The Golden Circle
Golden Circle : this term has been invented by tourism marketing and is existing since motor cars showed up in Iceland. It is used to describe a short tour that can be made within a day, showing Iceland attractions as Geysir, Gullfoss and Þingvellir (pronounced Thingvellir). And to be honest, this is by far … not the most interesting places in Iceland :). I wanted anyway to speak a little about it and show you what you can see on this little tour.
We started with Geysir. I guess you already know this name as the word “geyser”comes from it. Geysir is a small place where you can actually visit a big geyser that spits boiling water up to 20-30 meters (the original one is no more active those days) and a couple of hot springs. We were lucky to visit this place during the night, though pretty empty. At the end, I was the only one remaining in the place, which allowed me to fully benefit of the special ambiance of the bubbling springs and the exploding geyser.
Then we went to Gullfoss. It is a huge waterfall. That’s it. I did not find any interest in this waterfall (this is my personal opinion), though the only thing I will say about it is that it is veeery touristic even in june under the rain …
But a funny thing happened here as Kioki made a friend which seems to love body building! ;)
We finished the tour with Þingvellir. Þingvellir is an interesting place for it’s geological and historical background. This is basically a huge rift where the American and European tectonic plates get separated. Every year, it is widened by 5 millimeters. In 930, the vikings created the Alþing in this place which has been the first European parliament, used until 1262.
At the beginning, the place was nice but not exceptional. But when you walk between the two natural walls of the rift and you know that you are between two tectonic plates, this is a weird and interesting experience!