Day 14 - The Golden Circle - þingvellir National Park, Geysers, and Gullfoss
The day started with a drive up Rt 35. We made quick first top at Kerio - a crater with a turquoise lake inside. There was a charge to enter the area (~$2 US), but worth it to see the beautiful sight. Visitors can walk the rim as well as walk down to the lake.
Our next stop was to the large and powerful Gullfoss waterfall. Hundreds of tourists walked with us along the short 10 minute trail to the viewing area at the top of the falls. It was an awesome and formidable sight.
|Crowds walk down to Gullfoss waterfall|
|Views from þingvellir|
Afterwards, we traveled across Rt 365 to þingvellir National Park (pronounced Thingvellir) where Leanne and I had gone on our snorkel trip the night before. We hiked on the well-labeled trails by serene lakes, shadowing cliffs, and cascading waterfalls. Interpretive signs educate visitors about the social and historical significance of the site.
From þingvellir, we took Rt 36 back to Reykjavik to return our Enterprise rental car. Somehow along the trip, a piece of gravel (probably from an overzealous 4x4 passerby in the Westfjords) had chipped our windshield. This chip lead to a significant crack. As a result, we had to pay for a new windshield (about $500 US). Why didn't we get the gravel insurance you might ask? Well, first of all, we weren't told it was important, but also it would have cost about $300 to insure ourselves against gravel on the trip. Realistically, I would have been willing to gamble that on a no-chip trip. Either way, Enterprise was easy to deal with and they gave us a ride from the bus/rental station to our accommodations - Reykjavik Village Hostel.
|Smaller waterfall in þingvellir|
We retired to our hostel, knowing that tomorrow would be our last full day in Iceland. It was a bittersweet thought. We were all a little homesick, but sad to leave this dynamic and amazing country.
|A folded basalt ground with tall lava-rock cliffs in þingvellir National Park.|