Friday, May 16, 2014

April 24th: Geysers, Waterfalls, and...Hot Dogs?

Zach and I met up with the tour bus shortly after we got back to the hotel. A short bus transfer later, we were on our way to our Golden Circle afternoon excursion.

First stop: kjotsupa! It's an amazing lamb soup/stew with veggies. By far, the best one I've had is here, in the cafeteria at...

...Geysir! Mark and I came here on our first trip to Iceland and I've been dreaming of their kjotsupa ever since. Since we only had about an hour here, we grabbed lunch first, then walked out to see the geysers.


There are several geysers here, though Strokkur is by far the most active. It erupts every 5 to 10 minutes, so we didn't have to wait long to see it.

Sploosh! I love how you can stand so close to it.

There are a number of other pools of steaming water around the pathways. We walked around a bit while we waited for Strokkur to erupt again.

I liked how this pool had moss growing around the edges. We spent a little more time here, then went back to the bus to head to our next stop:

Gullfoss! It's a huge waterfall nearby. Mark and I have been here, too; when we were here a few years ago it was late October and most of the area near the water was frozen over from the spray.

We had a little bit of time to walk around here, too, so we got to check out a few different paths.

Those people aren't supposed to be there! The path to that part was chained off because part of the path was frozen, but we saw people just walk over the chain like it wasn't even there. I can't say I'd want to slip and fall into the water...I don't know if there's any way to get out! It would have been neat to get that close, but I wasn't willing to risk it so we stayed on the other paths instead.

After wandering around on the upper path for a while we made our way down to the path closer to the water. The mist from the waterfall made for a neat rainbow.

Ooo...waterfally. We enjoyed the view for a few more minutes, then made our way back to the bus to head to our last stop:

Thingvellir! It's a national park where Parliament was established in 930AD. It's also a rift valley where the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates come together. It's a pretty popular stop on the tours; this was actually my third time here. (Not that I minded!)

We had a little bit of time to wander around, so we walked a bit down the path toward Law Rock; it's down by the flagpole at the end of the path. We didn't go quite that far; we took a side path to check out a different view.

I liked how the sun was starting to poke through the clouds in just one little spot on the mountains in the back.   :)

You could see part of Lake Thingvallavatn from the path; it's the largest lake in Iceland. After a little more wandering we met the bus for the ride back to Reykjavik. I really liked this tour; it was only six hours long but still covered a lot! The other tours I've done in Iceland have ranged anywhere from eight to fourteen hours long, so it was nice to have the time to sleep in a bit and hang out in the city.

We were dropped off at the hotel, where we checked in for our flight (which was going to be delayed again thanks to the strike). Oh least we wouldn't have to get up at 4am anymore! Since it wasn't even 7pm yet we decided to head back into the city to wander around a bit more.

Zach really wanted to check out Harpa. It's a big concert hall right on the water and has some pretty crazy architecture.

I actually liked the view of the scenery next to Harpa better than the building itself! This rocky beach is off to the side; this is the view from the sidewalk next to Harpa.

Zach had read about a popular hot dog stand in Reykjavik that was supposedly really good. We were kind of hungry, so we wandered around until we found Baejarins Beztu Pylsur.

They're not kidding...that was a good hot dog!! I got one with the works; I have no idea what kind of sauce they put on there, but I really liked it. They had crunchy fried onions in the bun under the hot dog, too. I almost went back for a second! We spent a little more time in the city, checking out some cool shops and buildings, then eventually made our way back to the hotel.

It had been a pretty long day, so we stopped by the bar for a couple drinks before heading up to the room to finish packing. As much as I would have liked to spend more time in Iceland, tomorrow we were flying to our next stop: Amsterdam!

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