Welcome back! Where was I? Well, I must tell you, Thingvellir or Þingvellir is an obligated stop for those exploring Iceland's Golden Circle, so I would encourage all of you to visit this incredible national park. The incredible rock formations along the way look like taken out from another planet, but you don't have to go too far. Visit Iceland to enjoy a one of a lifetime experience. Here is today's series quick itinerary:
• Leaving Þingvellir
• Lunch at Friðheimar restaurant (tomato farm)
• Arriving at Geysir
• Staying at the hotel - The Highland Center Hrauneyjar
After spending about an hour and a half surrounded by this beautiful scenery, I must say that I got a bit hungry, so this was my call to get on with my journey to find somewhere nice to have some lunch along the way. Before leaving for Iceland, some of my friends that already came here last summer told me about the great number of restaurants I could find during my visit. A couple of weeks ago, I have made a reservation at Friðheimar, a cozy restaurant placed on a tomato farm, most precisely inside a greenhouse. It is just a fascinating
place since you can see how the tomatoes are growing just across the room. All dishes cooked here are made out of tomatoes, from the traditional warm soups, fresh Italian sauce for pasta and cake? Yes, they have created a cake from green tomatoes, lime, and cinnamon. It does sound a bit strange, but it does taste amazing. Feeling like buying souvenirs? No problem! there is a small shop where you can buy delicious treats, such as jam, sauce, and species.
Friðheimar is definitely a very unique experience as you could learn about horticulture in a place so remote like Iceland. The staff is really friendly, they explain to visitors what they do in a way we can understand. There are even guided visits to the greenhouses where you can see the growing little tomatoes closely. I learned during my short visit to the farm. If you are coming from the south of Iceland, it will only take you a few hours to get here. Since I was coming from Þingvellir
, it took me less than an hour since it's just 60 km or 37 miles away. The restaurant is packed with tourists mostly at lunchtime (12-16h), so make
sure you make a reservation ahead to be able to enjoy a phenomenal meal. You have to try my personal favorite (from today on) Tomato beer, is fantastic!! Also, the plates of ravioli served here are made "on demand" so you could enjoy fresh pasta. This dish is served with some traditional Italian pesto or with the traditional red tomato sauce. I have posted some pictures between this post too so you could get an idea of the place.
After walking around the farm for a little bit as the rain appeared to be gone, I decided to continue with my road trip. According to my loyal buddy, the GPS, my next stop, Geysir was not too far away. This iconic Icelandic jewel was only 15 minutes away on Route 35, luckily, there are clear skies right now, so I could expect to take some great pictures. Before exploring the area, let me share with you some facts about Geysir. This is a geothermal terrain where boiling water beneath the ground is ready to erupt to the surface in the form of steam jets. As the steam is lighter than water, it causes those typical explosions you have probably
seen on T.V. This phenomenon is very unusual it may only be experienced in some parts of the world.
I have finally arrived at Geysir, the next item on my bucket list. There is a big parking lot where you could park your rental easily. Afterward, simply walk a few meters and voilá!
You will be walking on a terrain consisting of a mixture between mud and volcanic gravel and rocks. Different trails will guide you through this powerful landscape, beware of the slippery mud near the exploding hot springs. As you continue exploring the area, you will hear the water jets reaching the sky as they erupt from the ground. There are several "ponds" in this area, there are ones that take a huge space, and others that are small but whose water blasts tend to rise even higher.
Geysir is an open space, so you could visit this area 24/7 but since there is no artificial lighting, you could trip and injure yourself while hunting for Geysers. I could spend the whole day here, but unfortunately, I had to continue my trip to my hotel before it gets dark. Before leaving Geysir, I head to the Geysir center
to get a nice cappuccino before returning to my car. There is a cozy café inside this building that offers essentials for travelers, cakes, desserts, and freshly brewed coffee. I am pretty impressed by the quality of the coffee here, which comes rather handy while it is cold outside. Back in the car, I listen to a lively playlist
as my driving resumes. Let me tell you, listening to local bands really set my mood to match with the dramatic landscape outside.
It is almost eight in the afternoon and it looks like it is going to get dark soon, so I guess it is time for me to say goodbye for today. Well, not just yet, let me share quick tips first: I found this great accommodation on my way to Hella called “The Highland Center” which welcomed me with wifi, a restaurant and modest rooms for us travelers. The best thing of all was that it was only an hour away. And, like most of the guest houses in Iceland, this venue was located virtually in the middle of nowhere. There were a few cars in the parking lot and of course, some sheep roaming free. After I checked in, I decided to check out the restaurant and luckily it was not too late to order a nice arctic char with fresh salad and some wine, a classic.
This was the cherry on top for an excellent second day in this amazing island.
To be continued...
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