Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hot Golden Circle

Secret Lagoon, Reykjavik

Today we took an 8 hour tour of what is known as the Golden Circle.  Since we selected the tour with a swim in a lagoon, we got to add the word Hot to our adventure.  The circle loops out of Reykjavik into the southern uplands of Iceland and back.  Our four stops were the Thingviller National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, the geothermal area that contains the geysers, and the lagoon. It was a snowy and windy day.  Visibility was limited and the light a sleepy blue.  We were on a 25 seat van driven by "Andy" who tried his best to be funny.  It felt a bit like being in Kansas in winter.  
Pass between the Continental Plates

Thingvellir National Park is where early Icelanders held Parliament once upon a time. Today it is where at times Game of Thrones films. It sits on the North American Tectonic plate.  Here we walked through a pass and onto the Eurasian Tectonic plate. 

The geothermal area was formed at the end of the last ice age.  The general descriptive term geyser comes from the large Icelandic Geysir.  Since Geysir has been dormant for some time now, we visited her little brother and got a show every 3-5 minutes. 

The Gullfloss is a magnificent waterfall system, not as large as Niagara Falls, but certainly as impressive.  The wind was bitingly cold as we climbed abut 50' to look down upon the system.  After this we were happy to find the warmth of the lagoon.  An hour of soaking left my core feeling toasty warm and my spirit lazily satisfied.  

Upon returning to Reykjavik we ate at the Old Icelandic Restaurant.  I was in search of a traditional lamb dish.  This I found.  It was succulent.