Friday, October 27, 2017

Iceland Golden Circle: Kerid Lake and Gullfoss Waterfall [Part 1]

We are at the start of a new travel series. It will take us to the far northern regions of Europe: Iceland. It was a decision that my friends and I made pretty much last minute, when a previously planned destination fell through. I always wanted to visit Iceland. It's relatively close, and still in Europe, but at the same time so strange and fascinating. In the end it really did turn out to be a amazing road trip. My friends and I visited the whole island, made a big road trip along the ring road, which circles around Iceland. We saw so many natural wonders and lovely places, and I'm so excited to share all of them with you here. I hope you will come along with us on this journey.


A Flight to the North

Our journey started in Munch on October 13th, which was a Friday. Though a unlucky day, we had a great 4 hour flight to Reykjavik. We flew directly with Icelandair. I will have to say that I wasn't that fond of the airline. They didn't serve food, and everything had to be paid extra. There is a two hour time delay between Mostar and Reykjavik, so we did gain 2 hours by flying there.

My first impression of Iceland was the cold at Keflavik International Airport. We were prepared for the cold of course, but still, feeling the icy wind on my face was like a kiss from the north pole. We rented a car at Thrifty rent-a-car. When renting cars in Iceland you have to make sure to have full insurance. There are many things that can damage the car while on the road, so it's best to be insured for all of them. We booked through rentalcars.com. Of course, traveling by car is the best option. Buses are few and far between, and if you really want to experience the country, a car is the best thing. Make sure to rent a 4x4 if you want to explore the inland. We didn't rent such a car because we didn't plan on making off-road trips.


Getting comfortable in Reykjavik

We booked our accommodation in Iceland, exclusively through AirBnb. It was the best way to get five people under one roof and not break the bank. Iceland is expensive, so getting nice accommodation for a good price is a challenge. After a 40 minute drive from Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavik we set up in this great apartment. We were exhausted from our trip (we drove to Munich from Mostar for 11 hours before that), so we stayed inside. Next day was the start of our road trip and we wanted to be relaxed for it.

Our road trip begins...

It was around 9 in the morning when we started our road trip. After 30 minutes driving from Reykjavik to the east of the country, every sight of civilization will fade away. You will come across wast fields with animals. We saw some horses fenced in, just on the side of the road. Of course we had to stop to take some images. They were very friendly and even came closer to us. We took some images with them before eventually continuing with our journey.

Here is a map of our drive from the first part of the first day:




Our plan for the first day in Iceland was to do the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a popular tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 kilometres (190 miles) looping from Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. It is the area that contains most tours and travel-related activities in Iceland. In this first post I will show you the Kerid Lake and Gullfoss Waterfall, and in the next post we will visit the Geysir and Thingvellir National Park. That way the first two posts of this travel series will cover the Golden Circle.

Kerid Lake

Kerid is a volcanic crater lake located in south Iceland, along the Golden Circle. While most of the crater is steep-walled with little vegetation, one wall is sloped more gently and blanketed with a deep moss, and can be descended fairly easily. The lake itself is fairly shallow (7–14 metres, depending on rainfall and other factors), but due to minerals from the soil, is an opaque and strikingly vivid aquamarine color. Entrance to the lake is 400kr (which is around 3,2 EUR/3,8 $) which is fairly inexpensive when it comes to Iceland.


The group all together. With me were my sister Jasmina, Selma and Amer with his sister Belma. We asked some other tourists to take a picture of us, and luckily we all ended up in the shot.


Surrounding the lake are amazing landscpaes. We also walked down into the crater. You can relax there on a bench and rocks and gaze onto the lake. Inisde you are shielded from winds and the cold. It's actually pretty amazing being down there and looking up.



Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. As one first approaches the falls, the edge is obscured from view, so that it appears that the river simply vanishes into the earth. This is a completely free attraction, though there is a paid public toilet and gift shop next to the parking lot. You walk down to the waterfall, which starts to rush and roar as you approach it. It's quite the sight.


