Reykjavik Journals

The Golden Circle

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A June 2005 trip to Reykjavik by MichaelJM

Geysir Photo, Reykjavik, Iceland More Photos
Quote: This day trip took us through the whole range of Icelandic countryside. We'd hired a car so could go at our own pace, stopping at things took our fancy. This journal describes those pit stops.

Geysir

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Attraction

Geysir Photo, Reykjavik, Iceland
Quote:
Who would visit Iceland and NOT see a geyser? Not us, so this trip was high on our agenda. The distant spouts of the geysers were intermittently visible as we crossed country from Pingvallam, and when we finally arrived at the visitor centre, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that we could visit the site, at leisure, with no charge. We took the route from the car park and entered the geyser park, the odd vent of steam and then some spluttering from the one they affectionately call Litli-Geysir. And then, with an eruption to our right, we see the tale end of the spot. Initially, I’m disappointed, and then I remember that this geyser, Strokkur, erupts every 20 minutes or so. Despite the lou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2005

Geysir
Geysir
Reykjavik, Iceland

Golden Falls (Gullfoss)

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Attraction | "Gullfoss"

Golden Falls (Gullfoss) Photo, Iceland, Europe
Quote:
We saw the mist of Gullfoss well before we arrived at this remarkable geological feature, and then were unsure whether to continue on the main road or take a smaller right fork. As it happens, it wouldn’t have mattered, because both lead to car parks. We chose to stick with the main road, and I reckon that this gives you a marginally better first impression. From the large car park, you get an impressive view of the nearby mountain range, with the glacier encroaching towards you (or that’s how it looks from a distance!), and this is about the nearest you’ll get to it with a conventional vehicle. The advice is: don’t even think about crossing the interior, because it’s a daunting and difficult route, e...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 9, 2005

Golden Falls (Gullfoss)
White River
Geysir

Oxararfoss Waterfall

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Attraction | "Oxararfoss"

Oxararfoss Waterfall Photo, Reykjavik, Iceland
Quote:
The route from Reykjavik and Pingvallam was interesting but not necessarily inspirational, but our first sighting of the only Rift Valley outside of Africa was truly amazing. We made better time than we’d imagined, and the sight of the edge of the North American continental plate was magnificent. Silhouetted intermittently along the edge were intrepid walkers, and we were drawn to a makeshift car park at the bottom of a stunning waterfall. We parked up and trekked off in the direction of the water. It’s not a difficult walk, but you do need sensible shoes; otherwise, you’ll struggle with your foot-holes. First off, there’s a bit of a steep incline, some uneven steps, and then a level wooden wal...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 11, 2005

Oxararfoss Waterfall
Pingvellir
Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland's Rift Valley

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Attraction

Iceland's Rift Valley Photo, Reykjavik, Iceland
Quote:
A steady walk took us to the site of the first Icelandic "parliament." It has to be said that there is no apparent evidence at Pingvellir, so you do need to let your imagination run a little bit. The site, a stone "balcony," has a superb view over the valley, and the Icelandic parliament held supreme authority in its day. It was both judicial and legislative, and disputes on the island were resolved here, while punishments were often executed in Pinvellir. Executions were par for the course in medieval Iceland, and beheadings or drownings in the waterfall pools was the way of punishing local witches or sex abuses (strange that these two "offences" should be singled out as requiring the death sentence)...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2005

Iceland's Rift Valley
Pingvellir
Reykjavik, Iceland

Skalholt Bishopric

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Attraction

Skalholt Bishopric Photo, Reykjavik, Iceland
Quote:
It had been suggested that a trip to Skalholt, although not stunning, was worth a detour. So we went with that advice. The journey from Gullfoss was fairly uneventful, as we were now used to steam vents out of hilltops and gushing waterfalls, and it was a decent road throughout.Skalholt was a Bishopric for virtually seven decades from 1056 (confirmed by bishop’s mitre over the door) and the current church proudly stands in a prime site overlooking some incredible countryside. Make no bones about it; the views on a bright, crisp summer’s day are absolutely superb, as Skalholt, on a local hillock, offers great views on a full 360º panorama.The straight, angular nature o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 17, 2005

Skalholt Bishopric
Skalholt
Reykjavik, Iceland