first day of our road trip
The first day after arriving in Iceland we drove the Golden Circle.
It’s a circle road near Reykjavik, a must-do when you visit this incredible island because it’s close to the main airport and in one day you can see some of the best attractions Iceland has to offer.
Leaving Keflavìk I was in awe. Because at 9.30 am we are not used to see pitch dark, it’s a strange experience. And until midday the light is amazing, the sun is always low in the horizon, and it’s just perfect for photography lovers.
Maybe because it was the first day, or simply because everything is magic, I would have stopped every 5 minutes to take pictures. But in Iceland you can’t stop whenever you want, you can only stop at dedicated parking areas. And it can be dangerous to go out of the roadway because the land can be precarious.
Where there were some cars it meant there was something interesting to see, even if it was not mentioned in the guidebook; and we would stop.
Anyway, usually parking areas are in strategic points, where there is something interesting to see.
The first site we visited was Thingvellir, a National Park, an area where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.
The two plates are pushing one against the other and separating a bit more as time goes by; for this reason Iceland becomes a couple of inches larger every year.
This interesting area was the seat of the first Icelandic Parliament. The chef of the Norwegian clans that first moved to Iceland decided to meet here once a year, in June, to settle the disputes among them. They did so every year from 930 to 1798 AD.
There’s a nice coffee shop and a souvenir shop at the entrance of the park (you pay to visit the museum, but not the park).
Because we were traveling on a budget (and Iceland is extremely expensive) we didn’t buy anything, not even a glass of water. Luckily in Iceland you can get free and drinkable tap water anywhere.
This is the original geyser, the one that gave this name to all geysers.
Boiling water and steam come out from the soil a bit everywere in the area.
Gullfoss is a beautiful waterfall, very large, that is probably even bigger in Summer when the glaciers melt.
It was almost sunset, a time of the day that has always gifted us with precious moments during our stay in Iceland.
Here was the only bathroom we’ve found in Iceland you had to pay to use.
The whole day we’ve crossed many cars, probably most of which were tourist rented cars.
After Skoftafoll we drove for 2 and half hours to Vìk, where I had booked a guesthouse. In the dark, because the sun set at 4pm.
It wasn’t easy, we spent many hours driving, but I would say that the Golden Circle is the best introduction you could get to Iceland.