Iceland Part 4

See Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Day 10 (Golden Circle): Faxi Waterfall, Gullfoss, Geysir and Strokkir geysers, Þingvellir National Park and Öxarárfoss, Gljúfrabúi Waterfall
Day 11: Sólheimasandur airplane wreckage, Gljúfrabúi Waterfall (again), Ollis (car wash), Bus Hostel
Day 12 & 13: Reykjavik City Card

Day 10 (Golden Circle): Faxi Waterfall, Gullfoss, Geysir and Strokkir geysers, Þingvellir National Park and Öxarárfoss, Gljúfrabúi Waterfall
The “Golden Circle” is within a days drive from Reykjavik and there are tour buses you can take from Reykjavik or you can rent a car for the day. Day 10 we woke up to the sound of rain. Can’t complain because we had sunny days for the rest of the trip. “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes” definitely applies.

Highlights:

  1. Faxi Waterfall. Beside the falls is a modern sheep fold and a large forst.
  2. Gullfoss Falls. By far the busiest tourist attraction we had visited so far!
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    Gullfoss

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    Gullfoss (check out the people walking on the path to the left)
  3. Geysir Park. The longest we spent at a tourist attraction (trying to get the perfect video of Strokkir geyser erupting). Geysir geyser is the second largest geyser in the world however it erupts much less frequently than its neighbour, Strokkir. The gift shop was also worth a visit.

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    Strokkir geyser right before eruption!
  4. Þingvellir National Park. We walked through Hekid fault and up to Law Rock.
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    Þingvellir National Park
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    Þingvellir National Park

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    Þingvellir National Park
  5. Öxarárfoss.

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    Öxarárfoss
  6. We stopped at as many attraction signs as we could (we had lots of time!). We learnt that Iceland produces 99% of its power from renewable energy and 75% of that is from water and geothermal pools. Some of the attractions were statues without signs but you win some, you lose some.
  7. Gljúfrabúi Waterfall. We missed this one on the first day of our road trip (day 2). Up the trail from Seljalandsfoss is a crevice and through that crevice is an immaculate waterfall. I recommend visiting really early or really late. We went the next morning and it was packed with tourists! Wouldn’t have been able to get this shot.

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    Gljúfrabúi Waterfall

What a wonderful way to end the day!

Day 11: Sólheimasandur airplane wreckage, Gljúfrabúi Waterfall (again), Ollis (car wash), Bus Hostel

Highlights:

  1. Sólheimasandur airplane wreckage. I looked this one up online before heading to Iceland and I’m glad I did! It isn’t on any of the tourist maps because it’s on private property (although it’s 100% legal to visit). In 1973 a United States Navy DC plan ran out of fuel and crashed on the black sand beaches at Sólheimasandur. Fortunately, everyone survived and the plane wreckage was left on the beach. We managed to visit on a day that the wreckage was being used in a movie set with smoke machines set up. It was definitely worth the visit (and the trek through the black sand to get to it!)

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    Sólheimasandur airplane wreckage
  2. Ollis. We had to give EVEE (our rental car) back in pristine condition so we left Gljúfrabúi in search of a car wash. Luckily, we happened upon a free car wash at Ollis and cleaned her up. While there we had some lunch and took a break with the free wifi.
  3. Last night sleeping in EVEE. While she was cramped at night, she got us through an amazing road trip across Iceland. I would do it again, in exactly the same way, in a heartbeat! It helps I had the best travel partner as well.

Day 12& 13: Reykjavik City Card
We spent our last two days in Reykjavik and bought the city card. We picked up the 48 hour card for 4700 kr each and we definitely got our money’s worth. Included in the fee are city bus fares, admission to the City thermal pools, admission to numerous museums, and the Zoo and Family park. It also offered discounts are various restaurants, museums and tours.

On day 12 (our first day back in the capital) we were able to visit:

  • Laugardalur Pool: one of Reykjavik’s Thermal Pools. There was a great water slide and it was the perfect start to our day.
  • Ásmundarsafn Art Museum: The museum was in a house designed by the artist himself with inspiration from Turkey and Greece.
  • Reykjavik Family park and Zoo: Arctic foxes, reindeer, goats and seals.
  • Reykjavik Botanical Garden: still too early to see the whole garden in bloom but we enjoyed the daffodils and tulips.
  • Maritime Museum: Down by the old harbour and the main museum provided a long history of fishing in Iceland with the exhibit on women in the fishing industry.
  • Museum of Photography: featured a small town in the north with breathtaking photography.
  • Hafnarhus Art Museum: Several exhibits were being changed over but the exhibit we did visit featured the works of Erro.
  • National Art Gallery of Iceland: Located near City Hall
  • Settlement museum: By far my favourite museum and was very interactive. The museum was built over a “long house” from the Viking era and artifacts from the archaeological dig could be seen around the perimeter.
  • We were going to use our discount at Old Islands restaurant for dinner but they only took reservations! So we wandered back to “Scandinavian Restaurant” where we met a lovely British couple and had a wonderful meal.

On day 13 (our second day back in the capital) we visited:

  • Another thermal pool
  • Iceland National Museum: an enormous museum that could take a day to get through! Provided a detailed history of Iceland dating from the 1300s to present. They covered topics such as politics, pop culture, structures, agriculture, religion etc. A chain mail shirt weighing 20 lbs was available to try on (but was suspended so it didn’t seem tooo heavy).
  • The Nordic house (culture house): May not have been on the list but we were able to get in. Residents of Iceland and Greenland use the world and landscapes to design clothing lines.
  • Kjarvalsstadir Art museum: dedicated to the life and art of Johannes S Kjarval who primarily focused on landscapes and portraits.
  • Phallological Museum (20 % off admission with the City Card)
  • Shopping on Laugavegur for souvenirs
  • MAR for dinner (amazing restaurant, highly recommend)
  • Back to Bus Hostel for Happy Hour

Day 14: Travel Day

Since the City Card was for 48 hours, we got up early to head to the last thermal pool in Reykjavik before it’s expiry. Spent the morning packing up, checking out of Bus Hostel and enjoying the last few minutes in Iceland. We walked down to the bus station to climb aboard the FlyBus back to the airport.

Iceland was an incredible, diverse country filled with way more to see and do than I could have imagined. If I had to redo the trip I would spend a little more time in southeast Iceland (we thought we would be strapped for time so we sped through the first few days), spend more time in Akureryi and brought a warmer blanket for the car!

 

2 thoughts on “Iceland Part 4

  1. I love how many pictures you include in these posts – it really makes he descriptions of the amazing adventures come to life!! Keep up the good work, passpportunities!! 😊📸👌🏼

    Liked by 1 person

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