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Published: September 9th 2013
We experienced a lot of water today. Some glacial and falling over cliffs, some hot and bubbling up from the ground and even a bit from the sky.
It was a good day.
We started in Thingvellir National park which is a UNESCO world heritage site. This is the location of Iceland's first parliament (~900AD) and it drew the chiefs from each of the clans across the country. It has high cliffs created from the separation of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. These geo-historical shifts have resulted in a beautiful landscape filled with striking rock walls, mossy fields, a waterfall and some crystal clear streams; it's not hard to see why the first settlers picked this place to meet. After Thingvellir we moved on to Geysir where we saw steam and water bubbling from the earths surface. The water coming from the earth in this geothermal area of Iceland can reach more than 100 degrees celcius and in some spots will climax with a 30 meter explosion into the air. The largest geyser is named "Geysir" and it is from this granddaddy that all other geysers around the world are named.
Just down the road from
here is, Gullfoss, Iceland's biggest waterfall and our second of the day. Gullfoss is enormous as it consists of three levels of falls which concludes into a giant gorge. It was at one time threatened by investors who wanted to harness the water to produce electricity but the previous owner of the land threatened to throw herself in the falls if it's natural state was used for such a purpose; luckily the investors ran out of money, the falls were saved and are now governmentally protected... Phew!
From here we moved on to the south coast where we visited the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. You can actually walk right behind this behemoth waterfall which is a pretty cool (both physically and mentally) thing to do. Moving on from here we drove through some landscapes like we've only ever seen in National Geographic....seriously....and then we stopped at... you guessed it, another waterfall! This time Skogafoss. This set of falls had a path (with at least 800 stairs) where you could walk to the top and continue a hike towards a glacier. It was getting a little to late for us to walk towards the glacier, but we did make our way to
the top of the falls and the view from there made the trek well worth it!
Tonight we recharge at the Hotel Volcano...a very cute modern 7 room hotel in the middle of nowhere (near the little town of Vik) that has floors made from lava and walls covered in black sand.
We give the Iceland's Golden circle 2 wet thumbs up!
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