Thingviller, geysers, rainbows, and a blue lagoon
What a dreary morning, drizzly rain and cold. We dawdled leaving not sure a day's outdoor adventures would be worth it... but it was.
The Golden Circle; heading out of Reykjavik, especially once you get going in the right direction, the landscape begins to change. It was hilly, somewhat rocky, low growing plant life and a bit desolate. This went for miles and with four women in the car, we were beginning to discuss the need for some road side services when we spotted a likely building on the right. It was pouring rain by this time and cold wind was blowing. We duck into the building to get out of the weather and found we had arrived at our first stop without realizing it. Thingviller.
Thingviller is a national park, lake, and the only place where two continental plates are visible on land. These plates are pulling apart at just over 2cm per year. You'd think it was just a canyon but it is a geological wonder. There is a trail that goes through it but because of the now driving rain we opted out. I'll just have to come back.
Next stop, geysers. A little lunch break was just long enough for the rain to stop so when we arrived at the geysers it was dry unless you were down wind of the Stokker geyser. As we walked towards the geysers there was a small stream meandering along the trail that was hot enough to boil eggs. I found an empty spot near the Stokker geyser and waited for my moment to catch it in the act. Then I found out why that spot was available but the steam bath felt good after that cold wind and rain
Pressing on we circled the top of the lake and found Gullfoss waterfalls. Huge and thunderous, this series of waterfalls is amazing. Even though the rain had stopped the spray from the falls drenched us again. But as we were leaving the sun peaked through the clouds revealing a rainbow that came and went as the clouds drifted by. Did I say amazing yet?
Yikes, it's nearly 4pm and we have a 6pm reservation at the Blue Lagoon and a long way to drive. We would have been on time if that road on the map actually went through. Still 10 minutes late didn't seem to matter. It did feel very good to soak in the hot water after two long driving days. The water varied in temperature as you moved about the lagoon so we found a spot to relax that was just right.
The scenery in the area of the lagoon was totally different than any I've seen before. I imagined a scene from Lord of the Rings, orcs might live there. Fields and fields of lava rock, some pushed up in mounds from below and cracking open. Steam and orcs climbing out... creepy. I thought it was fascinating. The lagoon, which was created from the runoff of the thermal steam plant, is where the warm waters and these strange rocks interacted to cause a build up of a white algae that causes the blue look.
We concluded our day with a great dinner at the Viking Fisherman's Village Restaurant, well worth the trip. The food was great, the decor was filled with Viking carvings and ambiance. We were serenaded by a local "Viking" / bartender. He was fun and funny plus he looked the part completely except not all grubby dirty. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
They say the algae in the lagoon is very good for the skin and I feel all soft and smooth as I write this on the plane to Glasgow. I let you know how this crazy day turns out. Thanks for reading and leaving comments.
Again, I apologize for not having any photos. I'm taking them and I'm closer to solving the problem.
You did not mention what your ate. I like reading about food.
Good reading, with my morning coffee
I'm so glad you were able to see all these places. Iceland is really interesting and neat.
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