Golden Circle

I think I am living in a refurbished bathroom. No kidding. I see pipes running down by the side. Throwback to first year of engineering where I had to jump over a table to get to my bed, because there was just no space! The only difference being that I am paying friggin’ 50 euros for this hole. Anyway, the town more than makes up for it. Writing this post from Vik. A small town on the South Coast of Iceland.

Going over the last couple of days. I woke up super super late day before, after telling myself that I will wake up super early and head out to the Golden Circle. Woke up at noon (!) and ran for it. Reached my car and had a parking ticket slapped to it. Ugh. Clearly, the day was going my way. Picked milk and bananas and started driving. The point being that I am living it cheap, wherever I can. The day’s itinerary was Pingvellir National Park, Laugvartn Fontana (bread place), Geysir and Gullfoss. The rye bread place had to be parked for later, because late etc.Β 

One for the road!

It took about an hour to get to Pingvellir. Not a bad drive, though there was a LOT of snow on the way. In Iceland, I have become the person who goes at 60 on a 90 road. For those who know me in LA, ain’t you proud of me? πŸ™‚ While paying for parking at Pingvellir (900 ISK if I remember correctly), I met these two Canadians Sam and Dan. Immediate rapport because we were collectively cursing the parking charges and the price tag that is Iceland. Theirs was a 2 day stopover en route to a long Euro trip. Started snowing as we walked into Pingvellir, and these Canadians in their denims were not very happy about it. While I, in my layers and waterproof everything, walked with a smug swagger. Hah! The place is surreal. Amazing landscape and the snowfall just made it way more drastic. Pingvellir’s claim to fame is the fact that it is the meeting point of the two tectonic plates North America and Eurasia. There is a snorkeling/dive site here called Silfra, where you can swim between both the plates! Pretty cool, but I would save that for summer.

Oh, also this happened at Pingvellir. I was walking towards a waterfall, when this huge and VERY good looking guy walked by with a girl. I smiled, he smiled, we said hi and walked by. Then I met Sam and here goes our conversation –

Sam – Β Is he? Was he? Did you see? OMG!

Me – Who? What?

Sam – That guy who walked by!

Me – *clueless*

Sam – He was the Game of Thrones guy!

Me – *completely lost now* Okay, which Game of Thrones guy?? (For the record, I only know Jon Snow and that tiny Lannister guy!)

Sam – That was the Mountain! Cersei’s bodyguard!

Me – *still no clue* Let’s stalk! I need a picture with him for a friend.

The Mountain was nowhere to be seen. From there on, I tagged with Sam and Dan, for driving the Golden Circle. Peace of mind, if you will. Didn’t want to be stranded on my own, in the middle of nowhere. Reached Geysir in about an hour. The main Geysir here is a dormant one, but Strokkur does enough justice to the place. It goes off every 10 minutes and is a site to watch. The area was sick slippery and me with my camera gear et al was somehow getting through. Sam and Dan were duly handed things to carry. Yes, I don’t wait too long before being nice to people. πŸ™‚


As we got closer to Strokkur, we saw The Mountain and his girl! This time we were on point. Went up to him and asked for a picture. Then, a few minutes later, I figured I needed a solo one with him. Because, why not! Even if I have barely seen an episode. So, here’s my conversation with The Mountain –

Me – Hi! My friend is a huge fan of Game of Thrones. Can I get a picture with you?

The Mountain – Sure! You are not a fan of Game of Thrones?

Me – *Ready to jump into Strokkur* Ummm, I have seen one episode. *squirm*

Me – So, do you hang out with Jon Snow? *grin*

The Mountain – Yes.

Me – Ok, can you click the picture? You have long hands. *really? long hands?*

Strokkur went off three times while we were there. It was already getting dark as we drove to Gullfoss Waterfall; about 15 mins away. Started snowing by the time we reached there. Sometimes common sense takes flight. In the middle of the snowfall, I lugged my tripod and tried taking long exposure shots (failed)! Sam thought I had lost it. True in this case.

The drive back was a tad scary. I was tired. The roads were slippery. So, the drive was slow and long. Reached the hostel bone-tired. Dinner was at this amazing life-altering soup place with the Canadian boys and this Couchsurfing friend, Kyra (also, from Canada!). The day ended with a lot of laughter, as ridiculous stories were exchanged quickly. It was time to move on from Reykjavik to South Coast.

Happy souls at the soup place πŸ™‚

Footnote – How can I miss this! The said friend for whom the GoT pic was taken, claims to be a huge fan. Here’s our conversation. Still cracking up over it! πŸ˜€


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