Reykjavik, Iceland – The Most Northern Capital of the World

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.DSC03562

Here is a sparse landscape.DSC03565

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!DSC03566

It’s somewhat hard to see in this picture, but below you can see the glacier in the mountains….It was enormous!DSC03611

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.DSC03577DSC03582DSC03583IMG_7546IMG_7549

These layers of rock used to be united.  It’s amazing to me how  much our earth moved beneath our feet!DSC03581

These were interesting volacanic lava veins.DSC03584

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!IMG_7560

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.DSC03588

Where it flows into the lake.DSC03589

Our guide teaching Oldest about the algae that grows around there due to the warmer water temperatures.DSC03590

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).DSC03594

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. IMG_7588

DSC03595DSC03602IMG_7592

It very strange to look across the landscape and just see lots of steam rising from the ground!DSC03631

Next stop on our tour was Gullfoss Falls.  It was a tiered waterfall.

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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!DSC03614DSC03616DSC03626

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!DSC03637

There was a board walk you could walk around the pool and see the hot springs.DSC03641DSC03642DSC03643DSC03639

It was sooo relaxing to just lay back and let the warm water unwind your muscles.DSC03632DSC03644

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!IMG_2991

 


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