Iceland's Golden Circle tour
Alice explores Iceland's Golden Circle & Game of Thrones locations.
I had pre-booked the Golden Circle and Traditional Tastes tour, which started a bit later in the morning and I had a bit of time to take a little morning walk.
Breakfast at First Hotel Alda was a real treat. There was smoked Icelandic salmon, Skyr, different types of bread & cheese and even a waffle station (my Norwegian colleagues would love this).
I was the first person to get picked up this morning and our guide for today had been studying and living in Copenhagen, so again I had the opportunity to continue yet another conversation in Danish and we had lots to talk about. We were only 8 on today's tour and all ladies, a group of 6 Finnish friends who had known each other since they were children, a young lady from New York City and me.
The first stop our tour was the historic Þingvellir National Park, which was where the modern Icelandic Republic was founded in 1944, thus yearly on June 17 there are usually lots of festivities taking place here.
We also visited the Gulfoss waterfall and Strokkur geyser, which erupted every few minutes – it was a hard task to time the photos at the right time.
We visited a greenhouse, where everything is about tomatoes. The local family-run farm produces tomatoes and cucumbers all year round in the greenhouses.
There was only one item on the menu, and that was Tomato Soup, which was served in abundance. It came with a variety of freshly baked bread, cucumber salsa, butter and crème fraîche. There were basil pots on the tables for you to help yourself. It was a truly unique experience to enjoy a meal in a delightful environment among the many plants. There is also a bar there, and it is rumored they make the best Bloody Mary in Iceland.
Icelandic people’s favorite topic of discussion is the weather. They say if you are not happy with the weather, then wait 5 minutes and it will change. The weather did however not change much and when we came to experience Iceland’s geothermal power at the open air pool, it was still freezing and we were all running from one pool to another to find the hottest one. As you can imagine the Finnish ladies started and finished in the sauna – we could have learned something there.
After a lovely dinner at a local restaurant it was time to head back to Reykjavik. We still had 2 hours left of the tour and the guide said that, this time was our time and he would show us something we were interested in. The Finnish ladies had asked about the geothermal energy and the lady from New York City and I was very interested in Game of Thrones. Thus we went to Game of Thrones filming locations, where the guide had actually seen the set in action and drove back to Reykjavik along the pipelines and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset.
It was a great tour for a small taste of Iceland's Golden Circle and our tour guide was very knowledgeable and went out of his way to make us happy.