Home Page Link


Day Nine - Geysirs, Gullfoss, and a Rainy Day at the Park

The one nice thing about Hotel Flśšir is the location in respect to Geysir and Gullfoss, which are major attractions that make up two-thirds of what is known as the"Golden Circle," a well-traveled path for visitors to the Reykjavik area.

Gullfoss is closer, but I thought I'd take advantage of the bright early sun and make my way to the geysers. The Great Geysir is the original natural hot-water spout after which all geysers around the world are named. Geysers are formed when water trapped in fissures becomes geothermally heated. The water deeper in the ground turns to steam and then forces the cooler water near the surface to shoot out of the ground as a water spout.

Strokkur Geyser Before Eruption
(Click to Enlarge)

Strokkur Geyser Starting to Erupt
(Click to Enlarge)

Strokkur Geyser Full Blast
(Click to Enlarge)

With spouts shooting 80 meters (~260 feet) in the air, Geysir was not only the original, but also most impressive spout anywhere. I say was because sometime in the 1950's some idiots threw rocks into it, trying to get it to erupt, and clogged it up. Luckily, there is another strong geyser, Strokkur, right next to it. It doesn't spurt quite as high, but it makes up for it in activity, erupting every 3-5 minutes, on average, and at times, just seconds apart.

(Click to Enlarge)

Gullfoss (Golden Falls) was yet another impressive waterfall in Iceland. On sunny days, a rainbow is usually visible, contributing to its popularity. By the time I got there, it was quite cloudy, however. During the first half of the 20th century and some years into the late 20th century, there was much speculation about utilizing Gullfoss to create electricity. There is a story that Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of one of its owners, was determined to save the waterfall from utilization and even threatened to throw herself into the waterfall. Some suggest it's more myth than history, but interesting nonetheless.

Žingvellir (sounds like Thingvellir) is the last component of the "Golden Circle." In the year 930, the Alžing, one of the oldest parliamentary institutions of the world, was founded there. Lawspeakers recited law to all of the gathered people in the valley and decided disputes as well. Criminals were also punished at these assemblies; to this day, visitors can see the Drekkingarhylur ('drowning pool') in the river, where female lawbreakers were drowned. 

Unfortunately for me, I was almost drowned by a very heavy rain and my visit to Þingvellir was fairly short and not very productive.

With no sign of the storm letting up, I drove back to Reykjavik and sought a pub to watch some Euro Cup Soccer and later the NBA Finals.

Day Ten

Untitled Document

DayOne TwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTen      Iceland Home