Golden Circle This day trip is short in distance from Reykjavik but long on sights—it takes in a trio of the most iconic wonders in Iceland. And in between, you’ll see moss-covered lava fields as well as tiny birch trees that are the only indigenous trees on this island (early Viking settlers brought all their wood for house and boat building as do residents import it today).
|North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet|
More loos with a view.
●Gullfoss/Golden Falls Nearby, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe roars at an L-shaped bend in the Hvitá River. It falls into the river in two wide stages, and rainbows form in the mist on sunny days. A path leads along the falls to a spectacular viewing area.
●Geysir Hot Springs In Haukadalur. This geothermal area is sprinkled with steaming water and bubbling mud pools. Geysir is the original geyser and the first one described in print and is the one after which all others are named. At about 10,000 years old, it no longer erupts.
But every 10 to 15 minutes the Strokkur geyser sends up a spectacular plume of hot water and steam about 100 feet into the air. A bubbling up is seen just before it explodes. Be careful with your camera, because the steam can cause problems.
More non-erupting, colorful sulphur pools are in the immediate area, and the Litli Geysir gurgles and hisses beside the path from the visitor center. An unusual activity that is sometimes arranged here is making Geysir bread, or “hot spring bread.” Participants assist a chef in digging up rye bread that has been ‘baking’ underground for 24 hours and also boil eggs in a hot spring.
●Fridheimar Greenhouses On some tours, a stop here is included, allowing you to see how delicious organic tomatoes are grown indoors year-round with help from bright lights to mimic the sun, bees to fertilize, and technology and computers to monitor things.
●Lindin Bistro In Laugarten. If you’re on your own, plan to stop at this Michelin-starred restaurant for lunch. You’ll get to sample the premium local produce made into seasonal specialties. The bread is baked in the ground by hot springs (as described above), and I hear the lobster bisque is divine.
More things to do in Iceland.
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images and videos ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers