However, we do not start from the capital but rather our experience in theSnaefellnes Peninsula, further northwest, took us to a farm converted into accommodation where we have spent the night.
Route through the Golden Circle or Golden Circle of Iceland
We slept in luxury in theGuesthouse Hof although it is possible that that thermal bath in the hot pots before dinner It had a lot to do, haha. It didn't take long for breakfast, to prepare some sandwiches for the midday picnic and set course for the so-called Golden Circle of the island through which we would begin our tour of southern Iceland. The route of the day? Something similar to the following
The weather has improved compared to yesterday's hard day, something that we are realizing according to we undo part of the way returning through the same underground tunnels under the sea that still seem like a wonder no matter what country we see them (in the Norway Fjords they were amazing too)
And what are the Attractions to see in the Golden Circle of Iceland? Thingvellir, Gullfoss and the geothermal area of Geysir They are usually the "highlights" of the main tourist routes but in its route we will also find the Öxarárfoss waterfall, the Silfra cave or multiple viewpoints, trails and trekking proposals as to spend many more days in the area those who wish. The first objective of the day is 46 km from Reykjavik and is the Thingvellir or Pingvellir Natural Park, which we reached after leaving the Pingvallavatn Lake
Thingvellir National Park, where Euroasia separates from North America
We read that The Eurasian plate separates from the North American between 2 and 3 cm each year. It is the continental drift, the phenomenon by which the Earth has the current geographical distribution and by which this "island" country lost in the north of the planet is a perfect place to dazzle you before thegigantic crack caused by almost 7 kilometers in length that goes through it
But I will slow down. HeThingvellir National Park (since 1928) was awarded as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2004 thanks to its extraordinary volcanic and tectonic conditions.
From the viewpoint of the part of the parking lot where the interpretation center and the bathrooms are located, the place where we are better than anywhere is contextualized. Here is also located the world's first democratic parliament or Alþingi, of Viking origin in the year 930 and that was in use until 1798 and where we have approached although it already only has patrimonial use
Access to the park is completely free except diving or snorkeling activities. He interior of the great fault it is possibly the place that more impress.
Crossing this path between huge rock walls open by the force of nature makes you feel very very small and insignificant (which is what we are after all)
Of course, wherever you go in Iceland, the usual waterfall will not be missing. Here are a couple of them.
TheÖxarárfoss waterfall, climbing a path and some stairs at the end of the tour and leaving Parking 3 behind, possibly brings you closer to the prettiest of the surroundings
Although if what you want is to "literally" enter the strip that divides the continents of America and Europe, the crystal waters of the Silfra strip will bewitch you Since you see her. It is one of the best diving places in the world and I have been wanting to enjoy it! (! will have to come back!)
Those who have done so speak of a feeling of lack of gravity going through the different shades of Siltra blue that have not lived anywhere elseDIVING OR SNORKEL IN SILFRA:
In the program of the Winter expedition to Iceland of Polar Landsthe weather and the difficulties of the road are taken into account to carry out certain experiences and it is prioritized in snowshoes, walking through glacial tongues and reaching icebergs lakes in southern Iceland. However, if you want to make this excursion you can talk to them directly or opt for any of the following options from Reykjavik for your free days:
- Diving excursion in the Silfra Rift which can be canceled up to 24 hours before and includes 2 dives, diving suit, accredited guide / instructor and entrance to Silfra
- Snorkeling excursion in the Silfra Rift For those who do not dive, you can cancel up to 24 hours before and also includes equipment, accredited guide / instructor and entrance to Silfra
After part of the morning walking quietly through this privileged place on the planet, it was time to set course for another treasure of the day
Gullfoss, the golden waterfall
In Iceland everything surprises, starting with the traffic regulations where cars can drive at 90 km / h and buses at 100 km / h to meet schedules. Another thing that I have not been able to avoid is to see how people stop at the roadside (has even caused accidents in the past) to see the fantastic Icelandic horse. !We also!
The Icelandic horse is a survivor, no doubt, accustomed to the extreme climates of a country of land and fire and was even the object of worship in the Norse mythology of S.XII
Actually the current aspect is what remains of a ponies-like race that has overcame earthquakes and volcanoes and a hard natural selection, right? It is time to leave behind the "pony Trump" (toupee included) because what we had next in the program deserves much to arrive with time margin.
The Gullfoss waterfall is considered one of the most beautiful in Iceland and, therefore, of the most visited. Her beauty comes from her singular morphology that gives a feeling as if the earth swallowed it
Wooden stairs separate the lower parking from the upper one as well as the corresponding viewpoints. Perhaps the one who gives the best perspective of the place is the superior, although it must also be said that, even in the middle of winter, there are many people. The pity is not to see it "frozen" as 1 month ago it should have been
It may not be one of the highest we have seen in the world but ... IMPRESS! A water flow between 80 and 150 cubic meters depending on the time of the year, more than 30 meters deep and 2 waterfalls. What more could you want?
We have taken the opportunity to have the picnic of the day and even have a beer in the shop-restaurant in the parking lot above and try another of the "must-sees" if you travel to Iceland, Skyr yogurts, although something tells me to "taste" them all days. As for the beers I will also try all that I can although the Viking has been a good start (915 ISK)
The journey to the next stop is not very long so we still have enough hours of light to take advantage of the day
Geysir geothermal zone
Although we really should talk about the geysers of Haukadalur, is known as The Great Geysir that gives this place worldwide fame with one of the most impressive examples of this phenomenon that exist ...
... or, unfortunately, they existed. Geysir currently no longer emanates water because of ... guess what? Indeed, to the effect of the man who saturated their roads where boiling water came out with rocks and objects thrown by tourists, in addition to abusing chemicals to promote its eruption. That is why of the 122 meters that Geysir reached we will have to settle for seeing the 20 meters high every 5 minutes reached by the Strokkur geyser, the main current attraction, about 400 meters further south.
I must admit that I had seen a similar effect (which has nothing to do with it at all) in the spectacular water jets of the blowholes or Mapu'a Vaea in Tongatapu in Tonga and Strokkur didn't surprise me too much. However, the environment of fumaroles where it is located if it did. It looks like a Martian landscape
From the rest of the day highlight the stop at the supermarket for Damián to buy something for dinner and the rest for beers to a Vinbudin (1520 ISK) that usually accompanies each of them. He alcohol in Iceland is forbidden to sell it in food stores so we have already become experts in two days to do it in these. Can you guess what was not missing in our new accommodation already in Hvolstrod? He Asgardur Inn It is the closest thing to the typical American motel but with cabins and ... hot pots!
Here we will sleep for the next two nights, a special place in an unusual territory. There are those who consider the Skógafoss and Seljalandfoss waterfalls within the Golden Circle of Iceland, we will go tomorrow. Nesjavellir, the church of Skáholt, the crater of the Kerid volcano and many other villages and visits can be alternative stops on a route that takes us into southern Iceland. !More tomorrow!
Isaac, from Hvolstrod (Iceland)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 2,435 ISK (approx. 20.29 EUR)