July 31, 2014
7/31/14 - 8/1/14 58 °F
So we have started our second Around the World Trip and are super excited to share our photos and experiences with you all! So here we go . . . .
Iceland wasn’t even a blip on our must-see radar…we only booked a 3 night stopover because it was cheaper than going direct to Europe. . . little did we know that this country would blow us away with it’s natural beauty, friendly people and delicious hearty food.
After a sleepless red-eye flight all we wanted to do was take a nap but unfortunately for us the Tunguvegur Guest House $75/nt we booked would not let us check in until 5pm…YES 5PM! So of course we did the next best thing. . .start exploring the city! We rented a little rental car. . not cheap at $85/day + fuel cost and headed straight for downtown Reykjavik. We found free parking on a residential street just a few blocks down from the Hallgrimskirkjha Cathedral (yes that is how you spell it). Reykjavik is a cute little city that is very walkable and many of its sites and museums are only blocks away from each other.
It was windy and cold outside so the first thing we did was get some hot and spicy noodles (yum) to warm up and started exploring the shops. Of course at the beginning of our trips our bags are always overstuffed with needless items we’ll get rid of along the way but for now we pretended we had room in our luggage to buy something!
Our must sees in Reykjavik are 1) the Harpa Concert Hall with it’s crazy geometric lines of glass and mirrors
. . .and 2) the great city views from inside and outside the Hallgrimskirkjha Cathedral.
The waterfront was also very pretty with a cool stylized metal sculpture of a viking ship.
We wished we hadn’t booked a non-refundable room when we finally got into the Tunguvegur Guest House. . . it was like staying in a college frat house complete with mismatched furniture, random sheets and towels that may have been made of cardboard? Not a good way to start the trip. . perhaps the next night will be better?
After checking into our room Ruby said “it’s still light out so let’s do a little of the Golden Circle tour”. . . . little did I know that this would turn into a full on golden circle tour! Of course this is a must do in Iceland and we only had three nights here. We drove along the gorgeous countryside and started up in the rift valley where the continental shelfs divide.
Tþingvellir park has big skies and gorgeous lakes.
We continued driving on until we got to the Geysir, the geothermal hot spot that lends its name to ALL geysers. WOW! The Stokkur erupts every few minutes and it was so cool to watch the pressure build up, we watched several eruptions that were as high as 120 feet! Check out the sequence we took below and look closely for the little people in some of the shots that can help give you an idea about how high up the water spurts!
By this time it was getting very late although sunset isn’t until about 10:30pm this time of the year so we grabbed some delicious warming mushroom soup (they do make great soups in Iceland!) and headed off to the last stop: the beautiful Gulfoss waterfall. All we can say is prepare to get a little wet because there’s a lot of mist! It’s amazing the power of flow of the water at this site.
We ended with a pretty sunset over the snow capped mountains as we contemplated our long journey ahead on our drive back to the guesthouse that night.