Driving to Iceland Golden Circle

I felt surge of excitement as I looked at the window when our plane was about to land in Keflavik. The landscape was literally covered with snow and ice. Little wonder why this country is called ICEland. When March is already spring in central Europe, in this part of the world March is still winter and snowing.

We landed Keflavik at 10.25am and were picked up by Fara Rental who drove us to their office, 5 minutes drive from the airport. Fara Representative gave us some orientation about driving in Iceland and remind us to always check weather forecast and road condition everyday before starting the trip.

Both drivers, Hubby and Rangga have watched video on driving in Iceland and I have bookmarked all the important websites. Weather today looks promising: 2 degree Celcius and sunny with no wind. Fara also gave us mobile wifi so we don’t need to purchase Iceland sim card. I couldn’t find a place who sell sim card at the airport so I’m glad Fara gave us the wifi as part of the car rental.

Our first stop is Bonus at Fitjar. We need to stock up on groceries and buy lots of snack for our trip members with bottomless pits. We had lunch at Subway, just next to Bonus. There is also ATM machine in the area but I don’t see the need to extract cash as you can pay everything in Iceland with Debit or Credit Card.

GOLDEN CIRCLE

Golden Circle is Iceland’s famous popular route between 3 of the most visited attractions. Starting in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik or Keflavik airport, you’ll drive into the southern uplands and back, visiting Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall.

Our first destination is Þingvellir national park. But beforewe get there we couldn’t resist to stop at a side road just to take our first picture with the snow. Not knowing we will see snow everyday throughout our trip in Iceland 🤣.

Random stop otw to Þingvellir

Þingvellir National Park

Þingvellir national park is one of a few attraction in iceland where we are required to pay parking fee. Þingvellir is a historic site and national park in Iceland, east of Reykjavik. It is known for the Althing, the site of Iceland’s first parliament from the 10th to 18th centuries. On the site are the Þingvellir church and the ruins of old stone shelters. The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, with rocky cliffs and fissures like the huge Almannagja fault. You can even dive or snorkel with drysuit in Silfra fissure between two tectonic plates. The drysuit will keep your body warm but your face is not covered and I shuddered imagining water as cold as ice on my face. Thanks but no thanks, I shall skip this 😌

GEYSIR

Strokkur Geysir is the most active geyser in Iceland and erupts naturally every 4-10 minutes. It felt longer to me as I felt my fingers are going numb waiting for the eruption to come. The eruption is usually 15-20 meters high but in history book it said to erupt up to 40 meters. Strokkur and Geysir are believed to be the same age but since Geysir was considered to be more magnifiscent, strokkur wasn’t mentioned in any written books until 1789 after an earthquake helped to unblock the conduit of the Geysir.

There was a restaurant in Geysir center, but we pressed thru to Gulfoss which was a 10 minutes drive as we wanted to reached there before the sun sets.

GULFOSS

Gulfoss, translated to Golden Falls is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfall, found in the Hvita river canyon in South west island and is a part of attraction under Golden Circle route. Gulfoss is unique because we view the waterfall from above instead of below like you’d normally do when you see a waterfall.

It takes 10 minutes walk from the parking area into the waterfall which should be okay. But the temperature has dropped below zero degree by the time we came and the wind was strong. That 10 minutes walk felt more like 30 minutes!!

The waterfall is half frozen and I feel we’re going to be frozen as well if we stay longer

Gulfoss is our last destination for the day and we’re going to stay the night in Skalinn guesthouse not far from the area.

SKALINN GUESTHOUSE

We happened to be their only guest so we have the big place for ourselves as the owner told us that she received many cancellation due to the pandemic.

The cute islandic horses

Hubbie and I overslept that night and only woke up around 2-3am. We have missed the chance of seeing Northern light but we went outside anyway to check (not knowing it was -16 Celcius) and we were immediately hit with a cold weather so sharp we felt like our face were numbed and our fingers felt they can be chopped off anytime. The forecast said there was a strong chance of Northern Light appearing but we have missed it due to jet lag.

Our Video Recap of today

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