Trip to Iceland day 3 / 2022-04-26

2022-04-26 Trip to Iceland day 3
We woke up in the Eldhestar Hotel, had breakfast there and packed our belongings to keep going.

Strokkur geyser - KvdHout on flickr
Strokkur geyser
Geysir area - KvdHout on flickr
Geysir area
Our plans for this day were a few of the 'standard' tourist attractions of Iceland: first the geysers at Geysir where the 'original' geyser named Geysir isn't very active but the next one Strokkur is active with large eruptions of boiling water. Strokkur erupts every 6 to 10 minutes, which is very tourist friendly. This is all part of an area with high geothermal activity, so there are also other hot springs and pools with boiling mud. Since this is a huge tourist attraction there is also a gift shop and restaurant nearby. I was used to signs asking you to not continue on outside shoes in Iceland, but the door to this gift shop and restaurant had a request to not walk in with crampons. I would consider it a very bad idea to walk anywhere without snow on crampons, but maybe other people didn't consider this.

For lunch we stopped at a campsite that was officially closed. It was a field with a small wooden building with a covered table. The only thing that made it look 'closed' to us was the fact that the doors of the toilets on the other side of the wooden building were locked. Otherwise it was a very minimalist camping with just a field and a toilet building and a table. No power outlets, no swimming pool. I assumed there was a place with clean drinking water but I didn't see it.

Drones are forbidden at Gullfoss waterfall - KvdHout on flickr
Drones are forbidden at Gullfoss waterfall
Gullfoss waterfall - KvdHout on flickr
Gullfoss waterfall
The other attraction in that area is Gullfoss waterfall which is a very big waterfall. Being there in the month of April was a bit early so it was quite chilly. The view at Gullfoss is amazing. To make sure everybody gets to enjoy views like Gullfoss waterfall and Strokkur geyser there were signs forbidding drones. I agree with forbidding drones at places like this. First of all drones make a really annoying sound. There is a reason drone video never has original sound: you don't want that sound, it's just a high-pitch whine. And the second reason to forbid drones at a site like this: there are lots of ways for drones to crash in a place like this. And having the natural beauty of a place like a huge waterfall or a geyser spoiled by heaps of drone remains would be annoying too.

Huge trucks in Iceland - KvdHout on flickr
Huge trucks in Iceland
Huge trucks in Iceland - KvdHout on flickr
Huge trucks in Iceland
The parking lot at Gullfoss had a number of big four-wheel drive or eight-wheel drive cars with special installations for driving on rough terrain. Those probably drive tourists around Iceland and mostly stay on roads!

Waterfall at Þingvellir - KvdHout on flickr
Waterfall at Þingvellir
We also visited the Þingvellir which is now a national park. It was the site where the parliament of Iceland came together every year from 930 until 1798. It's a valley and it's directly on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge so you can see Europe and North-America drift apart. It's both a historic site and some beautiful nature. There is a path to walk along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and in some parts there are walkways over it because the ground keeps subsiding.

After all this we drove on to our hotel for the evening: Hótel Laxárbakki which is on the ring road. This was more of an apartment with a small kitchen than a 'hotel' room but we got used to this in Iceland. We had dinner in the hotel and had a nice evening walk along the river that flows right besides the hotel. The ring road was now two lanes over a bridge, but the old one lane bridge Einbreid brú was still standing. But it looked too old and unmaintained to walk over it so we just had a look at it.

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