On our way to the first stop Thingvellir national park, we spotted these weird stone assemblies. It seemed to spread on for miles and miles. A board claimed they were originally made my mailmen, but visitors have been adding to it since. You can also see a crater in a huge lake in the background.
After about an hour or more of driving, we reached the National park. It is close enough to Reykjavik that if you have only one day, you should do the golden circle. The park itself was pretty and had some short walks and longer trails. We did one trail that essentially starts from the visitors center, and takes you along a ridge with some nice views of the valley below. The trail was really easy, paved, and around 20-30 mins. It even had a short waterfall, and a river.
The last stop on the circle route is the Gulfoss waterfall. This is a pretty massive waterfall that you get to see from up close (smaller than Niagra though). There is a steep path that takes you to different viewpoints of the waterfall. When we traveled more into the interior, we saw more impressive waterfalls. But, as the first “introduction” waterfall to Iceland, this was pretty neat.
After completing the trifecta of the golden circle, we headed towards the town of Skogar, where we had our hotel reservation. On the way, we stopped at the Kerid crater. I had seen a picture of it online and thought it looked really cool. We had to pay an entrance fee to hike up to the crater. The hike was short, and once we reached the edge, it was almost anticlimactic. Compared to the other sights we’d seen, this looked really…blah. Given that most of the awesome sights in Iceland are free, I’d skip this one.
We had one last stop before Skogar – Seljalandsfoss. This is a tall waterfall that you can see from the highway. There were many other small waterfalls that you could see from this vantage, but this was the largest of them all. This is around where you start realizing how
gorgeous Iceland is!
This is also one of the few waterfalls that you can walk behind! There is a short yet steep hiking trail that takes you the back of the falls. Be prepared to get wet! The walk was also slippery, so make sure to wear good shoes. In general, it seemed to be a good idea to be wearing a
rain jacket at all times.
We headed to our hostel in Skogar for the night, after this waterfall visit. The Hostel Skogar, was in fact right next to another gigantic falls – Skogafoss! The rooms were clean and nominal cost, and the best thing was the location.
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Tomorrow, we head along the south coast of Iceland!