Europe 18/19 - Iceland

Kicking off the long overdue report from our Europo trip over Christmas and New Years. Over 3 weeks we visited multiple countries, so I decided to split this one up into multiple smaller posts. First stop on our trip was the beautiful and rugged Iceland with all its volcanoes and waterfalls. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

We only had a relativly short layover of 2 days in Iceland, so we had to keep our iternary simple. The easiest option is to do a guided Golden Circle Tour to see three major attractions that are not too far from Rekjavik. First up was the Thingvellir national park, which has the meeting place of Althing. It's the the world’s first parliament, where people would meet to openly debate and decide on laws.

Thingvellir national park
Thingvellir national park1
Thingvellir national park2
Thingvellir national park3 JJ
Thingvellir national park4

Next up was the Geysir Hot Spring Area with boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the lively Strokkur which spouts water 30 metres (100 ft) into the air every few minutes. You can read more about it here

Geysir Hot Spring Area
Geysir Hot Spring Area2

Last up was the breathtaking Gullfoss (Golden Waterfalls). The water cascades down in two stages, one 11 m (36 ft) high, and the other 21 m (69 ft), into the 2,5 km (1.6 mi) long crevasse below. This crevasse was created at the end of the Ice Age by catastrophic flood waves and is lengthened by 25 cm (9.8 in) a year by the constant erosion from the water.

Upper area of the waterfall
The crevasse

After our day trip was done we were heading out for a Northern Lights tour at night, but sadly the lights were not coming out, so it was mostly drinking hot tea and eating cookies in the cold.

Infront of the Reykjavík Town Hall

The next day we decided to just spend time in the city. Main attraction here was one of the local swimming pools. We went to Sundhöllin, which has a nicely rennovated area and a warm pool on the rooftop. Little money for a great experience, we even got to chat with some of the locals.

The other highlight was the Lutheran parish church called Hallgrimskirkja. It is among the tallest structures in the country and it's easy to see why.

View from the back
Hallgrimskirkja sketch
Sketch made by JJ
Hallgrimskirkja sunset
Incredible sunrise

Since we were in Iceland in December the days were really short. Thios meant the sun was coming up around 11am and sun was setting before 4pm, so we had to plan around that timeframe.

After walking back downtown we joined a free walking tour to learn a bit more about the sights and history of the city and country. Those are always entertaining so can only recommend it.

Lake next to Reykjavík City Hall
Lake next to Reykjavík City Hall
Harpa Concert Hall
This shot was taken in the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Overall enjoyable trip but not enough time. If we come again we'll book a few more days and rent a car to drive aroud ourselves.