After a couple days in Reykjavik, we hit the road and headed to the Golden Circle to check out some of Iceland's most popular tourist attractions.
Þingvellir went way over our heads in terms of historical/cultural importance. We got out at a rest stop, went in an uninformative gift shop, snapped a few pictures, used the bathroom and left. Tourism in true American fashion.
Next stop: Geysir. Oh, hello gift shop that I thought would be tacky but turned out to be a hipster, urban-farmer clothing store mecca.
I've never been to a windier place than this.
I wondered, "How do I know that the wind isn't going to change and blow this steam right in my face?"
Gulfoss was our favorite of the three attractions by far. So beautiful! So Lord of the Rings.
I don't think these pictures do it justice.
We randomly pulled over here and happened upon a giant 3,000-year-old crater. That's just another roadside attraction in Iceland.
I really wanted to go hiking in the steam valley at Hveragerði to a heated spring where you can go swimming, but let's just say I am no Mark Trail. I was confused about where the trail started and ended up leading us on a trail from one parking lot to another parking lot. That took an hour and we didn't have time to go on the actual trail because we had to book it to dogsledding. So a scenic parking lot trail it was. Thank God Julie is a patient person!
This is a neat little stepladder over a barbed wire fence cutting through the trail.
After dogsledding, we stopped for dinner at Fjöruborðið, which is renowned for their amazing lobster. Holy cow, that was the best lobster I've had! They were miniature lobsters swimming in butter, as lobster should be.
I think this picture Julie took is so cool, but it looks like it was taken during the Great Depression. Why do I look so doleful? I'm about to dig into a lobster feast!
We went horseback riding at Hestar on our last full day. It was cold and rainy, the kind of rain that comes at you sideways and stings your face. To say I was miserable would be an understatement. Not only miserable, but really scared of the whole endeavor, which could not end soon enough. I keep forgetting that I hate horseback riding. It always sounds fun, but in practice, I never have fun. As soon as the horse starts galloping or even walking quickly, I'm holding on for dear life and imagining myself just bouncing out of the saddle and into the mud.
My problem is that I know that I am not in control, and that it's the horse whose calling the shots, and that is not a good feeling. I admire those who are good at horseback riding though! Julie was a natural, and at least she had fun. I on the other hand, refused to dismount from the horse during our break because the instructor said, "Be careful, the horse might run back to the paddock with your foot still in the stirrup." I just assumed my horse would do that and refused to take the chance.