Golden Circle

More of our adventures in Iceland: Brewery, Whale Watch, Snaefellsjokull, Aurora, Blue Lagoon
As we began our tour we were struck by the rugged beauty of the land

We passed many greenhouses with heat and light provided by the geothermal heat that the country is noted for.
Among the products are vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers and fruits including grapes and bananas.

Repeated volcanic eruptions formed these layers of rock.

Fodder crops in fields in the lowlands and along the ocean.

Ţingvellir National Park
Ţingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological significance, and is a popular tourist destinations in Iceland.
That first symbol is not a "P" but rather a letter in the Icelandic alphabet with a pronunciation similar to "th" in" thick".
The park lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
The lava from the rift has formed these cliffs, fissures, and pahoa rock surfaces.

To the south lies Ţngvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland

The first Lögberg (parliament) was somewhere in this picture. 
Possibly on the outcrop near the center.
Its precise location is uncertain because the geological landmarks have changed due to the spreading of the mid Atlantic ridge since it was formed in the year 930.
It was the place on which the Lawspeaker took his seat as the presiding official of the assembly of the Althing. 
Speeches and announcements were made from the spot.
Anyone attending could make their argument to the Lögberg.

It is Iceland so here is some ice on the land.

Spa Fontana
One of the hot springs that Iceland is known for has its water directed a concrete pool and a more natural one.
If you want you could also go off the dock into the lake.
However the lake on one side was dangerously hot and the other side was way too cold for my taste.

While we were there we got a special treat, some Hot spring Baked Rye-bread.
I have included the recipe if you want to try it and have a hot spring handy.

A stream we crossed as we were continuing around the circle.
Because we visited during the winter the sun never got very high so we got a lot of pictures like this.

Gullfoss waterfall
The name means golden waterfall.
The two drops total 32 m (105 ft.).
The river flows from a glacier like many/most of the rivers in Iceland.

Not far from Gullfoss we entered the Geysir Geothermal Area
A very pleasant walk among steaming hot springs, pools, mud pits, and colorful streams.

A paved walkway took us to Geysir the largest geyser in Iceland and the origin of the name for these spouting hot springs around the world.
We saw the end of an eruption as we walked up.
Then we waited a few minutes as the pool receded, started bubbling, and erupted.
When you visit take care where you stand to watch it.
It doesn't take much wind for the spray to reach the path around it.
No real danger, the water has time to cool in the air so it was just pleasantly warm where we were.

The Faxi (or Vatnsleysufoss) waterfall is located on the Tungufljót river.
It is 7 meters (22 ft.) high and has a salmon ladder so that the fish have a series of small waterfalls that they can jump up to continue upstream to spawn.

This sunset was a fitting end to our Golden Circle tour.

More of our adventures in Iceland: Brewery, Whale Watch, Snaefellsjokull, Aurora, Blue Lagoon

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