Iceland Day 2 – Golden Circle Part 1
On our second day we were up and out early for a our tour. We booked all of our tours via Viator. I have used this company in the past while traveling abroad. Today is our Golden Circle tour. We had to go to the bus station to pick up our tour bus, but it was a quick taxi ride to get there.
The Golden Circle is route 1 that loops Reykjavik to the southern uplands and back. Locals say if you get lost on the Golden Circle just keep going and you will make it back to Reykjavik. Along our drive we saw beautiful landscape and natural springs in the distance.
Everywhere you look out the windows of the bus you were awarded a few of nature! It was so refreshing to travel along a road where you saw more streams, mountains, and natural springs than convenient stores and shopping centers.
Our first stop on our tour was to Friðheimar greenhouse. This unexpected stop was a nice surprise for me! As someone who enjoys gardening and growing her own vegetables, including tomatoes, it was nice to visit somewhere in another country and still indulge in my hobby. The greenhouse was built 1995 – 2001 and in 2002 they decided to grow tomatoes year round.
While at the greenhouse you have the ability to sample the products that are grown on site in various forms – Tomato Snapps, Bloody Marys, and Tomato Soup are just some examples. While we were here we sampled the tomato soup and artisan bread baked on site. All I can say is yum! Another added touch is that there are basil plants on all tables that you can snip a few leaves off and add to your soup.
You are also able to purchase souvenirs to bring home to have a taste of Iceland at home! They have delicious jams, salsa’s and drinks to purchase.
The next stop on our tour was the Haukadalu valley area that is the home of Geysir and Srokkur. The Geysir, or the Great Geysir, does not erupt as frequently as it once did. Stokkur on the other hand erupts approximately every 10 minutes 49 – 50 feet high, though it can erupt to up to 130 feet. When you arrive to the site of the geysers you take as short walk past mud pools, fumarole (small openings in which steam escapes), and other bubbling mini geysers.
You continue to walk until you reach the the rope off area where Stokkur is located. There are several spots away from the crowd that gathers around the geyser to see the eruption. You can also find spots to set up photography equipment if you want to as well. Since the geyser can go off approximately every 10 minutes you can be surprised when it goes off. And when it does, it is a spectacular site to behold!
The surrounding area has path that you can hike up. Once you get to the top the view of the area is spectacular.