During the first half of the 20th century and some years into the late 20th century, there was much speculation about using Gullfoss to generate electricity. During this period, the waterfall was rented indirectly by its owners, Tomas Tomasson and Halldor Halldorsson, to foreign investors. However, the investors' attempts were unsuccessful, partly due to lack of money. The waterfall was later sold to the state of Iceland, and is now protected.



You can walk all the way to the edge as we did. But you have to be careful. First it's slippery because of the water, but second there are also a lot of people visiting so it can get crowded. This is especially true in the summer season, which is peak season for tourism in the country.





After we visited the waterfall it was time to continue our journey through the Golden Circle. But more from our first day in Iceland in the next post.


End of Part One
To be continued...

36 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos from Iceland. It's a amazing country, and your photos from Gullfoss is so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Marit. Glad you liked them.

      Delete
  2. Truly Amazing. Loved all pics.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lieber Mersad,
    nach Island möchte irgendwann auch mal reisen, das Land ist einfach reizvoll.
    Danke für die schönen Bilder, besonders der Wasserfall ist sehr beeindruckend.

    Viele liebe Grüße
    Wolfgang

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ich hoffe Du schaffst es eines Tages dorthin!

      Delete
  4. Enjoyed seeing your photos of this stark landscape. Look forward to seeing other Iceland posts from this trip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It truly only gets better from here on.

      Delete
  5. Oh, that waterfall would have been amazing to experience in person. You did a great job of capturing it in still photos; but, to be there and hear the roar and feel the mist would be a thrill. I'd say your fellow tourist did a fine job with the group photo, even including the crater lake in the image.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have lots of video footage of the waterfall, where you can really hear it roar. Will try to post some of it as well.

      Delete
  6. Looks like an amazing place. I like the waterfall shots. Thanks for the tour!

    ReplyDelete
  7. WOW! That falls is impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wunderschön. Da waren wir auch überall.
    Liebe Grüße

    ReplyDelete
  9. Warum aus München? Von Umsteigen schreibst du nicht...Wenn du willst, schreib privat per Mail...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Billigeres Ticket und kürzere Reisezeit. Aus den näheren Flüghäfen sind die Reisezeiten sehr lang mit über 20 stunden und viel teuerer.

      Delete
    2. Obwohl gerade aus München am teuersten ist, da wir auch in Februar jetzt wollten, aber letzendlich hat es nicht geklappt, da waren die Tickets aus Frankfurt billiger.

      Delete
  10. Wonderful photos of your trip. Feel like i was there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is going to be so interesting! Like another world in places. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will get even stranger as the trip progresses. We saw some landscapes that were otherworldly.

      Delete
  12. NO wonder everyone wants to go there to take pictures. Jasmina looked a bit cold.... I look forward to more.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a massive waterfall! And that lake is gorgeous. Looking forward to seeing more from Iceland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda. Hope to share more soon. We are just getting started.

      Delete
  14. I never knew Ireland that this gorgeous! Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is Iceland. But Ireland is amazing as well :D

      Delete
  15. My only experience with Iceland is the airport, twice. I'll travel to the sights by way of your lovely photos.

    ReplyDelete
  16. great idea on the apartment and it really pretty.. I can feel the fun you all had way up there in all that cold beautiful air

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh my gosh what an amazing place. So many gorgeous photos. The waterfall was super cool.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Exactly thisPlace is awesomeand all the credit goes to your blog. I am planning to come there for my upcoming holidays. And amazing pictures in your blog its really to good thankyou for sharing these blog.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow that waterfall is amazing. doesn't look like much fence for protection though. the lake is very pretty too. great photos Mersad.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fantastic photos! I love the horses!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a rugged yet beautiful looking country Iceland is.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great photos, Mersad! Great advice for anyone thinking of taking a trip there. Beautiful views! Thanks for a great post about an area I likely will never get to see. Loved the waterfalls.

    ReplyDelete

Subscribe by E-Mail for blog posts in your inbox:

Subscribe

Image Credits

All Rights are Reserved. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of the author.