While its only day two, we have already fallen in love with Iceland! After a solid nights rest, we enjoyed some treats from a local bakery and gave Trevor time to play football (soccer) with the local kids and one of the dads. Turns out he and his wife are famous Icelandic actors!
Around noon we said goodbye to Reykjavik – at least for now – and headed to the Golden Circle. The circle is a popular loop that includes some of Iceland’s more famous scenic treasures. Although we had hoped to complete the circuit today, we spent most of our time at Thingvellir National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site and the first national park in the country.
It’s hard to put into words just how stunningly scenic the rift valley is, checkered with cracks and faults, many filled with ice blue water. We had no idea we would be hiking for hours today, but the time flew by as we made our way around the valley on very well marked trails. One highlight was Oxara (Axe) Falls, which is the photo of the day.
With sore legs and hungry tummies, we left the park and drove to Selfoss in search of Julia’s Guesthouse. With a little help from a local, we found it about fifteen minutes from town, nestled quietly on a hill overlooking an endless landscape of green and grey. As luck would have it, Julia was on her way out as we were driving in, so she gave us the lowdown on the place and we made ourselves at home.
After dropping our stuff, we headed back to town for dinner. Kelly’s sleuthing online (most places have Wi-Fi) led to Rauda Husid, also known as the Red House Restaurant. This quant eatery in the fishing village of Eyrarbakki, is one of the best places to eat on the south coast. Although we have prepared to loosen our vegan diet, there was no need at this place! Apple and hot chocolate lava caked topped off a succulent meal.
Back at Julia’s we met her boyfriend Mike, whose son Robin quickly befriended Trevor. The two played like old pals as Kelly and I began plotting how we would see the rest of the Golden Circle sites tomorrow. It has been a real treat – now two days in a row – watching Trevor mix with the local kids. In many ways, the interactions have had more of an impact on him then the country’s scenic beauty, which is fine with us, whatever keeps him engaged!