so it feels like temporary housing, but I’ve been told it’s very sturdy–did you know the country lies on a huge fault?! Doesn’t scare me much being from California, but add volcanoes to their list of natural disasters you realize they really must love where they live in order to stay. Yikes. The Hallgrimskirkja, above, is awesome. You must go up the tower to see the view of the city with all the colorful roofs. That’s one thing about Icelanders, they love color. Like this wall, below, and the roofs.
There are several of these waterfall installations throughout the city. I can’t seem to find the name of the artist…anyone?