Laugavatn and the Golden Circle
After the brisk adventures of Thingvellir the gang continued on to the small town of Laugavatn. We stayed in the completely charming Héraðsskólinn Hostel – A converted school house and one of our favourite spots from the whole trip! The hostel overlooked the Laugavatn lake and was a quick walk to the lovely Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal spa.
Laugarvatn Fontana was the best place to spend an evening after a day of ice and near-freezing water. We even braved to join the polar bear club: after heating ourselves for as long as we could stand in the sauna we hopped into the lake! It wasn’t until the next morning that we discovered half of the lake was frozen over! Brrrr! Another awesome bonus of the spa is their traditional Icelandic geothermal bread. With so much geothermal activity, it’s common for the locals to make bread by filling a pot with dough, digging a hole in the hot ground, and leave the pot to bake for 24 hours. When you dig up the pot, you find yourself with a hot loaf of the most amazing rye bread I’ve ever tasted. The staff at Fontana showed us the process, and even gave us a chunk of the loaf to take on the road!
Once our bellies were adequately full, we hit the road to take in the sights of the Golden Circle: Geysir and Gullfoss.
“This is my oven!”Cooling off the pot so we could get to the bread insideBread!There she goes! This is Strokkur Geyser, rather than the area’s namesake: Geysir, which erupts infrequently, and often just before a volcano eruption. We were a little relieved we didn’t see Geysir erupt…
Gullfoss, or “gold waterfall” is named as such because the light from setting sun with often make the massive fall appear golden. It is difficult to capture come completely enormous this waterfall is.
With the fleeing light, moisture from the waterfull, and the wicked wind that whipped across the cliffs, Gullfoss was the first time we actually felt the frigidness of the Iceland winter. Felix could attest to this…