We loved our accommodation last night – it was amazing, and the sunset was out of this world! Waking up this morning, I made banana pancakes for breaky which meant I must have slept great to put in such effort and then we packed our stuff and got on the road heading towards Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park.
Thingvellir was accepted on the World Heritage list for its cultural values and on top of being incredibly beautiful – this region is in between 2 tectonic plates – both the Eurasian and North Atlantic plate…SO effectively while standing there you are in between 2 continents which I found awesome and was the main reason I wanted to visit this place!
Some history for you -In the last few decades, research has made it clear that Þingvellir is a natural wonder on an international scale, with the geologic history and the bio-system of Lake Þingvallavatn forming a unique entity, a magnificent showcase some may say- even Angela Merkel made a visit there yesterday (thank god we missed it, would have been packed)
We stopped to visit Silfra - one of the best spots for diving in Iceland due to the fact it has astounding visibility in the clear, cold ground water and the magnificent surroundings. There was not a hope in hell I was going to snorkel or dive but the site itself is lovely and the visibility is apparently 100m deep so would be amazing (if it was less cold)
Day 3 already; and as cold, windy (with a questionable Summer) Iceland brings - we are loving it here. This morning we were greeted with rain, lots and lots of rain, so had a lazy morning as no one like to explore in the wet and cold. Upon leaving the accomo, the sun broke through the clouds and we were welcomed with slightly nicer weather for out drive North. Today we would be exploring Kerid, Gullfoss and Geysir – all located in the Golden circle (the main tourist route)
Our first stop was Kerid, a multi-coloured volcanic crater filled with vibrant blue water. With the overcast day the bright blue water was rather mirky and grey looking but the experience was ok overall. Unfortunately, this is one of the very few places here that costs money. It’s 400ISK pp (about $7NZD) and after walking the full crater I was desperate to get to the blue pool at the bottom, however on the way down I slipped, fell and nearly broke my arm so after quietly crying in front of about 100 people, we made our way back to the car. Not a good way to start the day.
Jetlag sleeps are great – we both slept for 10 hours! After a quick breaky of porridge and banana (and peanut butter) , we hopped in the car and headed off on our epic road trip. This would be the longest day of traveling but we are only here for 4 days and must jam as much in as possible. Our first stops were Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi ( try pronouncing them) which are 2 fantastic waterfalls located about 2.5 hours from the Airport on the Southern coast.
These are both really impressive. Seljalandsfoss is the largest and can be seen from the road, easily located at a tourist trap car park which costs about $10NZD to park but you can walk behind the falls which is cool. The highlight of this stop was not Seljalandsfoss but actually Gljúfrabúi or Gljúfrafoss, as it is hidden behind a crevice in the rocks and is super impressive, I made it half way in before my camera was nearly crying I had got it that wet so left soaked but happy. TRAVEL HACK – Drive a couple of minutes and park at the camping ground which is free and then visit all 4 waterfalls, saving yourself enough for an overpriced coffee at the end!
Next on the list was Skógafoss, another breath-taking waterfall about 25 mins away from the first. You can get a great view from the bottom of the waterfall – actually if you get there with no people, it’s an EPIC view as check this shot of Leo below… but it is also stunning from above. There are stairs to the right of the falls that take you up to a viewing platform and trails. If you are quick and stupid, try it in less than 6 minutes like we did, and I nearly have stroke at the top! The trails lead along the river which we walked for about 30 minutes, loving every second. This is a fab stop, unfortunately, it is over run by tourists but if you are friendly and offer to take their pic, they usually do the same in return and then move out your way.
We have made it to Iceland! After 10 truly glorious days in Canada, spending quality time with family, swimming in the lake and living in a beautiful cottage, it was time to hop aboard our Icelandic Air flight to Reykjavik to start our next adventure!
The flight was overnight, and I passed out which was ideal, but Leo got zero sleep whatsoever. Arriving I Iceland at 6am is something I would never recommend – IT’S SO COLD!! We touched down to a crisp blue sky 5-degree morning and I immediately regretted my Canada plane outfit choice. We are only spending 4 days here, but after being voted the 3rd most expensive country in the world, I reckon 4 days will be enough.
We had rented a car for the days we would be here from ‘’IceRental Cars’’ and I would NEVER recommend these guys. We arrived after waiting in the cold for the shuttle bus for about 30 minutes. From there we were taken to the smallest office and treated like complete shite for about 1 hour. The 2 guys working there are absolutely dick heads, so unfriendly and even though we paid for insurance upfront, they told us it wasn’t valid and we had to take out their insurance, costing us $300NZD. DO NOT RENT FROM THEM EVER.
However, from leaving the compound we drove to the infamous Blue Lagoon about 25 mins away as our check in wasn’t until 3pm. They have of course recently out their prices up to 11,900ISI - $150NZD pp! YIKES – expensive day so far. We arrived on time for our 9am spot, were greeted by a lovely Icelandic boy who explained everything and off we went for 4 hours of sheer relaxation.