On day two, we were quite lucky that the snow had stopped falling, however the wind had picked up and the snow drift was extreme! We were due to go on two excursions that day, one of which was the northern lights; so were keeping our fingers crossed for a clear night.
Iceland gets approximately 5 hours of low sun at the beginning of January, so when we set off at 9am, it felt like the middle of the night. We hopped on a coach and started the Golden Circle tour.
Iceland is famous for being a Volcanic island that is frozen, most of the year. Underneath the surface of Iceland is an abundance of geothermal energy; the Icelandic people utilise this in varying ways. Our first stop on the tour proved this; an all year round tomato farm!
As you can probably guess, not a lot grows in Iceland because of the harsh conditions, but they have utilised the resources their island offers them and have created geothermal greenhouses. The particular farm we stopped at was quite interesting. They grew tomatoes all year round, producing their own tomato goods as well as selling the tomatoes themselves. They have created their own perfect little ecosystem, with bees to pollinate and wasps as natural pesticides. We were going to try a Bloody Mary, but decided tomato soup was probably a better option for 10.30am.
After spending time here, and regrettably not being able to buy any soup to bring back, we got back on the coach to see the Geysers. I won't bore you with the science behind Geysers, but if you are interested in Earth's Blow-Holes you can check Wikipedia.
The scenery at this point was stunning and the Geyser erupting was absolutely fascinating. We caught some awesome footage on B's Go-Pro, but it's not been edited yet, so keep an eye out in the future for that!
Like I've said, the Sun doesn't get very high in Iceland, even at Lunch time, which is why all of these photos look like they were taken at sunrise/sun set. We ate lunch here, at their tourist shop. I tried a local delicacy of smoked lamb's meat in a sandwich, and I have to be honest, it was pretty tasty.
After seeing the Geysers, we moved off to see Gullfoss, The Golden Waterfall. We were really high up the mountains at this point, I could barely keep my eyes open because of the freezing wind. My eyes would water and then my tears would freeze. It was so cold. However the view was breathtaking! There were three viewing platforms, but only two open in the winter. The picture below is from the platform directly in front of the waterfall and you can see the pathway down the left hand side that opens in the summer so you can get closer.
There was one last stop on this trip, Thingvellir National Park. This is one of the points where you can see canyons resulting from the moving of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. it was a short walk from one car park to the next, with some stunning views. B got some use from his Selfie stick I bought him at Christmas, and we took some fantastic panoramas that I will upload at a later date, with the Go-Pro footage.
Once we were back at the hotel, we ate there and prepared for our next journey, to see the Northern Lights. I will cover that in my next post, so keep your eye out!
Thanks for reading!