Friday, 19 August 2016

August 18 - þingvellir

Yesterday was a long day with long walks; today promises to be the same. Our first stop is þhingvellir a Unesco heritage site. Þhingvellir was the original site for Iceland's first parliament in 930, called the Althing. Parliament continued to be held here into the late 1700's. To celebrate the history of the area regular events continue to occur in this area. Although this is a heritage site there is still a church that is operating and this is a common site for  weddings.

The EurAsian and North American plate divide (or meeting of the plates) is obvious through the cliffs, fissures and crevices.

Parliament also functioned as a court. Men were either beheaded or hung. Women were drown by putting them in a sack and holding the sack underwater.

The park was very beautiful and several different walks were laid out. We took the walk that was about 2 hours. Several scenes from The Game of Thrones was filmed in this park.

We then went on to Geysir which was just a short distance down the road.  We stopped at the Geysir called Stokkur.  We didn't walk to the further geysers as the activity is very sporadic, if at all. The Stokkur geysir erupts every few minutes, between 6 and 10 minutes. We were lucky to see a rare double eruption.

We then travelled on to Gulfoss. This is Icelands most viewed tourist attraction.  The water flows down a curved three-step staircase and then plunges down in two stages (11m and 21m). The crevice it flows into is 33m deep and 20m wide. Gulfoss is also known for the rainbows it produces. In the short time we were there we saw several rainbows.

We looked at it from the top view point and then from a lower level and began our drive home. Iceland is very beautiful country with so many diverse geological wonders within a short distance drive.

Tomorrow a Puffin tour.

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