Holy moly. This trip has been awesome fun and suitably inspiring up to this point, but really, today was the day.
We kicked off early from our lodgings and headed to Thingvellir, the old site of Iceland’s early parliament. Ho hum, I hear you say. In some respects, before I knew too much that’s what I was thinking. But oh boy, was I wrong.
The site is actually a World Heritage area and is stunning. The area became site of parliament back in the mid-900’s (yes, 900’s, not 1900’s) as it was the convergence of a number of roads leading from all parts of Iceland. But I think it was so they could all kick back with some mead and soak in the amazing views.
The site is on a major fault line, and looking out over the valleys and estuaries, with mountains and glaciers in the background, it was jaw dropping. We got to spend quite a bit of time, wandering and soaking it all up.
In our wandering we got to see more basalt columns, more small churches, and more tourist centres. That makes it sound like it was a bit ho hum, but really, it was all really gorgeous and a great start to the day.
From there we jumped back in the bus and headed toward one of our more touristy destinations, but one I was really looking forward to… Geyser. From the name you should be able to guess what we were in for… one of the world’s most spectacular and regular geysers. The whole area was an amazing landscape of steaming holes, bubbling pots of water, and exploding geysers.
Strokkur is the big bad boy that blows every 5 to 15 minutes. What it made for was some shenanigans and fun photos. We were also actually apparently quite lucky as due to some slightly higher than normal water temperatures we were getting some amazing geyser blows. They really were spectacular.
We had a wander around the rest of the park as well as visiting the gift shop. Not sure what you all think, but I reckon this beanie captured my inner Icelander.
From there it was a stop for lunch and onward to our next jaw dropping destination, and one right at the top of my list… Gullfoss waterfall. Now I haven’t really seen any truly significant waterfalls, so this just blew my mind. The sheer size, volume of water, and the roar were incredible.
To top it all off it was just truly gorgeous to watch. You might think these photos have a bit of Photoshop action, but no. The sky really was that blue, quite a rarity for these parts apparently.
We had a bit of time to just soak it all up and get some awesome snaps, before heading off again.
What was amazing was the change in landscape after only 15 minutes of driving. From lush green waterfall areas, to alien landscapes. That seems to be the story of Iceland.
We continued to head south towards Skogar and our lodgings for the night. On the way we stopped in at another epic waterfall, Seljalandsfoss. While not as dramatic as Gullfoss, this one afforded a unique opportunity… we could sneak behind it!
- That virtually brought the day to a close, with us trundling on to our evening stop at Skogar. On the way more dramatic scenery greeted us… a theme David our guide told us would continue until our final drive back to Reykjavik.