Gelfoss, Þingvellir, a tomato farm, rye bread baked by a geothermal lake . . . holy cow we did a lot in a few days! On day two of our trip, we woke up bright and early, threw on our yoga and thermal clothing, and headed to Þingvellir National Park for the highly anticipated snorkeling adventure. We found the meet-up point . . . and waited. And waited. And nothing. What a let down. Apparently, frigid temperatures and intense wind made it unswimmable. Who woulda thought? Despite this let down, we made the best of it and went for a hike!
After hiking and seeing a cool waterfall, we decided to shift our schedule a little bit and tackle the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle (not to be confused with the Ring Road around the entire country of Iceland) is a driving route with several major tourist attractions along the way, including geysers, hot lakes, and waterfalls. Our first stop on the Golden Circle was a rye bread bakery and spa (odd combination?) on a hot lake.
Essentially, they've been baking bread like this for hundreds of years by taking advantage of the natural geothermal energy belowground. We could see the bubbling mud just under the surface. This was also right next to a lake, which even in March, was hot to the touch.
The bread itself? Delicious right out of the ground. We were fortunate to have a private tour all to ourselves, so we got to sample quite a lot of bread. In fact, we took most of it back to our AirBnB and we snacked on it the rest of the week. Delicious!
From there, we checked out the fantastic Gelfoss waterfall, which lived up to the hype. This waterfall just kept going in so many tiers. It was pretty impressive. According to the signage, it was more beautiful than Niagara Falls . . . which we were all amused to find out.
Once we soaked in the beauty of the waterfalls, we made our way to the Strokkur Geysir! The ground literally explodes hot liquid every six to ten minutes, which is an awesome sight to see. Though there isn't a ton to do at this spot, we spent about half hour watching from various angles, and sneaking a peek at the other hot pots around this area. It was super cool to see this in person.
After a very long day of driving from sight to sight, including a stop at an ice cream shop on a working dairy farm, we were pretty wiped out. So we headed back to Reykjavik and picked up some delicious pizza, we rested up for the following day.