Day 2 – South Western Part of Iceland

Thanks to the great blackout curtains in our room I was able to sleep off my jetlag which means a better post than yesterday! It is a very weird concept for me that there is 20 hours of sunlight here.

Let me start describing the day by explaining the perks of being on a tour. We woke up, placed our suitcase outside the room where someone picked it up and put it on the bus, then we went downstairs to eat breakfast (which is included), then got on a very new bus (with WiFi on board) and started our pre-planned journey. Tours are great and this is just one way of traveling. It’s not my favorite but I will bore you about my pros and cons of being on a tour in another post.

Once everyone was on the bus we drove around Reykjavik which was great since we didn’t cover too much ground yesterday. Our first stop was the Hallgrímskirja Church which was a very modern looking church. We didn’t get to go inside but I would like to go back to check it out. It seems like the kind of church that had minimal to no ornamentation and let’s the architecture become the art of the interiors.

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After our quick break we headed to the Geothermal heat and electric Power Station in Hellosheidavirkjun. You could see the huge amount of steam coming from the station as we drove up. This was extremely interesting to learn how they use the heat from the earth to not only heat the water used in towns and cities in iceland but it also accounts for 66% of the country’s primary energy use. Truly facinating and the building it is located in was also very cool and the signage and displays throughout the building were not only easy to understand but graphically beautiful. Basically it was a great place to check out all around.

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Very close to the station was the Geyser Restaurant which was across multiple geysers. We first were able to meet with the chef of the restaurant and taste some bread that was baked using the heat from the hot-springs  (it was delicious!) They also served herring (which I skipped) and geyser schnapps (which I can still feel the burn). After our quick snack we walked over to see the hot-springs and my aunt and I walked up to this beautiful viewpoint and we’re able to see all the hot-springs and the geyser.

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Samples with Geyser Chef

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View from the top

After we waited around for the geyser to erupt we went back on the bus to drive to the Gullfoss waterfall which was breathtaking. The amount of water beating down was ridiculous. You could also see the glacier in the distance on the other side.

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Our guide told us we had time so we took a side stop at a place called Dyrholaey where we could see puffins!!! I don’t have a picture on my phone only using my telefoto lens but I saw quite a few flying to and from their nests! They were much smaller than I thought they would be. If you want to see them they’re only there from early June to September and apparently they arrive each year like clockwork.

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I forgot to mention that the scenery changed once we drove out of Rekjavik. It is breathtaking and the landscapes keep changing the more we drive. It’s exactly what I thought I would see when coming here.

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We then made it to our hotel in Hafell where we had our included dinner and then walked around.
*Random note- I don’t mention lunch because it was not included so my cousin and I split the cost of a loaf of bread, peanut butter, and jelly. I highly recommend doing this when traveling on a budget whether it’s to foreign countries or disney world.*

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