Not golden and not a circle. This may be one of the reasons you came to Iceland in the first place. A little bit northeastish of Reykjavik are some natural wonders, luckily all in the same vicinity. There is the UNESCO listed national park of Þingvellir which is where the plate boundary of North America and Europe runs through Iceland, the original Geysir and Gullfoss, a spectacular waterfall. Together they are known as The Golden Circle which is a day trip you will never forget.
I have been to the Golden Circle twice now, both times in a hire car although there are plenty of coach excursions from Reykjavik. The first time I went with Leashia in 2009 when it was bitterly cold but mostly free of snow.
The second time in 2017 with Leashia and Monique, the weather was appalling and although we made it there in our hire car [four wheel drive with studded tyres], the road was closed soon after we got to the visitor centre due to the inclement weather. It was a treacherous journey, we saw several cars that had driven off the road ending up in a field. The snowy landscapes were amazing. Monique said she had never been so cold or seen so much snow!
This waterfall is huge, powerful, noisy and spectacular.
You may recognise the photo below on the right if you are an Echo and the Bunnymen fan as it is where the front cover for their Porcupine LP was taken.
In 2009 we were able to take a slippery path which went to the edge of the falls. This is no longer allowed.
Where two plates collide! Well, that’s not actually true as the two plates are in fact moving apart very slowly. Iceland’s first Parliament was based here around 1000 years ago, there is a flag there to commemorate this.
Walking along the huge fissures caused by the plates slowly pulling apart is wonderful. If you listen carefully you can actually hear it grinding! [this may not be true].
The visitor centre at the top of the ridge is interesting [and warm]. Sadly the toilets were in another building [not free to use].
Geysir has gone rather quiet since Victorian era tourists blocked it up by throwing rocks into it but luckily Strokkur is still erupting regularly. We can stay here for hours, it’s mesmerising.
Here is a rather wonderful video in slow motion that Monique filmed on her phone: