Learn Icelandic #09: The Golden Circle

Today I’m going to teach you how to pronounce a few of the place names you will encounter during your trip around the Golden Circle. I usually avoid writing about the Golden Circle, for reasons I explain (quite dramatically) in the podcast but I know you don’t care about my opinions about it so I thought I’d do a good deed and cover it anyway.

The words covered in this episode:

  • Mosfellsbær
  • Þingvellir
  • Almannagjá
  • Öxarárfoss
  • Nikulásargjá or Peningagjá
  • Laugarvatn
  • Geysir
  • Strokkur
  • Gullfoss
  • Kerið
  • Selfoss
  • Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki

I apologize in advance about my rambling. I seem to have a lot of opinions today.

*Update: Apparently it’s not the same people that own the land at Geysir and the business there. I still find it a bit bonkers that those people don’t see the point in contributing towards the attraction that makes their business but I haven’t finished my business degree so I probably don’t understand such complicated matters.

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7 thoughts on “Learn Icelandic #09: The Golden Circle”

  1. Lisa Benway says:

    Not to worry, it’s what I come here to hear!

    1. Claudia says:

      Hi, I „discovered“ your blog some days ago and today I listened to this article. I like how you did set it up. It looks fresh and is fun to look around. I am planning to travel to Iceland next year and I am sure I will get a lot of information here. This audio-article was very promising for the rest of your blog as I love to discover regions who are not visited by everybody…
      My best wishes from Germany

  2. Heather Linnett says:

    Thank you for this. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Who better than a local Icelandics opinions. I have to say I appreciate your open hearted approach, and I agree with everything you said in this. The Golden Circle is not my favourite either, for the same reasons – I don’t like crowds. With crowds everyone wants to speak and tell of their own experiences. I don’t use bus tours either because of this. I would rather pay more to have a private guide to myself, and I do so simply because of that. I have only done the GC once, even though I have been to Iceland 4 times, with my 5th in the planning. The only part worth going to is Þingvellir, but one need to go with someone who will explain the background to it, and again the same private guide I was with – did so.

    What a shame it will be if the plans to denigrate these areas with ugly ‘plants’ (not of the flora variety) in these Natural areas, would be. I signed the petition. I understand the need to move forward, but it seems criminal to me. I have been through the middle of Iceland into the highlands, and my private guide explained some the areas in there, and told me of the plans. he also took me to the big one in the East? starting with a K (you mentioned it in this ) I can imagine how the area looked before this occurred.

    Please keep up your good work helping tourists to understand a little more, and to be able to pronounce some of the Language is to remember
    My warmest regards…

  3. Wilson says:

    Last October, Strokkur was going off every three minutes or so when I was there, with every third eruption being “stronger” than the others – sometimes. It’s definitely not something you can set your watch by 🙂 But, speaking of watch, I strongly recommend trying to get to Strokkur, and even Gullfoss, before 10am, when the first tour buses arrive. The geysir area is beautifully quiet very early in the morning.

    By the way, there’s a smaller waterfall south of Gullfoss (on road 35) called, I think, Faxafoss, which is worth a quick stop as well. If you can find it, the road sign is kind of subtle.

  4. Gwen says:

    I actually agree with you and would like to know where I go to sign the petition. When we were there in February 2013, we were lucky enough to have a private guide and got to spend time away from the crowds in some of these areas you mentioned. We will be coming back this July and look forward to going to the North to ride Icelandic horses in the countryside for a week. We are expecting to avoid the summer crowds in the South that way. I hope we hear more from you about the North before July!

  5. Sue says:

    Thank you! My Mom and I are planning a trip the first week of March, 2014. We will be spending a few days in the north. I’d like to hear how to pronounce place names in that area, such as Akureyri, Myvatn, Krafla, and other points of interest. One of the things we hope to see is the aurora borealis. What do Icelanders call the northern lights?

  6. Michele says:

    Multiple trips & my pronunciation still stinks 🙂 I’m sitting here nibbling on some Trítlar I had shipped longing to come back. I prefer Snæfellsnes peninsula. I got to do some winter driving there this past December. Some day I hope to make it past Myvatn eastward.

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