5 Dec 2016

Iceland Itinerary: The Golden Circle

*inserts photo of JW who has back-modelling potential*, Kerid Crater

When in Iceland, you've got to make a trip to the Golden Circle (if you have no time to take the ring road that brings you one round around the country). The Golden Circle consists of three stops: Þingvellir National Park, Gulfoss Waterfall, and Geysir. Some people may or may not include the Kerið crater. 

We started off the day from our airbnb at Selfoss and our first stop: Kerið Crater (pronounced as Kerid)
While taking this photo, I was getting slapped on the face by the strong winds blowing snow right at me. Never thought I would get to experience this but damn, it really hurts a lot. (I hope you don't  get to try it)
Went there, walked one round around the crater and that was it. Sounds pretty simple aye? Now include in strong winds which can go up to 65 km/h, that sweeps you off your feet when you try to stand straight while on the edges of the crater. Also factor in paths that are covered in ice/snow that makes it hard to walk. We look pretty glamorous in the photos all over our Instagrams and Facebooks, but in fact a lot of us were slipping/falling/toppling/struggling with every step we take haha oh well.

I am pretty sure that if I came here in summer, we could see greens around the crater. But we went in winter so, its snow and ice everywhere (Iceland, yes?) Everything around you is just covered in white, and after a few days, I swear it gets a little boring to look outside of your car's window. (Pretty sure I won't be saying this when I am back in Singapore)

Next stop: Gulfoss Waterfall
Ventured out to a closed-off area to get this photo. Wanted to sit by the edge but the winds were pretty damn strong, I think I'll get blown off if I did so.

This was the best attraction in the Golden Circle imo. Or maybe I just love waterfalls... It was a pity that the route that could bring us closer to the falls was closed as it was winter (ugh again...) and the road was covered with a thick blanket of snow/frozen when we looked down. We were pretty lucky as the day that we did the Golden Circle was more or less the ONLY day that we were blessed with good weather (rest of the days were just snowstorms/hailstorms/blizzard/strong winds/rain). 

Awesome weather = Awesome mood (I mean you could just tell from the smiles on our faces. We finally didn't have to struggle to smile in the middle of a snowstorm)

Final Stop: Geysir
"Geysir" consists of two geysers: Geyser and Strokkur. Geyser sadly doesn't erupt anymore as it was shut down by an earthquake (typical iceland again), but Strokkur still does. In fact, it erupts every 10 minutes and the (boiling) water jet can shoot up to 100 ft in the air! (stay far away from it when that happens pls) 

When we went there the roads are almost all frozen and the entire place (apart from the geysers) was just like an outdoor ice-skating rink. *slip* *fall* Plus the winds were savage. Sadly, we were turning into icicles before we reached half of the whole geyser trail, so we turned back to our car and made an attempt to get to Black Sand Beach before sunset (of which we failed) (lesson of sunk cost learnt).

But still, enroute to Vik, we were rewarded with stunning pastel coloured sunsets that we doubt we will get to see elsewhere. Attempted trip well-made still, I guess?

Oh and just in case if you were wondering where the photos at Thingvellir National Park went, we gave that a miss because of shitty weather and road conditions on the day before we did the Golden Circle. We attempted to drive to the National Park, but the main road leading to the park was closed, and we took this super long alternate route and had some hiccups along the way... We were so done by the end of the day and we just decided to head back to the Airbnb and rest.

But if you're interested, here are some of the sceneries you can see on the way!