Iceland, Travel

The Golden Circle

Golden Circle

As the Icelandic adventures continue, the must thing to see while you are out there is the Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle is the very popular tourist route that consists of three equally spectacular locations in southwest Iceland: Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area in Haukadalur, and Gullfoss waterfall. I have to admit my adrenaline bug kicked in as well and I just had to experience trekking on a snowmobile along the Langjökull Glacier.

One of the fascinating things you’ll notice going through Þingvellir National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are the fissures- Iceland is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. You‘ll be able to see the rifting of the earth’s crust through many faults and fissures on the ground’s surface.

Continental drift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates
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You’ll also find a vast amount of Lava fields that run all over the Park as well as the rest of Iceland
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The Geysir Geothermal Area tends to be the second location visited on the spectacular Golden Circle Route. The geysers include the Great Geysir and Strokkur Geysir
(the Icelandics’ spell ‘geyser’ with an ‘i’)

blogreice-6653‘Geyser’ from the Icelandic verb geysa, ‘to gush’, the verb itself from Old Norse.

So, upon reaching the Geysir area, nothing quite prepares you for the smell of sulphur in the air… but don’t let that put you off! The sights are quite hypnotic with numerous bubbling hot pools in every direction, and the active Strokkur Geysir erupting every 4 to 8 minutes, sometimes even more frequently.

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Unfortunately, unlike the Storkkur Geysir, the Great Geysir now remains fairly dormant.

The Great Geysir
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Strokkur Geysir
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Before Strokkur erupts, the pool of water begins to churn and bubble, turning in and out of itself like a concoction in a witch’s cauldron. Managed to get a slow-mo video of it erupting, which was oddly very satisfying to watch.
The pure power of nature, bare, in all it’s wonder.


The final stop on the Golden Circle is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Iceland, Gullfoss, also known as the Golden Waterfall. Located in an ancient valley, it’s the Hvítá (White) river that runs through the waterfall and is fed by Iceland´s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. It offers a spectacular view of pure beauty and breath-taking power of untouched nature… it also likes to add rainbows on a sunny day.

Gullfoss (not a sunny day)
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And lastly, my favourite part of this adventure was exploring the Langjökull Glacier on a snowmobile. Wide open plains of whiteness for as far as the eyes can see, where at some points you could literally not tell the difference between land and sky (this while driving pretty darn close to the cliff edge of the glacier).

This was all done on guided tours being that it was my first time in Iceland, it certainly had it perks and took less organising; however, my next trip to Iceland I will definitely be looking to hiring a car as there are just so many smaller, eye-catching sights along the way. 

To be able to get closer to less-popular untouched areas of beauty is just the type of freedom a curious adventurer’s mind longs for.

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New direction

Time for change

Starting a new direction, a new plan, a new idea, a new career change, a new…well…anything; is always an exciting journey in itself. Scary, sometimes frustrating, yet worthwhile and hopefully.. in the end, fulfilling.

To give a bigger picture, let me share as to how and why I started this venture.

My name is Stephanie Ward; I am a Filipino-Brit on the 30-side of the 20-something. With an immense love for exploring the planet and a passion for photography and writing, I decided not to look back and just go for it.

I have always had a strong adoration for travelling, having spent my childhood growing up in nine different countries- from The Middle East to Europe to Asia and back again to Europe (currently residing in Wales at the minute). 

And so from this, as with many, my wanderlust for adventures continues.

I worked as PA to senior management at a World-leading Cyber Security training company; along the way got to learn some very fascinating things about the growing threat in the industry, got to meet some incredibly intelligent people, and of course the best bit.. got to travel with the job.

However, sometimes certain elements in life need to come to an end for us to be able to keep moving forward,
As much as I used to enjoy it, it had gotten to the point where I felt I had reached my limit and could not gain any more from it.

Consequently, at the beginning of the year, I decided a fresh new start was what was needed to bring the fire back. I had quit my job and took (a somewhat of) a sabbatical to travel more, visit friends and family who live around the world, and to take the time to properly figure out what exactly was the next step to go forward.

For awhile I toyed with the idea of going back to school to complete my Midwifery/ Nursing degree; to then come to the realisation that, that was my original path eight years ago… not who I am now. I wanted to do something that meant something to me, that I could make it my own and watch it grow, something that would continue to give me the flexibility for my family, and would allow me to continue to what I enjoy in life. I wanted to start a business on my own.

Since the beginning of this new venture, I have taken up several courses, one with the London School of Journalism as well with Gotham Writers to refresh my skills, while at the same time focusing on the development of my photography. And here I am now, slowly building up my brand as a photographer, writer, and now blogger.

Hope this gives you a bit more of insight into why I have started this new journey.

As She Wanders will now follow my onward global travels; my ups, and downs as I continue this venture along with new ones.

I hope you will stay with me, follow my travels and enjoy the stories.

All the best,

Steph  xo