One of the “must see” things to do is take a tour of the Golden Circle. It’s the road leading out from Reykjavik that incorporates the national parks & waterfalls. We opted for a big bus tour that left far too early in the morning for our sleep deprived eyes, after hunting the Northern Lights most of the night. I am usually the last person to willingly jump on a big tour bus, as we slid through the pitch black roads covered in snow, I was quite grateful that we weren’t attempting to navigate this on our own! Since the light didn’t start to peep out until after 10am, our first stop was at the Power Plant. I kind of thought of this as just something to do while we waited for daylight, but it turned out to be fascinating!
Iceland has an abundance of hot water power from their volcano. The power plant harnesses it to power the cities, provide hot water to homes, and heat green houses that grow their produce. Once the hot water is used for the homes, it is run underneath the streets and sidewalks to help melt the ice & snow, keeping pathways clear and safe. How incredible is that??? Take a look back at the photos of Reykjavik & notice how even though there is snow everywhere, the sidewalks & streets are clear! The pipes are built in a zigzag pattern to allow for movement during frequent earthquakes. The volcano on Iceland erupted in a big way in 2010, grounding flights across Europe yet the country didn’t lose power. I am was so impressed!
The museum had a large collection of volcanic rocks.
The next stop on our Golden Circle Tour was Kerid Crater Lake. When the lake is empty it has been home to some large scale concerts. I love how in Iceland they use their natural geography to their advantage. We saw it filled with water that was iced over. It was fun to teeter on the edge and throw snowballs down!
I was really loving my snow boots! They were so fuzzy & warm & really helped on that slippery ice!
Check back for next week’s Wanderlust Wednesday as we continue on the Golden Circle trail to the waterfalls & geysers!