We´re freshly back from the famous GOLDEN CIRCLE area without having stopped at Geysir, Gullfoss and Þingvellir and yet we ENJOYed the time fully.
This article is meant to calm many of you down and remind you that overpromoted tourist destinations are not the only thing to be seen and experienced when visiting Iceland.
We stayed in Laugarvatn at a hostel that has a very magic touch. Just look at the pictures here. You see, there´s something about that building and the way it was refurbished and the way it is set in the surroundings. You can read more on the background story here.
But it´s not only outside, it is also the INSIDE and people in it that make you pause for a little and listen. One of the owners of the place Sverrir contributes big time to making the experience at this hostel very unique and true and personal. (you might be able to hear powerful stories, if you´re lucky enough..)
Well, there´re plenty of things you could do, while staying in Laugarvatn, but today, I´m going to share a few options feasable as a day trip in winter time.
We set off in the morning to Skálholt - the famous religious center in Icelandic history, where one of the best storyteller working as a priest guided us through the Icelandic history - as he says: understanding history of Iceland goes hand in hand with understanding the history of Icelandic church. And he can really explain things very well, so well that you end up having a movie in your head with very vivid pictures of Icelandic past.
Time for lunch. Why not going for one of the local greenhouses and get to know the 'stuff´ behind growing tomatoes in Iceland all your round and even taste very local soup with homemade bread served in a mediteranian atmosphere. It´s such a pleasure to experience the place, where one feels that staff loves what they do. Highly recommended.
Hm, what to do with the afternoon. The weather is not inviting. Grey and rainy and a bit windy. Well, let´s head for a unique eco-village experience and explore Sólheimar. Hear the story behind the place and its principles, visit local workshops and end up buying their locally made products including yammy pastry from local bakery. If you´re lucky, you might catch the time when local café is open.
Leaving Sólheimar and heading to Selfoss - many would say drive through place, but since it has a few nice spots to enjoy we decide to go for a local swimming pool and end the day with the tasty dinner at Kaffi Cruz.
The day trip ends in our cool hostel with relaxed atmosphere where we get around 9pm.
What a beautiful way to spend a day in the area of Golden Circle without seeing the trio of Geysir, Gullfoss and the oldest parliament. And this is not to say that you should not see those places!
Last but not least. Have you ever seen Icelandic wedding? Well, it can also look like this: Sverrir´s wedding.. ENJOY and let us know about other interesting OFF the beaten track places, while exploring Golden Circle area...