Iceland Journals

The Golden Circle & Southern Iceland

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A June 2004 trip to Iceland by DrMaximus

South Western Iceland Photo, Iceland, Europe More Photos
Quote: The second day of a whirlwind 7-day trip to Iceland, we woke up very early and left Reykjavik even before the sun rose - no, hoooold it a second - the sun had not set the night before!

Golden Circle Route

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Attraction

The Golden Circle Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
The second day was extremely exciting for me, as I had planned to travel along what has come to be known as the Golden Circle. The Circle offers travellers the chance to see three of Iceland's biggest attractions: Pingvellir National Park, Geysir and the awesome Gullfoss. All three are just a simple and short drive from downtown Reykjavik. From Gullfoss, there are several options to drive further east. We chose to drive along the pathed route, passing by Sel and Hella before getting to Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall with a path winding behind it. One could walk behind the waterfall to enjoy a different perspective, but I skipped that, as I was not willing to wet myself and my camera (you would ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

Pingvellir National Park

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Attraction

Pingvellir National Park Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
Pingvellir National Park was the first stop along the Golden Circle route if you approach from the west from Reykjavik. I reckon it took about 45 minutes to get here from downtown Reykjavik, maybe less since we stopped frequently for photo shoots. The first thing that astounded us was the very high and very long meeting place of the two continental plates - the North American and European continental plates. Then, of course, we stopped at the charming waterfall. It was quite a hike up, but getting there, it felt like we had entered the Lord of the Rings. The landscape was such that I was so sure that at any corner there would either be a unicorn or an elf. As...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

Geysir

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Attraction

Geysir Photo, Reykjavik, Iceland
Quote:
Geysir was perhaps one of the most astonishing natural wonders I have ever encountered in my travels. I remember that as we parked our vehicle and walked towards it, I was shocked stiff at how high the water blew out from under the ground and into the air. The super-heated column was visible even 500 metres away where I was! There is only one Icelandic word that is used in English and that's "geysir." All geysers around the world have been named after this grandfather of geysers. Geysir shoots up regularly once every 15-20 minutes. For photo enthusiasts, do not despair. It is EASY to guess when it's ready to shoot. About 15 seconds before eruption, there would be a huge bluish-green boiling bubb...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

Geysir
Geysir
Reykjavik, Iceland

Golden Falls (Gullfoss)

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Attraction | "Gullfoss"

Golden Falls (Gullfoss) Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
The third stop along the famous Golden Circle route, Gullfoss was undeniably more than what I had imagined it to be. My mate parked the car while I quick-stepped towards the edge of the cliff, excited by the mighty splashing sound of gushing water. No amount of words nor description can adequately prepare you for your first acquaintance with Gullfoss. I told him to close his eyes and just follow me as I led him by his hands. We were both slightly wet by the time we got to the cliff edge. I told him to open his eyes. Whaaaamp. Gullfoss caught him too, and I can imagine that his astonishment must have been greater than mine since as he opened his eyes, he was faced with the mighty falls as well a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

Golden Falls (Gullfoss)
White River
Geysir

Seljalandsfoss

Attraction

Seljalandsfoss Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
From Gullfoss, there are several options to drive further east. We chose to drive along the pathed route passing by Sel and Hella before getting to Seljalandsfoss, a beautiful waterfall with a path winding behind it. One could walk behind the waterfall to enjoy a different perspective, but I skipped that as I was not willing to wet myself and my camera (you would definitely need a raincoat to do this). I loved the fact that Seljalandsfoss surrounds you continually with its broad perpetual rainbow. I hated the fact that giant Icelandic mosquitoes were hungrily buzzing around me waiting for a lunch opportunity as I tried to keep still for quick photo shot. About 200m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

Skogafoss

Attraction

Skogafoss Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
Further east along route 1 took us to Skogafoss, a truly mighty waterfall. My travel mate took a long nap here while I hiked up a fairly steep hill to get to the top of the falls. From there, I enjoyed a bird's eye view of the region as well as the snowcapped mountains in the interior of Iceland. This is definitely a hike (388 steps) you would not want to miss.


Once at the top, you will see a cute upside-down V-shaped ladder that brings you over a low fence (to keep out sheep). Climb over it and walk for 10 minutes, and you will be rewarded with a heavenly view of the landscape - green meadows, clear springs (which feed Skogafoss), wild sheep, glaciers...

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

Fjallabak Nature Reserve

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Attraction

Fjallabak Nature Reserve Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
We had dinner at Vik, then sat down to make further plans. It was late by then and we knew that it was impossible to drive further east towards Skaftafell. In fact, we had made a reservation at the Hofn Youth Hostel, which was definitely impossible to get to by the end of day two. Wanting to visit the lava fields of Landmannalaugar, I insisted that we leave route 1 and travel on mountain pass F208. Along the way, we found out that a giant 4WD would have been necessary to drive across a river to get to Landmannalaugar, so it was impossible to get there on our Toyota Corolla wagon. We finally arrived at Holaskjol at about midnight and slept in our vehicle. Although we failed to get to the lava fields...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

South Western Iceland Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
Southwestern Iceland was indeed a charming and pleasant drive through lots of green space, little colorful houses that dot the country and the numerous lazy cows that either laid there contentedly or were up mowing the lawn. I remember once stopping on the highway and intending to take a closer shot of the cows by the fence. As I approached, they got up, and a very surly-looking one (quite unlike the tame and majestic Icelandic horses from the day before) started huffing and puffing as if it was ready to pounce on me. Angered by the unfriendly welcome, I quite naturally stomped back to the car. It was only then that I realised that it had all been my fault: I was wearing a bright red shirt!