Iceland Part 1, Part 2.
If you ever go to Iceland, or know someone who has, you will at some point hear about The Golden Circle. It's (mostly) made up of Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir.
After our mammoth roadtrip, this seemed like it would be a piece of cake. And thank the heavens, it was! Again we followed the route on i heart Reykjavik and added on Gamla Laugin (The Secret Lagoon) and Kerid volcainc crater.
A note on Lagoons... Everyone knows about the iconic Blue lagoon in Iceland. It is the internets dream place, every photo taken there is the money shot, it seems. And as amazing as it looks, I found myself with little interest in going. I have no idea why, as if you know me it seems like absolutely my kind of thing - 1) beautiful 2) B L U E 3) hella photographic. And yet.... meh. After researching I'd heard that it was very expensive and always packed full of people, and the idea I had of Iceland was a quieter one. Plus paying so much for 2 kids who may not like it also seemed a bit of a bummer. Knowing that there would be ample opportunity for wild swimming and finding an alternative called The Secret Lagoon, I convinced my husband it was the right thing. We visited The Secret Lagoon on our 9th day and up until that point he was still *this close* to booking us a spot at the Blue Lagoon most days. Then we had this amazing trip which ended up at The Secret Lagoon and we knew it would never compare. It is natural and breathtaking and just an amazing slice of Iceland. I'm not saying go don't go to the Blue Lagoon, but do Gamla Laugin first/as well.
This is an ideal trip with (or without) kids. There are regular stops, wide open spaces, limited time in the car. And so much beauty. We did this trip in a day, setting off at a decent time and spending a glorious few hours at bedtime swimming the lagoon. You can really make the trip as long or as short as you want depending on stops. The Þingvellir National Park is amazing, you could easily spend the whole day here wandering and picnicing. It would also be an epic place to camp. Also the toilets at the visitors centre are the most picturesque place to wee ever, so go do that.
And did I mention The Secret Lagoon yet? No? At the end of the day we arrived around 7pm. We weren't sure what to expect or how the kids would be seeing as it was technically bedtime, so when we rocked up to this little quiet place in the middle of a small village, we had no expectations. We got changed in the little wooden cabin and walked through to the pool. It was beautiful. Go scroll down and look at the pictures. See? We all sunk in, and it was honestly just magical. The heat and the surroundings, the golden light and the hushed hum of everyone relaxing...It did something to us, to the kids. They were in a little trance like us. Sach was the most beautiful I have ever seen him. His face flushed rosy red from the water, he spent hours collecting the algea from around the pool and piling it up, happily chatting to himself. Arla was half asleep, happy to be held and whooshed through the water, us passing her back and forth so we could swim around and float and breathe. It was the highlight of this trip. Of this year. It's become my happy place,and sometimes I find myself wistfully thinking about it and pretending I'm there (instead of making this weeks 543rd meal).
So here it is, The Golden Circle.