Iceland: the Golden circle

Our trip to the glacier was amazing, but ran late and as a result we were not where we needed to be at 6pm that evening... another 3 h of driving was not possible considering how tired we suddenly were, so we checked in again to the same hotel as the night before. (This was the night we saw northern lights!). 

The next morning we got up early and set out to reach the Vik black sand beach before sunrise. Luckily we made it just before the sun was truly up, but the tide was certainly still high and was a bit too dangerous to walk too far around the cove.

After Vìk, we set off back towards the east, to enter the Golden Circle from the west side. First stop on the way was Skógafoss, which was an epic waterfall that also allowed you to walk up the side of the hill to watch it from the top. It was absolutely freezing here and so windy, but worth it to reach the top.

Next we hit the actual Golden circle, (after a bit of driving!) and first up was the Strokkur geysir!

After watching the geysir erupt about three times, we went on to see Gulfoss, an epically big waterfall with a LOT of layers very close to the geysir. It was snowing, hailing and windy but that didn't detract from this amazing waterfall.


The last main stop we watned to reach before 4 pm / nightfall was the big faults at the Þingvellir National Park.

See Pt. I, where we explored glacier caves here.

Glacier caves in Iceland

Oh boy. These photos have been sitting in my Lightroom for weeks now, and I've been editing them again and again probably to do Iceland justice but finally I've decided to post them. After arriving at sunset (around 3 pm) at Keflavik airport, we headed straight for our rental car and drove towards the south coast, since we had a glacier cave tour booked for the next day. We barely made it. Almost on the dot at 6 pm, we both felt the tiredness creeping in, possibly a consequence of flying from Australia to Europe just two nights before. 

The first full day we spent in Iceland was at Jokularson lagoon, which was a 1.5 h drive from our accommodation. On the way there were already, so many waterfalls greeting us on the side of the road with a LOT of water gushing down. 


If you've done any research on Iceland before then you know the weather can be incredibly fickle. I can confirm this... 


When we got to the lagoon it was hailing off/on. The hail was so dry and hard and flicked me in the face so many times... but really it was the wind that gave the harshest treatment. The lagoon was very cool - crystal clear ice chunks literally everywhere.


After a bumpy ride in a van to the beginning of the glacier, we trekked out onto the ice. I was quite scared of slipping and was half-convinced the whole time my crampons were going to slip/slide off. Luckily I had no accidents on the ice, and I had a great experience walking on the glacier and in the cave/hole. It was so blue, unimaginably blue (and also tasty ;)). We even spent some time trying to suck out an air bubble from the ice... but it was not meant to be. I still don't really know why the ice has this almost uniform wave pattern...

You can only hike on the glaciers and caves in winter, so if you're in Iceland at the right time, I highly recommend it - its a great trip for the price. The glacier is melting now faster than ever :( so do get on it while you still can.