Day 3 – the Golden Circle

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June 10th 2013
Published: June 10th 2013
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The day started not too early for everyone but who can tell since it never gets dark. It is very weird. We met our private guide Edda at the hotel around 9AM to start our drive of the Golden Circle. This is a drive about 150 KM long around the geothermal and geological areas of interest in Iceland near Reykjavik. Gene was our driver while Judy was the designated backseat driver. Which was ironic because she had never even seen a map of the area, but kept telling Gene where to go and how to drive. We started with a quick stop at the world’s largest geothermal power plant so Kirsten could get her geek on. Chester was bored, but it only took about 30 minutes so she had to deal with it. The natural hot water under the earth is harnessed and used for the hot water, heating of homes, pools and even the roads to melt snow in all of Reykjavik. It is also used to produce enough power for the entire country and then some. We drove a bit more and you could see the steam coming out of the hillside everywhere as far as you could see. Pretty amazing phenomena.

Our next stop was at an inactive volcano that had collapsed and made a crate. Not that impressive. All along the drive you saw Icelandic horses so we had to stop and make some friends. The guide had brought some bread to feed them. These are rare in other parts of the world and sell internationally for up to $100,000. When we stopped the car to get out they immediately came to the fence. They are bigger than a miniature horse but smaller than a typical American horse. But they have a mane of long luscious think glamorous hair that blows in the wind like a supermodel. They are very gentle and friendly horses as we fed them bread from our hands and they didn’t bite or fight. We were able to pet them and they posed for lots of glamour shots. We also got some home rhubarb crisp bars from our guide that we ate as quickly as the horses ate the bread. Our next stop was a small, but really pretty waterfall. Don’t even ask us to remember the name as it is about 20 characters long. The countryside and scenery are amazing and quite different as you drive along. The landscape is covered in lava fields with moss growing, others parts are rocky and others still full of green. However there are not a lot of trees due to the animals that were brought over by the settlers that ate them all. We learned of the hidden people that apparently 80%+ of the country believe in.

Around lunch time we got to the OG, Original Geysor. There were a number of geysers there but one that was pretty big. It goes off every 7-10 min for 1-2 shots and is about 60 feet tall. It was a shorter duration between blasts, and more often than Old Faithful. So thankfully we didn’t have to battle huge crowds to witness the sprays. Wait, we spoke too soon, a cruise ship bus of old Germans let out. And yelled at us for standing at the rope in their camera shot. We had an average lunch of lamb, fish and some lamb soup that they forgot to put any lamb in. Chester waited patiently for the geyser to go off and get that perfect photo but had no patience and listened to Kirsten that it was over. Then 2 seconds later it went off. A few words were spoken by Chester to Kirsten that we will not repeat in this blog, but they rhyme with “ducking flirty floor.”

Our next stop was the Golden Waterfall, the biggest in Europe. It was a really beautiful 2 tier fall. We thought for sure this was the moment we would see Judy take a fall with the loose gravel and wet rocks. But so far no luck. We are not sure what is going on with her.

The last excursion was off to the national forest that had a HUGE lake and ravines that Kirsten should have been scuba diving in but got vetoed by the other 3. This is where some plates of the eastern side of the North American continental plate start, or something really technical like that. It was pretty awesome.

We got back to the hotel around 5ish to again find the power out in our rooms. Apparently the fuses keep blowing. We tried to finagle a free dinner, but were only successful in a few free drinks. Hilton really needs to step it up. Headed to a local restaurant in the area for dinner and had our $12 sandshiches but we wanted for an early night as we have to pack up and head north tomorrow.

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10th June 2013

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