Iceland is hands down the most visually stunning country I’ve ever seen. Geysers! Volcanoes! Thermal Spas! Waterfalls! Mountains! Vivid Green Valleys! There are so many adventurous activities to do that I must go back one day to do what I missed! Iceland is located where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet and there is a volcanic fissure there and it’s getting bigger each year! I just stood in awe looking at the fissure when I saw it.
An accomplishment is I can now spell Reykjavik easily and without checking.
It’s a thermal spa! The Blue Lagoon is 9 million litres of water with a temperature of about 37 – 40°C. It doesn’t get much better than that. I regret not getting a picture of myself in the lagoon. It’s a touristy spot, but well worth the visit if you enjoy this sort of thing. For me, the word spa is right up there with the word wine, so I had a great time. Combine the words spa and wine together and I’m not leaving and probably getting escorted out.
Pre-booking is recommended and a standard ticket is 6100 ISK ($70 CAD).
The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle consists of different attractions: Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geysers: Geysir and Strokkur and Skálholt. I had an incredible day learning about and viewing these sights.
- Þingvellir is a natural wonder and it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List
- Icelandic parliament was founded at Þingvellir
- Þingvellir is at the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates
- Gullfoss is a waterfall that is 32 m high with 2 drops
- It is a spectacular sight!
Geysers: Geysir and Strokkur
- Watching a geyser erupt is definitely one of the coolest things ever!
- The Great Geysir is sleeping and rarely spouts
- Strokkur spouts every few minutes
Strokkur Erupting …
- Skálholt is the most historic place in Iceland
- Christianity became the religion of Iceland in 1000 AD and Skálholt is the ancient seat of the Icelandic Bishops
- Danish rule changed the religion to Lutheranism in the mid 16th century and the last Catholic bishop was executed there
- Today, a new Cathedral stands tall
I spent a day walking around Reykjavik and toured the Harpa Concert Hall and Hallgrímskirkja Church (The Church of Iceland is Lutheran). It was a rainy day and I had tea and lamb stew in a bread bowl at a local pub – it was my first time having lamb stew and it was very, very good!
In Reykjavik, the Team Diabetes group stayed at the Hotel Reykjavík Centrum. It was a smaller room, like most European hotel rooms, but it was perfect for my needs. A standard double/twin is $436 CAD/night.
Iceland was very expensive – so plan accordingly if you’re going. I only bought a woolen orange scarf which my Mom now has. I believe that it came to about $140 CAD.
Things I Didn’t Do
On a return trip to Iceland, I plan to:
- Go down 700 feet INSIDE Thrihnukagigur Volcano
- Drive around Iceland’s ring road – 1332 km
- Snorkel (maybe dive) the Silfra Fissure where the two continental plates meet!
I took a few really cool pictures of Greenland from the airplane. IcelandAir offers some good deals to Europe with long layovers in Reykjavik.
- The Official Gateway to Iceland
- Islandsbanki Reykjavik Marathon
- Blue Lagoon
- Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park
- UNESCO Site – Þingvellir National Park
- Gullfoss Waterfall Official Site
- Geysers: Geysir and Strokkur
- Hotel Reykjavík Centrum
- The Icelandic Phallological Museum
- Harpa Concert Hall
- Hallgrímskirkja Church
- Thrihnukagigur Volcano
- Silfra Fissure