On Day Two of our trip to Iceland , we did the touristy thing and went on a couple of sightseeing tours. I had booked them before we came away, using Grey Line , a reputable excursion company with an office in Reykjavik, not far from the harbour.
In the morning we did their City Sights Tour and our guide was interesting and informative. A mini bus picked us up from our hotel and we were on our way. This is a bit of a whistle stop tour of the city with a few hop on and off photo opportunities. Places we saw included the Hofoi House where the Presidents of the US and Russia ended the Cold War in 1986, Icelands President’s residence on the coast ( unfortunately obscured by fog), the glass domed Perlan which has great views over the city and a revolving restaurant & also the massive Hallgrimskirkja, which we had taken a look at the day before.
There was time at the end of the mornings tour to go in search for lunch and so we found Gamla/Old Island on Laugavegi 72, which is the main shopping street in Reykjavik. We both had warming Salt Fish au gratin followed by Icelandic pancakes served with whipped cream and rhubarb jam. Delicious!
In the afternoon we did the Golden Circle excursion , which I would say is probably a must if you visit this part of Iceland. The Golden Circle is a 190-mile round trip from Reykjavik which takes in some of the most important historical and geological sites in Iceland. Included was Pingvellir national park( the site of Iceland’s original parliament), Gullfoss Waterfall with its awesome flow and the Geysir area which was my favourite part of the day. The original Geysir unfortunately rarely spouts anymore but luckily Strokkur nearby still has the ability to make you jump out of your skin every five minutes or so. 🙂
It was great to get out of the city into the countryside. I had imagined Iceland to be a bare and barren place once you get away from the coast, but the National Park area was actually really scenic with moss covered lava fields, grassy meadows, mountains ( every one is a volcano) , farmsteads with colourful buildings and planted forests dotted here and there. Saw lots of beautiful hardy looking Icelandic ponies, sheep, flying geese and grouse as the coach made its way back to the city in the early evening.
Once back in Reykjavik we had a few drinks in town and went to Icelandic Fish & Chips at Tryggvagata 11 and had just that. 🙂
This post is my last one for #take12trips. Look out for my Day three post featuring The Blue Lagoon very soon.