Iceland Day 2: Hiking Þingvellir National Park, Winter Snorkeling
We kickstarted our morning by searching for a local breakfast spot. The breakfast spot was almost a mile away which was perfect because we got to get a little morning cardio in. The restaurant was called Bergs and they had a nice breakfast spread. I chose the hard boiled eggs and vegetables, with 1 slice of sourdough bread, which seems to be the go to in Icelandic breakfasts. I rarely eat bread, but when I do I go with a lower glycemic bread such as ezekiel or sourdough. I am a fan of these because they are low g.i. breads and are more generous on our blood sugars.
After breakfast we packed up and headed to the snorkel trip at the Silfra fissure in Þingvellir National Park. Yes, we decided to snorkel in freezing temperatures outside and it was so cold that it was even snowing. I made sure to check my blood sugar before because the last thing I wanted to do was be stranded in freezing cold waters with a crazy high or low sugar. I was good to go and we set off on this journey. The history of this snorkel tour, which we read about on travel blogs, convinced us to book the trip. The Silfra fissure is a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents, meaning that you snorkel right where the continental plates meet and drift apart about 2cm per year. This is the only place where you can snorkel directly in the crack between two continental plates. Some other selling points are that the underwater visibility is over 100 meters and the water is glacier water that is filtered through underground lava for years until it reaches the lake. Basically, it is as pure of water as you can get and I definitely had some gulps of it throughout the snorkeling adventure.
I don’t know if you have ever snorkeled in a dry suit, but it is a wild experience. The dry suit floats and keeps your whole body dry, except for your hands and mouth. We floated in-between the tectonic plates for about 20-25 minutes. Then, we swam over to a lagoon and had the option to either jump out of the water or explore for another few minutes. We decided to swim around for a little bit to get that extra cardio. Overall, this was a fun experience and I am glad that we did it, but it was still so cold in that water that it felt like a workout just managing the freezing temperatures.
We then dried off and headed on our way down the “Golden Circle” towards our airbnb in Laugarvatn. We stopped to pet some Icelandic horses on the side of the road and stopped at the Strokkur Geysir, which was definitely a cool thing to see. We ate dinner, hunted for the northern lights and then called it a night.
• Always check your sugar before exercise, such as snorkeling
• Have glucose tabs or another fast acting sugar on board in case you get low
• Dress warm for freezing cold weather
• Snorkeling the Silfra Fissure was full of cool views, but freezing cold
• Icelandic horses are freaking awesome and will walk right up to you if you pull over