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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Golden Circle Tour -Tuesday

 Our feeder coach collected us at 8.30 that morning in the dark to meet our mini-bus at the bus station for our day out. As it was so dark our guide, Siggy for short, took us to a shop in a converted factory to buy some daylight as he put it. Lovely woolen garments but I can't wear wool so contented myself with post cards and playing cards as gifts. We then made our way to Thingvellir National Park where the tectonic plates are pulling apart a few centimetres a year. We had a walk in the snow and ice battling strong winds for about an hour. It was about -3 but felt like -10 but was such glorious scenery and we also had the history of the ancient parliament site.

After a quick stop to pick up a welcome coffee we made our way to Geysir which is a high temperature geo-thermal area and has a geyser Stokkur which erupts every 10 minutes up to 30 metres high. It was treacherous underfoot but amazing. There were warnings not to touch the water as it was so hot.

On the way to the geyser we had a moment of anxiety when our way was blocked by a van stuck in the snow after trying to get past an abandoned car. The weather was atrocious with snow blowing and drifting. After a heavy vehicle moved the van we were able to continue plowing through the snow as we were in an all weather vehicle thankfully.

Our next destination was the amazing Gullfoss (Golden falls) where the river Hvita plunges 32 meters into a crevice.  I could have stood and looked at it all day but it was just too cold in the strong wind.
We finished the day at the Fontana Wellness Centre where we first sampled the fresh bread baked over the hot springs. We then put swim wear on and ventured outside to the sauna and steam huts built over the hot springs so it was wonderful. Then outside again and into the hot sulphur pool. It was so invigorating to bathe there next to a lake with snow around. I felt amazingly energized and my skin was soft and silky. I could do that every day. We saw some swimming pools on our travels and they are all outdoors and open all year as they are heated geothermally so it is very cheap and a popular past-time. Our outdoor pool only opens a few weeks each year!
The bread was delicious!

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