A June 2004 trip
to Iceland by DrMaximus
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!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2004
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 we were hurrying through to Geysir, our only other stop at Pingvellir was at a mysteriously coral-blue lake at the southern end of the park, near the parking lots.
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 bubble that emerges from the ground. Get the focus ready, your finger at the button, get your partner into the picture - whatever. Do them all within 15 seconds and you will have yourself a great picture!
Across the road next to the parking lot, there is a restaurant as well as a fast food chain that serves very good hamburgers and #1 fries. Behind there is also a museum on geysers as well as a huge souvenir shop.
Attraction | "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 as by the fact that he was two steps away from the cliff!
Instead of climbing down towards the edge of the falls, I think it is wiser to climb up the steep flight of steps to view Gullfoss from atop a hill. Great pictures to be had here and you also get to see your first glaciers at the horizon. Great dining spot too, so bring your picnic basket and fresh juices! There were actually quite a few people who perched themselves on the edge of the cliff with their feet freely dangling over the falls!
Golden Falls (Gullfoss)
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 further down the path to Seljalandsfoss, there is another smaller waterfall. I read that it falls into a mysterious abyss - if you have the time, do check it out and let me know what you see!
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...
We finally arrived at Holaskjol at about midnight and slept in our vehicle. Although we failed to get to the lava fields, the drive along route F208 was incredibly awesome. That drive offered us a glimpse of the most extraterrestrial landscape of our trip. Coincidentally, it was June 21, day of the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year. The Arctic sun was particularly beautiful that day (I refrain from saying "night" since we enjoyed 24 hours of sunlight daily for the entire week that we were in Iceland).