corknut: (peter pan- neverneverland)
[personal profile] corknut
Sorry this is late! After uploading ALL OF THE PICUTRES (ALL OF THEM) to Facebook last night, I was too tired to write up a journal entry, especially since yesterday was another pretty busy day. I'm glad that my camera was behaving and allowing me to take a buttload of pictures, but that did mean that it took ages to get them all online.

I spent most of the day touring around the Golden Circle area. We left Reykjavík by bus and spent a little more than an hour going through some really cool countryside.

Leaving Reykjavík.

Hardened lava!

Some geothermal activity.

The town of Hveragerði.

Icelandic horses! We saw a lot of these.

Then we reached Haukadalur, a valley with a lot of geothermal activity, where we stopped and got out for forty-five minutes. There was a roped-off path so that you could safely walk around the geyser area, and there were signs everywhere warning you not to leave the walkway or try to touch the water because of how hot it was.

"Geysir" was the name of one of the geysers, as well as the name of the geyser park itself.

Strokkur geyser, the biggest and most famous one. It's also the only one that erupts regularly; I saw it go off three times while I was there, and this was the first.

The second eruption of Strokkur! This is also the one I was closest to, so I got sprayed in the face a little bit.

Aaaaaaaand the third eruption. Technically this is only the aftermath; I missed taking a picture of the actual thing.

Then I went into the information center and their multimedia room, where I read the English bits and practiced pronouncing the Icelandic until it was time to go.

The next place where we stopped was Gullfoss, a double waterfall that's a part of the Hvítá river. This was probably my favorite part of the day-- it looks cool in pictures, and it looks ten times better in real life!

There were a few viewpoints-- this one is overlooking the falls from above.

The path you can see on the left side allowed you to walk along the water to the second viewpoint at the head.

Taken from the stairs on the way down to the aforementioned path.

Rainbow! There are rainbows in a few of these pictures, actually.

Once you got down to the second viewpoint the path ended and you just climbed on the rocks-- though there were ropes to indicate the places where it wasn't safe to walk. Before we got off the bus, our guide warned us that if we ignored the ropes we might slip, and if we slipped it might take them a few years to find our bodies.

I was cold; can you tell?

Back up the path again.

On our way out we drove by Geysir again, so I snapped a couple more pictures.

And then there was more countryside.

Next we stopped at the town of Laugarvatn, where we picked up a couple more people from the steam baths there. While we were waiting for them we got out and looked around a bit.

The lake is called Laugarvatn, too.

This is the Sacred Spring, where the used to baptize people when Christianity was first introduced to Iceland. It's also said that if you wash your eyes in the water, you'll always able to see to make the right decisions. (Our guide said that once he brought a group of lawyers there.)

This is one of the buildings of Háskóli Íslands (the University of Iceland). The main campus is in Reykjavík.

A whale skeleton! This was found when they started building here; it was probably beached.

Our bus!

I don't actually know what this means.

On the road again!

Some of this landscape here reminded me a little of the U.S. southwest.

We drove back to Reykjavík through Þingvellir National Park-- we only actually stopped and got out a few times, but the scenery through the bus window was really cool as always.

Experimenting with the sunset setting of my camera.

This waterfall was man-made in the 1000s by settlers.

This little stream never freezes-- even in incredibly cold weather, the water stays at a fairly high temperature.

After a while it really just got too dark to take any more pictures.

I did get this one as we came into the outskirts of Reykjavík, though.

And so that was yesterday! After the tour I went down near the Old Harbour area to have dinner (at Thai Reykjavík again, of course), and then I went into the visitor's center and got an Eyjafjallajökull t-shirt for Jenny (she would probably never wear it, but whatever). Then I went back to the hostel and began my battle to upload ALL THESE PICTURES.
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