Iceland part 1 – The Golden Circle

Having been to Copenhagen in November and falling in love with the place we set off on our next Scandinavian adventure with high expectations – Iceland didn’t let us down! Our trips to the two Nordic countries were quite different: Copenhagen is fairly big and you actually feel like you’re in a main city; it has lots to see and do and we spent the entire time there. Reykjavik is comfortably the biggest city in Iceland but when compared with other European capitals it’s tiny and there aren’t endless things to visit. I’m not knocking the place, Reykjavik’s very nice and the multi-coloured houses are great but Iceland’s real wonders lay outside of the city.

Our first trip was the Golden Circle tour, on this tour you visit three of the biggest natural landmarks in Iceland starting with Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir was the location of the Viking’s parliament, to think Viking chiefs were meeting here over 1000 years ago was obviously going to impress a history student. However, even if you are mad don’t like history then Thingvellir might still impress you as here you can see where the North American and Eurasian continental plates meet. The plates are actually drifting apart and I think if the whole place wasn’t covered in snow it would have been more obvious, our guide did explain we actually left North America and crossed over into Eurasia, pretty cool if you ask me.

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Next stop on the Golden Circle tour is Gullfoss waterfall. This was my favourite part of the tour, I’d never seen a waterfall so I was amazed by Gullfoss’ power and beauty. I think the fact there was snow all around it added to the scenery. Sadly the weather was terrible when we arrived here, I’ve never had to walk on such an icy surface but it was worth it. Gullfoss is incredible.SONY DSCSONY DSC
Last but by no means least were the two geysers: Geysir and Strokkur. Our tour guide explained that Geysir, the original, had been inactive for a few years now but there was no need to be sad because Strokkur, the little brother, erupted more frequently – every 5 minutes or so. I found it very hard capturing the eruptions on camera, it’s over too quickly! Below are shots of Strokkur just before/after eruption.

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