Touring the Land of Fire and IceAround the World, Day 3
Happy Sumardagurinn Fyrsti! Today was a national holiday in Iceland. Schools were closed, banks shuttered their doors, and the faceless bureaucrats in government offices enjoyed a day off in honor of the first day of summer. Hearkening back to days gone by when Iceland followed the two-season Old Norse calendar, the country continues to celebrate winter's annual demise on the first Thursday after April 18.
As we traveled around today, we didn't come across any festive parades or fireworks displays, but we did see enough locals acting like tourists to make this Thursday look more weekend than work day. Avoiding the throngs of tour operators who long to lure us into their comfortable coaches for a day trip, we hopped in our rented Corolla and took off on our own version of the Golden Circle tour today. A marketing strategy devised by the Iceland Tourism Board to enhance the appeal of local attractions, this popular tourist route encompasses three primary locations along a 150-mile drive from Reykjavik into central Iceland and back to the capital. (The "gems" of northern Iceland are touted as the Diamond Circle.)
|Rift valley provided protective walls.|
A more southerly route back to Reykjavik turned this jaunt into a circle. Driving conditions were better than we had expected, based on the Hertz warnings. All roads were paved, and other drivers seemed very courteous.
Tomorrow we'll check out the sights of Reykjavik, Iceland's capital city.
More Photos from Today
|The national holiday gave lots of locals the opportunity to go cycling today.|
|Found a letterbox at Thingvellir!|
|Öxará River in Thingvellir|
|Fields of moss-covered volcanic rock|
|Huge pipe networks carry geothermal energy to power plants for transfer to the electrical grid.|
|A field of crosses memorializes persons who have died in traffic accidents on the road from Reykjavik to Selfoss.|
|Conveyance #8: Rental car|
|Conveyance #9: Stile|
|Mispronunciation Opportunity of the Day|