Iceland - Day 6: Golden Circle & The Blue Lagoon
Our last day in Iceland was very bitter sweet, as all last days of vacation are! For our last day we didn't have much driving to do, so we decided to take a little detour and see some of the sights along the Golden Circle.
For those of you who don't know - the Golden Circle is is a popular tourist route in southern Iceland covering about 190 miles looping from Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. We started the route from Hella and then followed it into Reykjavík to get to our Airbnb for the night!
There are SO many stops you can see within the Golden Circle, and even a few outside of the circle. The only problem was after 5 days of non-stop driving and hiking we didn't have much left in us to do any of the hikes. This means we were stuck with a bunch of tourists most times!
We drove through Thingvellir National Park, and our first stop was Strokkur a famous geysir that has been erupting since the 1700's. This place was PACKED with people. As you can see in photos below. They have a nice cafe just across the way, with a souvenir shop and they were also building a hotel right next store. I can't imagine that place getting any busier!
The Strokkur geysir erupts sporadically. Its every few minutes ranging from 4-6 (from what we saw) and then it only blows water for about 15-30 seconds! You must always have your camera ready to go. Surround the area is thermal pools, the smell of sulfur rising from them. I called this place "Iceland's Yellowstone" because thats what it reminded me of!
If you followed my Insta Stories, there are horses EVERYWHERE. All along the ring road, every farm has a few, and they are short, and fluffy and oh so adorable! I was so determined to find some horses close enough to the fence to pet them and snap a photo. I have a few photos of horses but there's fences blocking the way and it just doesn't do these fluffy guys justice.
Throughout Thingvellir National Park there were horses by the fences! But there were also 3-4 families stopped at each one (this is when we'd say "FREAKING TOURISTS!") and move on. Finally the perfect stop arrived! We pulled over, a group of friends were packing up to leave, they asked us to take their photo so it was really perfect timing. You can see in the photos that they are really so small compared to Alec!
Checking these beautiful horses off my list was a dream come true!
*please note: some places have signs that say "don't feed, don't touch, the horses" some say "come pet us!" so you're taking your own risks when approaching these wild horses.
We then followed signs to Gullfoss, another incredible waterfall. Also very popular with the tourists. I couldn't even believe how large this waterfall is!
After we finished up here we decided to make our way back to the capital so we could get settled into our Airbnb. On the road we were starving and decided to stop Pylsur (or an Icelandic hot dog). Every gas station has them, and I honestly planned on eating them a lot more throughout the trip. Everyone boasted how incredible they were and they are cost efficient. We ended up trying different things when we'd stop at gas stations or even just grabbing a bag of chips to tide us over .. If only I would have known!
THESE ARE THE BEST HOT DOGS EVER.
Seriously guys, I wish I could have eaten them my entire trip. Probably would have saved me money instead of wasting it on Salmon that I accidentally ordered because I didn't know what it was. *face palm*
I don't know what makes them so amazing, maybe it was the fried onions, topped with onions. Or maybe it was their mayo/mustard hybrid that was also delicious on sandwiches. But I could've and would've lived off these!
We ended up staying at an Airbnb in Keflavik again, the same city we stayed at when we arrived. Its just so close to the airport, like 5 minutes away! And if you have to wake up early for a flight, you don't want to have to commute to the airport.
Anyway, we settled in and then we got ready for the BLUE LAGOON! You've all seen those incredible videos that pop up on Facebook featuring the Blue Lagoon, its everyones favorite thing. There are actually 2 Blue Lagoons, one is the Myvatn Nature Baths that we visited on the Northern Region and then the Blue Lagoon. I'll have to do a comparative post because theres just too much to say!
When visiting the Blue Lagoon, you HAVE to purchase your tickets ahead of time. What I think is weird though - you have to select a time that you are arriving, but you stand in line for at least 30 minutes! Yes, the lines were RIDICULOUS.
We finally got in, you go to the designated locker rooms and get undressed. I wore my suit under my clothes for convenience but you are still expected to shower, without your suit! I can't remember if I said this before but you are expected to be naked. Its a very traditional Icelandic thing, people look at you weird if you don't follow the rules. They do however have private showers! When showering they HIGHLY reccommend you put conditioner in your hair, the silica (which makes the blue waters) can make your hair extremely unruly. I had not planned to get my hair wet so I skipped this step.
When you exit the locker room there is a "meeting area" its still indoors, so you don't have to brave the wind chill while waiting. I met Alec and then we found a chair to place our towels and then we made a run for it!
It was raining, which made it extra foggy. But so beautiful and moody. You can swim up to the bar and order drinks, I had an incredible Strawberry Wine, and Alec enjoyed a draft beer. We just floated around for a while. The steam made the air so much warmer, which helped keep your face from freezing!
The steam also made it look and feel like you were the only people in the lagoon. Which was nice because there were so many people! (FREAKING TOURISTS)
After our soak we had a reservation at LAVA - the restaurant connected to the Blue Lagoon. We had packed some nice clothes, I slipped on a little black dress, I pinned my hair back and Alec cleaned up nicely as well!
We both enjoyed an incredible steak, and the view was so breathtaking. They have lava rock coming through the wall, outside the window you can see the blue waters. It was a magical end to our Icelandic adventure.