Jess Rooney

Chapter 2: Spinning around the Golden Circle of Iceland

 Life encased inside the womb, the origin and the educator.

A deafening push of a fruitless tree.

An effort silenced by the weight of evolution

and ignored by the young who step off the path of realisation. 

A fairy tale created to scare with wooden lies.  

But the lie recedes and melts with time.

All that is left is the knowledge that we will forever be tied to faith, a pledge sealed within a hot kiss.

Under layers and layers (and then some more layers) of rock and dirt stirred a fiery monster travelling swiftly along canals, never knowing but always wondering what was above the red glow it emanates. Millions of years pass and the hot flames that licked at the surrounding rock grew angry. Time continues on its journey but something was changing. The rock above began to shift and move to create a crack between its plates. The entity seizes its chance. With all the power it possesses it forces its way through the gap and explodes into the light. Its red-hot form flows across the land like a river of flames melting everything it touches and reworking the land as moves over it. The lava moves across the surface. This moment is what it has been waiting for all those years. For so long it moved in the darkness and now it is part of the light. The idea calms the monster’s rage and with that, it began to cool. Slowly the river was no longer turbulent but became still and finally hardened. Small plants began to sprout into life through the volcanic rock that was once the monster. It has been transformed into land and is now the earth in which we stand.

Geysir Geothermal Area

Not sure exactly what a Geysir is ? its a geyser… okay okay,  it is basically surface water that seeps down into the ground and meets hot rocks. When that happens the hot rocks heat up the water and BAM! the pressurized water boils and shoots back up through the vent spraying steam high into the air. It is a spectacular sight to see. But don’t make the same mistake my friends and I did. Well, we placed ourselves behind the barrier as you’re supposed to and waited impatiently for the first act of the show: The water on the surface began to move. The second act: The water began to recede into the pit. Now we wait for the final act… As we did, I looked around and noticed that everyone seemed to be on the opposite side of the geyser from us. I then looked down at my feet and noticed that the ground around me was wet. Oh … too late. Woosh!!! the ground exploded with hot water. Hot water and steam that was now falling down upon us ( picture in slow motion for comic effect). We didn’t have a chance. We were drowned. A lesson to you all. Always watch where you stand near exploding water holes or seal your faith. On the upside, it was like taking a warm bath (I’m sure the other tourists on the dry side got a laugh). There were many other geysers in the surrounding area but most just blew hot steam from there vents. The hot steam was nice to warm up in but stank of rotten eggs due to the sulfur. A stinky but fascinating geographical location.

Þingvellir National Park

Þingvellir lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. You can see the cracks that traverse the region with the biggest being Almannagjá canon. It’s so cool ! you can walk through the canon between created by tectonic plates. This also is apparently the cause earthquakes that often shake the area. Some of the rifts are full of clear water. My picture doesn’t show it very well but the water was a deep blue. I wish I could have taken a dip. Some of the waters around the area you can even go diving in.

Faxi – One of Many Waterfalls

Iceland has an abundance of waterfalls and on the Golden Circle tour, you will visit just two. Faxi is a small waterfall that drops from the Tungufljót river. Its full of salmon (and I am convinced it is also full of sea dragons, see image below) and is a great spot for fishing (not that I did any). There was a Salmon run beside the waterfall which was a fun little excursion if you didn’t want to walk up the hill.

Is that a dragon!?

Waterfall Number Two: Gullfoss

This is the cinematic waterfall. The one you could see in an emotional moment in a Jane Austen novel (Yes I am a fan, don’t judge me!) If you stand over its edge it looks as though the water spills into the earth and disappears. As the water hits the bottom the water sprays upwards and creates a beautiful haze and if the light hits it just right, a rainbow can be seen within the mist.

Let’s talk about Hermann

The best tour guide you could ever hope for is the man in the photo below. He is a guide who takes pride in his job, loves his country, is excited to talk about geography and is a ball of light. He didn’t just sit inside his bus and wait until his passengers came back from venturing around each sight. No, this man got off with us and talked to us about geography, the plants, the land the tectonic plates. He chatted with everyone and was so much fun. Absolute top guy! If you get him as a tour guide you have got your hands on a golden ticket. Below he is talking to us about the wildflowers and the wildlife in the area. Absolute gent!

Kerið volcanic crater

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake in the Grímsnes area (Western Volcanic Zone) in south Iceland. It was created when the land moved over a localized hotspot. It has the most visually recognizable caldera (crater) still intact and its volcanic rock is a beautiful red with (from what my eyes saw) a purple tint. I brought some of the loose rock back home with me as a memento. Just a tiny piece of Iceland.

Our last two stops were a farm that Hermann likes to visit and the point where two rivers meet. The horses were very friendly but they seemed to take a liking to my friend Michelle (not a hint of jealousy there) now formally known as Horse Whisperer McAlinden.


Great tour overall. I would definitely recommend it if you are at all into waterfalls, Geysers or Craters. Who isn’t !?

Like the blog? Keep reading! I have more Icelandic adventures for you to check out.

Jess x


Next Post

Previous Post

Leave a Reply

© 2020 Jess Rooney

Theme by Anders Norén