Our next port of call was Reykjavik – Iceland’s capital and largest city. We actually got to spend 48 hours here, which was awesome!
On day one, I had booked a private guided tour with Extreme Iceland doing a tour of the Golden Circle and a swim in the Secret Lagoon. Highlights of the Golden Circle tour included:
- Gullfoss Falls
- Geysir and Strokkur
- Thingvellir National Park
As before, we met our guide at the port and began our journey to our first destination. Driving along, I took pictures of the landscape. I found the areas around Reykjavik to be more green than what we was around Akureyri.
Here you can see where they have planted some trees.
Here is a sparse landscape.
This was a great topical map of the overview of the area. The large white mass at the top of the map is a huge glacier – Vatnajökull Glacier. It is one of the largest in area in Europe, and it covers more than 8% of the country!
It’s somewhat hard to see in this picture, but below you can see the glacier in the mountains….It was enormous!
Our guide took us to Thingvellir National Park. The name Thingvellir mean “Parliment Plains.” This is where Parliment took place in Iceland’s begining and was established around 930 and continued to convene there until 1798.
These layers of rock used to be united. It’s amazing to me how much our earth moved beneath our feet!
These were interesting volacanic lava veins.
This beautiful pool of water used to be the site of executions back in the days of Parliment. As many as 78 drowning executions occured here. Crazy history for such a beautiful, peaceful place!
Further into our tour, the guide stopped at this well-known hot spring. it comes from ground here, and flows into the lake, so the lake around the shore is quite a bit warmer, and nice enough to swim in.
Where it flows into the lake.
Our guide teaching Oldest about the algae that grows around there due to the warmer water temperatures.
Next on our list was a hot springs area and a live Geyser to watch. This area didn’t have the sulphur smell like the one in Akureyri did (thankfully).
It was fascinating to be able to watch a geysir. This one went off about every 8-10 minutes or so, and spouted different heights each time.
It very strange to look across the landscape and just see lots of steam rising from the ground!
Next stop on our tour was Gullfoss Falls. It was a tiered waterfall.
After the falls, we headed back towards Reykjavik and to our final destination for the day…the Secret Lagoon. But on the way, we saw some horses and had to stop and say hello!
Now the Blue Lagoon is best known in Iceland. And it would have been awesome, I’m sure – even if it was touristy. At ~$100 a person – I wasn’t too keen on the Blue Lagoon idea. But the Secret Lagoon was suggested by the Extreme Iceland tour people, so that’s what I went with. It was about $24 for adults, free for children….much more my speed!
While it didn’t have the “blue” water like the Blue Lagoon – the pool was fed from boiling hot springs. Those springs also kept this green house up and running!
There was a board walk you could walk around the pool and see the hot springs.
That ended day 1 in Reykjavik. Time head back to the ship for some dinner and much needed sleep! I have more fun stuff in store for day 2 tomorrow!