Iceland had always been one of our dream vacations. Exploring Iceland’s untouched and beautiful landscape has become an educational journey for us. The country is popularly visited during summer due to the mid-night sun effect where it never gets fully dark between mid-May and early August. Come winter, a muted light shines over the island for a few short hours each day. There are lesser visitors and the entire experience was just us and nature.
On our way to Golden Circle, we passed by beautiful Svínafellsjökull which is a breathtaking outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull glacier and the scenery and views are simply stunning. There are glacier tours available where you get to walk through a wonderland of glacial ice sculptures, meandering through ice ridges and the deep crevasses of the glacier.
There aren’t a lot of trees in Iceland (we only realized after our trip!). Iceland is a volcanic land and it is filled with many glaciers and countless other natural wonders.
The Icelandic Horse
One of the purest breed on earth, the Icelandic horse is a unique breed of smallish horses that came to Iceland with the first settlers from Norway 1100 years ago. Archeological digs in Europe have revealed that it is descendent from an ancient breed of horses that is now extinct outside of Iceland, where it has been preserved in isolation.
Do you know that once an Icelandic horse leaves Iceland it is not allowed to enter back into the country? All around the country, nearly every field seems to be filled with them, slowing grazing or play-fighting with each other. They are cute in their little own ways.
Icelandic horses have heavy double layer coats to help protect them from the harsh Icelandic climate. They come in many colors and can even appear in up to 42 different color combinations! Some types of Icelandic horses coats even change color by seasons. Best of all, Icelandic horses are super friendly. They will walk towards you readily and allow you to cuddle them. A road trip in Iceland is never completed without experiencing the therapeutic effect of Icelandic horses.
Strokkur (the churn) is currently the most energetic spouting spring in Iceland. It is a much-visited geothermal geyser that erupts every 8–10 minutes and reaches heights of 20 meters. According to history, it was set off during an earthquake in 1789, having then been quiescent for some time.
Big M was too comfortable resting in the campervan while we were on long road trip. The first thing she did when alighting from the campervan was to take a deep breath and inhale the wonderful and pure Icelandic air.
The Geysir is a popular tourist spot and one of the main attractions in Golden Circle. It was no surprise to see many visitors here.
Take a walk around the area and the smell of sulphur permeates the air. We remembered the time we were in Taiwan at 小油坑 Xiao You Keng experiencing sight of bubbling water and smouldering fumaroles on Yangmingshan which you can read in our blog here.
A bit of geography lesson.
The Strokkur Geysir erupts every few minutes so this is going to be a rewarding trip as we can get to see it erupting many times.
Waiting and waiting…
Picture time while waiting 🙂
Up and away to the heavens!
We waited and we filmed the action 🙂
It is worthwhile to note that most visitors focus on witnessing Strokkur erupting but may have missed out on other geothermal features such as mud pools, fumaroles and other geysers which are located around it. As the sun sets on the horizon, it created a dreamy effect on the landscape.
Just across Strokkur Geysir is the Geysir Center. It was getting dark and this was probably the only place for us to explore.
A place to shop for souvenirs and clothings.
While we have our brands of winter clothing back in Singapore, we thought Iceland has its own high quality winter wear by 66°NORTH.
Fresh Icelandic Mountain Air on sale!
We had our dinner at the food court in Geysir Center. It looks pretty similar to Ikea’s dining concept.
The menu is special to us as it is uniquely Icelandic.
Traditional Icelandic lambmeat soup.
An idea of what we ordered. So many Icelandic dishes to try but our stomach are limited.
Delicious chicken wings.
We just love traditional Icelandic lambmeat soup.
Dessert time! How about trying some Icelandic ice cream?
We felt Icelandic dishes are really delicious and what a perfect way to pamper our tastebuds on this road trip. It’s no secret that visiting Iceland could be pricey so be prepared to spend for a trip here. For example, the Fish of the Day cost about SGD $23, chicken wings/nuggets SGD $16 and Icelandic lambmeat soup about SGD $32 (assuming SGD $1 = ISK $56 from the rate at the airport).
There are many reasons to love this small Nordic country and discover why you should visit Iceland once in your lifetime. We found our reason and probably hope that we can be here again.
Click here to read blog post on Lost in Iceland Travelogue – (Part 3): Svartifoss, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls
Click here to read blog post on Lost in Iceland Travelogue – (Part 2): Hvannadalshnukur, Skeioararsandur Bridge Monument and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Click here to read blog post on Lost in Iceland Travelogue – (Part 1): Renting a Campervan and 8 Tips on Self Driving in Iceland