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Touristy Day in the Golden Circle

Still a little jet lagged, we woke up at about 9 am and had a slow start to the day. Today was marked as a rest day, although any of the days in the golden circle could have been switched around to be our rest day. We decided to spread out the rest of what we were doing in the golden circle over the next few days in this day so we weren't doing quite as much all at once, so today was the touristy day. We did two things, both right off the side of the road, but we still managed to make them both a decent walk. Neither were really hikes (even though they’re tagged as such on my blog).

The first thing we did was go to Strokkur Geyser. Just a 10-minute drive from our cottage, we got there pretty quickly around 10 am after eating some Skyr yogurt and granola for breakfast in the cottage. Everyone said that Skyr yogurt was something not to be missed, but it's just a creamier Greek yogurt which isn't that special. A gluten-free breakfast is difficult enough, but yogurt and granola are usually a safe bet. However, most granola in Iceland had barley and/or rolled wheat in it. Despite this, Katie ate it anyway and did fine. Maybe because it was small amounts or maybe because it wasn’t formed into actual gluten yet (like it is in bread). But by the end of the trip, Katie was tired of eating Skyr and granola every day for breakfast.

Strokkur Geyser was interesting. We'd never been to a Geyser before, so we didn't know what to expect. Before getting to the geyser itself, it was interesting learning about how they work and why they do what they do from signs posted around the area, but even then we were under-prepared for what to expect. We got the geyser and everyone had their phones out waiting. We figured the geyser eruption would be something we would have time to grab our cameras and take a few photos of, but we were wrong. The eruptions were just a few seconds long, and you had to have your camera up to your face ready to take the shot. Luckily, this geyser erupts every 5-10 minutes, so we didn't have to wait long between eruptions, but holding the camera still and waiting for that long was a little bit treacherous. But dispute that, we managed to get a good couple of eruptions in at the geyser itself before hiking up to a spot where you could see it from above. But we're not here for geysers anyway and although they're neat, this was a touristy thing that was worth stopping for, but not super exciting for us.

We had lunch at the Strokkur Geyser area which was jam-packed with tourists. Since this was a touristy spot to eat, the food wasn’t very good, but it was better than some other touristy food spots I've eaten before. If we had been a little more prepared, we could have packed a lunch, but that wasn’t something we figured out how to do until a little later in the trip.

Next, we went on to Gullfoss waterfall. This is also right off the side of the road, so we parked and walked along the walkway with 50 million other people. The Gullfoss waterfall was significantly better than the Strokkur Geyser in terms of what we came out here to see. This one was absolutely worth stopping at and we were happy we did, even if it was busy. We just don't ever see that much water from where we're from, so seeing unquantifiable about of water like that is incredibly interesting to us both.

We then went out of our way to go to a Samkaup Strax grocery store in Flúðir to pick up just a few extra supplies for the next couple of days. To our surprise, they actually had a (small) gluten-free selection at this store, so we got some gluten-free bread and some peanut butter and jelly for us to be able to pack a lunch for some of our upcoming hikes where we need a more substantial lunch. This was a great win for us since even finding granola bars without gluten in them had been incredibly difficult to find. We also picked up some ice cream from that place since we have a freezer at the cottages.

Went back to our cottage and got there around 4 in the afternoon. We did some laundry by hand and hung it up on a clothesline, drank some wine, and grilled some potatoes and hotdogs with ice cream for dessert. Even though it doesn’t sound like a fancy dinner, having a grill for food prep made this the best (away from) home-cooked meal we had on the trip.

Trailhead Location
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3.16 mi 2.5 hrs 729 ft 531 ft
View Graphs
Strokkur From Above
Rainbow over Gullfoss
Best Hotdogs
Unmelted Cheese