The Golden Circle, it’s as mystical as it sounds!
The Golden Circle was an intriguing title that I came across almost everywhere on the internet when doing my pre-iceland trip research. Intrigued by this elaborate name, I jumped on the opportunity to do the tour with (as a two location day trip, starting at the Blue Lagoon) Iceland Excursions.
The trip was 6 hours long (to mine and my boyfriend’s disbelief, we thought it’d only be two hours!) as it included one 20 minute stops at the North American and Eurasian Tectonic plates, 50 minutes at Haukadalur to see the active Stokkur Geyser (my favourite!) and to finish it off in the slightly unbearble winds at the Gullfoss Waterfalls – which were incredible!
As our trip began and we headed out of Reykjavik, our tour guide began telling us all about Iceland – it’s huge culture of literacy led by Iceland’s only noble prize winner Halldor Laxness, and how Iceland horses are smaller than the average horse (we saw a few from the coach, so we were unable to put that to the test). After being on the coach for about an hour we stopped off at the tectonic plates. This was something I had heard about, but not done much research on – which is a rare surprise for me! They were…okay…I had a great geography lesson from my boyfriend on how the tectonic plates move apart, these ones move 2cm a year, but the lacklustre awe wasn’t worth the freezing temperature. The panoramic view from the top was incredible though – that was worth the harsh winds.
Our next stop was a 50 minute break to see some Geysers. I was so excited for this as I had never seen a Geyser before, so it was something that needed ticking off my bucket list. Again, it was freezing here and extremely windy but I could have stood and watch the Geyser bubble and blow all day, it really is an incredible site – and a great tease when you’re trying to take a photo. It bubbles up…bulges…then goes back down! Until it suddenly takes you buy surprise and blasts off! The sun was setting as well which made the scenery even more incredible. This was definitely a highlight of the trip – we even had to run back to the coach because we kept waiting for another blast off!
The Gullfoss Waterfalls
Our last stop, as the sun began to set, was at the even colder (and incredibly windy) Gullfoss waterfalls! But, they were definitely worth it. There was a lot of slippery ice and powerful winds (so much so that you could stand still on the ice and get pushed along by it’s force!) but the site was one to behold our misty breaths. It was a moment when I felt envious of my boyfriend – who is a research-phobe and didn’t even know what the Gullfoss waterfalls were, so he was absolutely stunned by the sight of multiple cascading waters, some actually frozen!
We stayed down until it started to get darker, so we made our way back up the long, steep icy steps to grab a much needed hot chocolate and take one last look at the Icelandic scenery before we’d be on a plane back to London the next day.
I know that I am dragging this out incredibly but my next – and last post – on Iceland will be rounding up the trip and telling all about Reykjavik, lamb soups, projector screens, self cleaning toilets and walking on frozen lakes.
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