Europe, Photography, Travel

Nature’s Playground: The Golden Circle with


Even some of the cowboys back home would have been jealous with the Land Rover we were about to get into in Reykjavik. Jacked up as all hell we scrambled inside giddily, feeling as though I’m a little kid crawling into a POW-POW-POWERWHEELS!


If I was excited about anything, it was this. We were spending the day with roaming around the tourist gem of Iceland – the Golden Circle. Almost all the pictures you have seen of someone in front of something was taken on this tour.

The menu for the day: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir, Langjokull Glacier, Gulfoss, and some amazing little old crater whose name completely escapes me.

We pulled up to Thingvellir park and I felt a bit horrible that I didn’t do my research prior. This national park boasts a few really interesting things. Not only was Parliament founded here (at the time it was the in between point for everyone on the island), but it is where you can find the rift in between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.


Did you know that Iceland grows every year by the plates separating? Airplanes have the readjust their GPS all the time to take into effect how different the runways are. Seriously – I nearly had a geek out. Come on – THE TECTONIC PLATES! This is when I realize I probably should have gotten a geology degree (to add to my list of non-useful degrees including my film one).



You could smell Geysir way before you could even see it. The sulfurous, rotten-egg smelling water was steaming and bubbling away. Warning signs littered the grounds warning you not to touch the brilliantly blue scalding water. I was about to experience my first geysir in Iceland. Screw Yellowstone and Old Faithful, we were going to experience a land in the making. And while the official Geysir only erupts once every 100 years or so, there was another geysir that had my name on it – Strokkur. We patiently waited (a whopping 5 minutes) and my eyes were glued on the lifelike water. The geysir breathed in and out, taking huge “lungs” full of water and slowly releasing playful bubbling boiling water. My eyes bulged and in an instant, a dome of crystal clear water appeared and the geysir exploded into the air! …followed by a horrified scream from some lady. Apparently standing downwind leads to soaked clothing that leaves you smelling faintly of eggs.





The weather in Iceland is quite fickle. The saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change.” The day before our guide had the pleasure of a sunny day. We were stuck with crap. The rain wasn’t even really rain. It was the annoying misty stuff that just gets in your way and makes you blink a million times more. When you drive up on a glacier and the weather is gloomy, you can’t really see anything. And while the Langjokull glacier is one of the gems to see, we were left unimpressed. How can something compare to the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska?! Maybe we should stop comparing. So we just pretended we were on some arctic tour and a freak storm came our way. It was slushy. It was cold. I was not a happy camper – so I spent our time there in the car. Don’t hate. I’m a desert species. I was brought up in El Paso. I was trying. 😛




Gulfoss was the #1 on my list. There is something I don’t get tired of: WATERFALLS. There is something just so amazing about them. Shaun just stared in horror and delight saying, “Where does all this water COME from?!” It just kept pouring out. Iceland seems to be the land of excess water and energy.



So we stared. We sat in the rain while we stared. This was about the point when we realized Shaun’s jacket was not rainproof and wearing jeans in the rain was a bad idea.

I was tired and fell asleep the moment we were back in the Land Rover.

And that is where I’m going to use my excuse of not knowing the name of the final crater we visited. I was roused from my nap with just enough time to roll out of the jeep and hike over to the top of the volcano. Sure, Shaun could have remembered… but if any of you know Shaun – he doesn’t really remember things like that. I’m just impressed that he remembers my birthday and our anniversary. Throwing Icelandic names into that hat is just asking a bit much. (Which after some research it turns out the name is Kerids – FYI!)


I fell asleep again and before I knew it we were back at our hostel. We were tired, happy, and completely thrilled with the opportunities that Iceland has. As I heard someone say – This is nature’s playground. That statement cannot be more correct. Little did we know that we would fall so in love so quickly with everything else here.


Reykjavik, you have nothing on the rest of Iceland.

You just wait.

Disclosure: We were complimentary guests of however all opinions are our own.

12 thoughts on “Nature’s Playground: The Golden Circle with”

  1. Whoa, it all looks so different without a dusting of snow!!!

    Sorry you had kinda crappy weather. But it sounds like you enjoyed it anyway!

    1. I wish I could have seen it with a bit of snow! Crappy weather always follows us so I’m not horribly sad. It is all part of our experience!

  2. Why didn’t you post this before… I would have asked you so many questions at TBEX 🙂 That is so amazing! I need to go!!! 🙂

  3. WOW, the colors of that crater! And I would have been right there with you geeking out over Iceland growing so fast that planes have to readjust their GPS. Very cool!

  4. I loved doing a self drive tour of the Golden Circle, but I did wish we had a guide for certain parts like the National Park where I would have loved more information.

    1. I wouldn’t have minded doing the self tour but there was no way someone could make it out to the glacier in a normal car. We were driving over boulders and such!

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