Day 3 - Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland Tour

 Up at 7 am for a 10 hour excursion.  The day stated with one of the better Hilton breakfasts that I've had.  We took a quick taxi to "Bus Stop 12", one of the places where tourists are herded onto buses.  They drove us about 5 miles where we met up with several other herds and they sorted us out into buses for a plethora of different excurions. Ours was the "Golden Circle".  

The first stop was Kerið Crater.  A reasonably cool volcanic crater with a lake at the bottom.  Hiking trails led to the lake or to the top on the opposite side.  The wind was howling and since I had no hat and was wearing only a sweatshirt.  I snapped a couple of photos and hightailed it back to the warmth of the bus.  The temperature was around 50 but the wind made it feel more like 20's.

Next stop was The Secret Lagoon.  Water bubbles up from the earth here at 212 degrees and they let some of it seep into the pool.  The bottom is rocky and the temperature is about that of a hot tub.  Twenty minutes was plenty for me.  I'm not a big fan of soaking and rarely use our own pool.  The rocks around the edge were algae covered and all of the particulants floating in the water made the whole experience kind of gross for me.

The stop at Geysir was the low for the day.  For the next two hours we were stuck in this tourist trap.  Mainly it's a gift shop/restaurant and there was around 2000 other people.  There's a short path to Geysir which erupts approximately every four minutes.  The actual eruption lasts around one second.  Very anticlimatic.  We had a lunch of two paninis, a slice of cake, and two sodas. The $54 price tag once again left us in shock. 

Gullfoss Waterfall was definitely the highlight of the day.  It's truly spectacular.  Once again there wre throngs of tourists and a howling wind, which meant that I spent less than 10 minutes taking it in.  I did look at a thin Gortex shell at the Geysir stop but the $575.00 price tag struck me as a bit extreme.

The last stop of the day was Þingvellir National Park.  The main draw is the rift caused by the North American and European tectonic plates meeting.  They shift a couple of centemetes every year and contribule to the thousands of small earthquakes that happen in Iceland yearly.  The vast majority of them can't be felt.  Definitely an underrated stop on the tour.  The scenery was gorgeous and it's much more relaxed than the more popular spots.

An hour later we were back in Reykjavik.  It was about 6 pm so we wandered the street near our hotel looking for something simple for dinner.  We decided on a pizza joint and had what was one of the worst pizzas that I've ever had.  The sauce was gross, the cheese was skimpy and the basil leaves just looked sad.  Patty also got an order of fries, so at least she was happy.

Overall, I'm not sure that I would do the tour again.  Every stop had hundreds, if not thousands, of people and it just felt like we were cattle being herded.  I don't know what I expected. Perhaps it was naive to think that these places would be less crowded.

Back to the hotel exhausted.  We were both sound asleep before 8 pm.


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