Circling the gold

Day 3: November 7, 2015

Started the morning off right with a shot of somewhat fishy smelling Omega-3 oil. ‘Twas on display with our daily breakfast buffet. When in Rome…

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Making friends (Alexis and Eric) and getting our health on

Today would make for an action packed day, we were to complete what the tour industry calls, The Golden Circle Tour. The sun not yet fully risen, Erling explains how all homes are geothermally heated and that you can “take a shower for hours if you want” because there is a never ending supply of hot water. Bonus. Besides the hot showers, their water is the best I’ve ever had. Seriously. With this introduction to geotherms, we make our first stop of the day at the On Power plant for a brief education in sustainability.

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Earth’s heat escaping

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Diagram of what geothermal energy can do

We press on. Erling asks us if we have tried a real, Icelandic doughnut yet. We have not. We head for a little bakery in a strip mall. There are two kinds of Icelandic doughnut we should try: the kleina and astarpungar (aka ‘love balls’). It is madness in the bakery. We take a number, pay up, walk away with our goods. The result? They taste less like what we think of as doughnuts and are more dense and cake like. A nice second breakfast regardless.

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Kleina og astarpungar

Onwards to take a peek at the Kerið Crater (Kerith or Kerid en Anglais). This was the first and last time I would get out of the bus without wearing a waterproof pant: the wind, oh how she howled and whipped around our bodies!

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Road and pretty autumnal colours leading to Kerith Crater

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3000 years old and she looks good

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Cold! So very cold.

Next stop was to pay witness to Gullfoss—the name in which inspires all names, specifically the tour’s name: Golden Falls. Gullfoss is pretty huge and loud. And while I’m a girl that hails from Niagara and has the Falls in her backyard, this was impressive. Especially considering how little the area is developed, in a good way. No souvenir shops, and car traffic, restaurants (but one) and CASINOS. Just a waterfall doing its thing, with some people traffic. Nice.

I learned pretty quickly that my camera bag was not waterproof. This is a safe distance from getting wet.

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Gulfoss

This is how you get wet and learn my camera bag is not waterproof.

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We had lunch (hot soup and fresh bread) and an air-dry.

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Making friends (Alexis and Eric) and getting our health on

Next on the agenda, was visiting Geysir (pronounced gey-sear). Which, I was surprised to learn is an Icelandic word we have appropriated! Geysir comes from geysa in Icelandic which means to gush. Makes sense. The area is teeming with bubbling and not so bubbling pools and steam clouds.

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All the steam

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More steam!

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The cutest little geyser I’ve ever seen

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Humans waiting for the Strokkur geyser to do its thing

From what I understand, Geysir herself is a little inactive and these days Strokkur gets all the glory.

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Taken from Kim’s phone

I wandered around the area, and every 4-8 minutes I would hear a collective gasp, turn around and take a quick photo of the aftermath:

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The phallic aftermath

I’m sorry Old Faithful, but waiting for you was not fun. I appreciate the frequency of eruptions of Strokkur.

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Everywhere hot pools

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Next up, þingvellir and the alþing (aka Thingvellir and althing)! It seems the Icelandic ‘þ’ is like the English ‘th’?

 

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