The Golden Circle

by Julia Kuzminska about a year ago in couples travel

Day 2 and 3 in Iceland

The Golden Circle

After the previous day we were terribly tired and we have slept for quite a bit. Oversleeping the breakfast wasn't fun, as of course going to a restaurant wasn't an option; extreme prices. Also, we have paid for breakfast in advance, so it was annoying, that I was too lazy to set up an alarm.

We've decided that, we are going to grab something from the local shop and be fine for next couple of hours before lunch. We have gone to Kronan; supermarket in Iceland, which was pretty cheap, considering the very high prices in Iceland. We have managed to get full lunch and second lunch for around 15 to 20 pounds. Not too bad if you think about it. At the same time it was terrifying and funny to hear the price in thousands.

Little fun fact:

Icelandic money and prices come in hundreds and thousands, when you look at the prices in the shops, you start to think oh my. Also, Iceland is the smallest country to have its own currency.

After some shopping, we got to the car, got our GPS out and have gone for an adventure. We didn't really know where we were going, but it was exciting. After all discussions, we have made a decision to go to Keflavik's town centre as, it would be slightly weird if we have stayed in Keflavik, but never seen the town centre.

It was beautiful. You could see the mountains and glaciers from far and at that point the weather wasn't too bad. It was actually pretty sunny when we got there, which was a surprise, considering a storm was on its way there. Little breeze from time to time and the sound of moving ocean. As I stated previously, Iceland is quiet country, so if Reykjavik was very quiet, you can just imagine how Keflavik was. Even though, the city was quite small, they had several shops there, such as Iceland which you can find in the UK as well

We have taken couple of pictures, but realising it is getting darker as the sun light only lasts there for like 3 or 4 hours.

Fun fact number 2:

Yes, 3 or 4 hours. You get up at 10 am if not earlier and it's very dark, the sun over there usually gets up at around 11 am.

We've decided, that we can allow ourselves to go to one more place which my partner has found on a map, and was quite close by.

Hafnir. Right next to the ocean, small village, with couple of houses near the road and about 15 minutes drive from where we have stayed. Keflavik is next to the ocean as well but, there was no stairs or path to get closer to it, so going to Hafnir helped me to get more of a glimpse at the monstrous waves and the power they've got. I've sat down in awe looking at the hidden beauty in the view, which was affront of me.

It has got very windy at that point. The waves were crashing against the rocks and splashing everywhere. It looked so hypnotising, that I could sit there and watch forever. The sun, which started to set around us, giving even more beauty to this image. It looked even more unrealistic, movie like. After taking several photos, we drove to petrol station.

Fun fact number 3:

They are quite funny ones, as they have little badges, which you scan at the petrol station and then fill up your tank. Payment is by card, which is quite good considering not many people carry cash now.

We have gone to the hotel and that was the end of day 2.

Day 3

On a second day, after getting to the hotel I've checked my email and found out, that our glacier trip was cancelled due to the dangerous weather conditions. So, me and my boyfriend sat down and tried to decide where we want to go. The decision was; we want to see the golden circle, as it is the most popular and the most beautiful spot in Iceland, according to the book. Honestly it wasn't wrong.

We woke up at around 7 am, eaten breakfast and stormed off to the car for the best experience of our life. The good thing about the hotel was that they have been serving breakfast since 4 am, so we could get up very early eat and go wherever.

Before arriving to the first destination of the golden circle we have stopped at small waterfall. It was beautiful, it gave me an idea what the rest might look like. The water crashing against the small river and the ice slopes were very impressive, considering its not so big size. The good part of this place was, that next to it they were selling hot coffee and doughnuts. Trust me guys when you are travelling in the -10 ( with the wind -15) cold the only thing you want to do is to drink hot coffee. (This time the coffee didn't taste like poison.)

