Iceland day 2: the Golden Circle

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Welcome back, everybody. It’s been a long road to get to day two of this hallowed journey through one of earth’s most wondrous locations. I, like our dearly beloved Frank Ocean, teased and teased and teased. My “keep your browser open and your mouse at the ready, for next week I shall show you geysers” promise from part 1 of this series rings as hollow as Frank’s promise of a new album “when summer comes around again” back in 2013. But also like him, this Blonde (that’s right) chick will dazzle you with my best work yet.

A couple (few) weeks ago I introduced you to the people, the land, the food and the terrain of Iceland. We talked about horse steaks and unbelievable views over an ocean that JoJo Fletcher might describe, much like her brand new Neil Lane wedding ring, as “so glittery.”

On day two in the land of ice and fire (hint, hint) we took the traditional tourist trip around the Golden Circle, which is a stretch of road that goes through an innumerable amount of sights and terrains. The first stop for almost everyone taking this trip is Thingvallir, which was the ancient meeting place for Iceland’s leaders. It’s also a “Game of Thrones” filming location. Can you guess which of these was more exciting to me?

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

The rolling, vividly green hills, dramatic rock structures and knowledge that Kit Harrington’s perfectly crafted form had walked these grounds was only just able to distract us from the cutting wind whipping through our obviously unprepared light jackets (see my sister below, looking like a freshly condom’d Johnson).

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

The next stop on this luminous loop was home to eerie, horror movie-esque steam fields and erupting and not-so-erupting geysers, along with pale, opaque, apparently shallow pools as well as clear ones that went down for miles.

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

It’s one thing to watch an exciting explosion as Strokkur catapults water into the sky, but seeing the mouth to the steamy secret underground workings of our planet’s tectonic plates is on another level. Amidst this awe, some friendly neighbors were kind enough to toss in a few coins just so that all the rare lifeforms that can live under these harsh conditions would be slowly poisoned.

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Look at the beautiful, remarkable, unfathomable burst of nature. Humanity is encircling it, never looking directly at the thing, but always looking through a lens or a screen as it attempts to capture an uncapturable moment. The group was all Americans — no wonder the French call us “sauvages.”

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

As if that all wasn’t enough, this dessert-shaped masterpiece of nature tosses down 140 cubic meters of water per second. This colossal confection is unassumingly nestled between two sheer cliff faces, but the shimmering mist and bombastic roar signals its presence long before you catch a glimpse of the actual feature. Masquerading as my favorite treat, pie, Gullfoss left me the way I always am after a good, hot slice — speechless.

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

The sheer power and ferocity of the falls can be so overwhelming that you might miss the subtle flash of a rainbow in the omnipresent spray or you might be super smart and observant like me and actually get an awesome photo. Either way you went to fucking Iceland so you had a good time.

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

Sasha Ashall/Senior Staff

So now you’ve seen the Golden Circle and taken in three of the most important geological occurrences in Iceland. I’d promise a third installment in a week, but let’s assume it’ll be more like a month. Until next time.

Sasha Ashall is the assistant blog editor. Contact Sasha Ashall at [email protected].