The Golden Circle is not on the Ring Road, but kind of northeast of Reyk toward the interior. The circle is made up of three main stops in historic and natural areas of Iceland. They include Strokkur geysir, Pingvillir National Park (anglicized as Thingvellir), and the awesome Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall). The falls are furthest away, about 70 miles and an hour 40 minutes from Reyk.
On our way we drove along Pingvallavatn, a huge icy blue lake. It is the largest lake in Iceland and partially located in the Pingvillir National Park. The surface is 84 km sq (32 sq miles). Average depth is 34m (112 ft) and max depth is 114m (374 ft).
There were a few houses scattered about, but mostly pretty desolate. This shot is of the most dense spot we saw. I can't imagine people living here for beachy / swimming purposes, but it is quite lovely.
Our first stop was to be the site of the oldest parliament in the world beginning in the year 930. We got confused by the signage and finally stopped at a coffee shop for directions. It turned out to be a tourist info center. We were looking for a parliamentary building, but the info gal said that it was a "location" and that we had passed it a ways back.
We ordered hot chocolate and a sweet and talked it over. We decided to move forward and catch the site on our way home. So Strokkur (means churn) Geysir (geyser in English) was our first site to peruse. Here was a big visitor center--info about the area, lunchroom, and store with Icelandic products. We took a quick sweep through that and headed across the street to the geysir, which we could see from the road.
We waited patiently through several rounds, my sis and I trying to take the perfectly timed photo. Laur finally got a great shot on the third burst. A quick poof and then it was gone in the blink of an eye.