We were walking and admiring the beauty of it and we've seen stairs following up, to see the waterfall up close. I decided not to go up, as the steps were so icy, everyone kept falling. So, I thought I was being smart and cautious and I didn't go but my boyfriend being himself, he went up. Now the funny part of this; I wanted to walk couple steps, just to see the smaller part of the waterfall and yes... I fell, with coffee in my hand and camera around my neck I flew onto the ground. I didn't spill the coffee, in fact it stayed straight in my hand, which looked ridiculous. The camera survived and to be honest I was more worried about my camera than any broken bones that I could have. The only thing that happened to me, was a hurt butt and slightly cut hand, from the wire which was on the fence, and I tried to grab on to. We walked around and admired the ice slopes, which were at least some of them 1 meter long. Then went back to the car and drove off for the golden circle adventure.

First destination of the golden circle was Þingvellir. As we were there very early in the morning, the sun just started to rise and it looked beautiful in a reflection of the water ice and snow. We have walked around the park reading different signs, which were mostly historical, about how they were treating the enemy if seen on their territory, such as drowning them with a sack on their head. This was an amazing place as well, as we were able to get another coffee. It might sound funny but honestly it was cold and we wanted to stay awake at the same time so tea wasn't really an option.

Next destination was Geysir. We got there after an hour maybe. I can't really remember, I was more absorbed in view around us and google maps rather than time. Probably everyone heard of it. Several natural geysers stuck around each other. When we walked into that park, the smell from the geysers hit me hard. It smelled a lot like rotten eggs and sulphur. I got used to the smell after some time, but first 10 minutes hurt my nose (after couple of hours I could still taste it in my mouth and smell it. Ugh) We looked at each geyser and I knew there is Strokkur Geysir which goes off every 10 minutes or so. It tested my patience, as we were standing and waiting for it to go off and tried to capture it. After taking couple of photos, we walked a little bit longer and decided, that we need another hot drink as our limbs were bloody freezing from the cold and chilly wind.

Next was Gullfoss waterfall. When we've arrived the wind was hectic. It was going up to 120km/h. It was so strong that, trust me it could blow you off from the ground, without even you realising it happened. We went up to see the waterfall up close and I was not disappointed. Tons of water and ice. Waterfall 32 meters height and the longest drop of 21 meters. I was in awe at this beauty. Water crashing against the rocks and the flowing ice has taken me into a trance and it looked so fascinating and soothing. The path was icy and it was difficult to walk on it without crampons, but it didn't stop us from walking up closer to it and taking photos. The path that led even lower to the waterfall was closed, due to extreme ice.

Last was Kerið a 55 meter deep crater, which to be fair didn't look too big on the photos, but when I saw it live, my jaw dropped. We got to hike around it, although, it was slightly dangerous to do so, as it was very icy and windy. Now the freak story time. The older generation of my family, always believed in things like throwing salt behind your back for good luck and stuff like this. So, as a kid I've been always told that ravens are omen of death or accident. Of course it is quite logical cemetery equals ravens, it made sense in my little head. Anyway, so we are doing our amazing hike around the crater in the hectic wind and I could see raven landing on one of the stones affront of us. I told my boyfriend to move away from the edge of the path and the moment I've said it, his shoe got caught on one of the rock and nearly tripped almost giving me bloody heart attack. Nothing happened to him luckily, but I was scared, so we were super careful when going down to the crater. On a good note I got to stand in the middle of it, on a thick ice which turned out no to be that thick and I thought I'm going to cry.

We wanted to go and see one more place, but it was getting dark and the last place would require an hour hike, which we could not afford, once is dark in Iceland it is bloody dark. So we just made our way to the hotel.

That was the end of day 3.

View from cliff in Keflavik.

Hafnir view.


Gullfoss waterfall

Kerið crater

Þingvellir National Park.

couples travel
Julia Kuzminska
Julia Kuzminska
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Julia Kuzminska

I am an amateur photographer and traveller with big dreams.

See all posts by Julia Kuzminska