Friday, March 14, 2014

ICELAND'S Golden Circle ((Day 2))

Monday was our first real day of sightseeing outside of Reykjavik. We had plans to meet up with our friends to DIY drive the Golden Circle Tour.  Iceland's Golden Circle is made up of 3 popular tourist destinations - Thingvellier National Park, Geysir and Gulfoss.   

But, first thing was first. We had to grab breakfast. We had yummy pastries from a bakery on Luagavegar Street. Turns out that Monday in Iceland is "Bolludagur" aka Cream Puff Day. The Sunday day before, kids are supposed to wake up, go into their parents room and "spank" them repeatedly with a special "wand".  For every blow received before the parents get out of bed, parents owe their children a cream puff with jam and chocolate.   I could not make this stuff up. But, this does explain why we saw trays and trays of cream puff treats that morning at the bakery. Too funny, right?

En Route: 

Our breakfast pastries/cream puffs on bottom (middle)

We left the city after breakfast and started the 45 minute drive to Thingvellier National Park. But first, we had to pull over to take photos at an overlook. It was just too beautiful to pass up.  Then, we arrived at the National Park, which is thought to be where the first parliament was held.  Kind of a big deal. 

We loved our rental car - SKODA! It was perfect. Never once did we slide or did Jake feel like he wasn't in control. Just wait for a few more days and you'll see the snowy road conditions.

We checked out the views from the bathroom at the park:

We spent quite a bit of time wandering and exploring the park. Next, we stopped at Lindin Restaurant for lunch on our way to the Geysir. We tried.... drumroll..... reindeer burgers! And they were pretty delicious and juicy. Sorry santa. 

Then we headed to the Geysir.  We saw it erupt about 5 times. We got a few videos and tons of photos. The coolest part is right before it erupts, there is this huge bubble.  We read in our guidebook that this is the original Geysir, the one which all other Geysirs are named after. Pretty cool!  

After the Geysir, we headed to Gulfoss which is an incredible two-tiered waterfall. After a short walk from the car, the waterfall materializes right in front of your eyes. And it is breathtaking! It was so windy and cold that we only could bear the cold for a few minutes. But the waterfall itself is magnificent. One of the coolest things we saw in Iceland. It's hard to capture the scale of this thing. There is only one way - to see it in person!

We had a very tasty 3 2 course dinner {including fresh grilled lobster} at Seafood Grill but had to hurry to catch our Northern Lights boat tour. I guess if you don't see the lights on your first try on the boat, they invite you to come back the next night. So we hurried through dinner and even skipped dessert, only to find that the boat tour was cancelled due to unfavorable weather conditions. We got a nightcap at the hotel bar and called it a successful first real day of sightseeing in the breathtaking country that is ICELAND!

Signing off,

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