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
Jackie is “Mom” to one amazing son, an IT professional, and an obsessed traveller. She spends her time reading, golfing at Ladies League, and implementing software projects. Jackie has travelled to 7 continents and 90 countries and is always planning the next destination and adventure!