Arrival to Iceland was at noon, so we had a leisurely morning on the ship getting ready for our day. We had a quick snack at the buffet and then joined the line to disembark. What a line! They only had one gangway open and the line was not moving. we didn’t get though the line until 12:45. The rental cars were right at the port which was great. There were no cars available if you did not reserve one so plan ahead. We hopped in the car and off we went.
Our plan was to drive the Golden Circle. Our first stop was the Ferid crater. It was a quick stop but worth it to see the gorgeous blue water inside the deep crater. We then went to the Fridheimar greenhouse for lunch. It is a very unusual restaurant as you eat right inside a working greenhouse filled mostly with tomato plants. The menu is highly tomato based with the specialty being tomato soup and fresh baked breads. They offer bloody Marys, tomato beer, tomato coffee and tomato and apple pie as well. We chose the soup and bread lunch. The soup was amazing. They have basil plants on each table to cut it fresh for your soup. Also on the table is sour cream for the soup and a cucumber salsa for the bread. The bread was phenomenal. Truly perfection and great with the sweet cucumber salsa. Lunch was pricey at $70 but honestly worth it. We walked a little in the greenhouse and saw the bees that pollinate their plants. What is very interesting was how you do not see a single bee in the area where you are dining. I guess these bees were serious about their job! We walked past the horses and could see a horse show going on as we passed. Two women were riding along holding mugs of beer and not spilling a drop.
Our next stop was Geysir. There we got to see the geyser erupt four times. Fascinating! The water bubbled up the most beautiful light blue and then exploded into the sky. I could have watched it four more times but we wanted to go to the next stop on the tour which was the Gulfoss waterfall.
We parked and had a little walk to see a stunning waterfall. You could see it from a distance or walk down a few flights of stairs and a path to get closer. We walked about half way to get some pictures.
The landscape on the Golden Circle is very diverse. Most of the landscape is very desolate. At times, it is rocky and mountainous. Other times, it is very green with sheep and cows grazing. My husband did very well driving but a few sheep did scare him. I saw the one sheep’s eyes and it was just as scared!
Our final stop was the tectonic plates at Thingvellir. Here you can walk between the plates that separate Europe and North America. You can even stand on each continent, which of course we each did! The formation of the rock was extremely interesting.
I cannot pick a favorite stop along the Golden Circle. Each was so very different and unlike anything I have ever seen. We made our way back to Reykjavik to fill up the tank. We used a quarter of a tank on our journey and it cost us $25 to fill up. Iceland isn’t cheap but it certainly is beautiful. It was very easy to drop the car off right at the port and place the keys in the drop box.
We were back around 8:00pm and hungry. We stopped off at the buffet for some food and then went to Galaxy for a drink. We enjoyed cocktails while Veronica met up with her friends. Later, she joined us and since we were overnighting in Reykjavik we felt a trip to the Blue Lagoon was in order. It is so relaxing having chicken wings brought to us! For those not familiar with the Spirit, Blue Lagoon is the name of their “O’Sheehan’s” late night restaurant. But it made a great joke so we had to do it.
We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.