Iceland, Day 4

After Saturday’s truly awful weather, it was nice to wake up to sunshine on Sunday. Especially since we knew we’d be spending much of the day outside.

Our first activity was horseback riding. Icelandic horses are an interesting breed. The Vikings brought horses with them when they came to the island and subsequently banned further horse imports. That was over 900 years ago so the breed is extremely well preserved (and also extremely susceptible to disease). Current laws are just as strict. If a horse leaves the country (to be shown, bred, etc.) it can never return.

We headed to Laxnes Farm – a family farm with a good reputation – for our riding excursion. Once again we donned jumpsuits (they certainly know how to keep warm in Iceland). Then we mounted our assigned horses and headed off on our 2-hour ride.

When our ride was over we enjoyed lunch at the farm (soup and fresh bread!) and then embarked on the Golden Circle tour which is a “must” if you are in Iceland.

Our first stop was ├×ingvellier, but we went to a different area than where we’d been snorkeling/hiking. It was a short stop (only about 20 minutes) so we were both glad we’d been able do some hiking earlier in the trip.

The next stop was Gullfoss, a.k.a. the Golden Waterfall. None of the photos do it justice. It was stunning.

Our last stop was Geysir, the geyser from which the very word “geyser” derives. It isn’t very active these days, but it was cool to see it nonetheless. And right next to it is Strokkur which erupts pretty regularly. We saw it go off a few times as we explored the area. It reminded me of Old Faithful and the sulfur springs out in Yellowstone. But much, much colder. The water was hot, but the air wasn’t.

We headed back to Reykjavik with hopes of seeing the Northern Lights, but when we called to check on our tour we were told they wouldn’t be going out due to clouds and low activity predictions so they rebooked us for the next night. So we went back to Baejarins Beztu to console ourselves with hotdogs!

 

 

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15 November 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Photography, Travel.

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