In the morning, we got up early in the beautiful sunshine and clear skies, and drove to Þingvellir national park, where the ancient outdoor parliament was founded in 930. This area is also very interesting from a geological point of view, since it’s situated on top of the mid-Atlantic ridge, where two earth crust plates (American & Eurasian) slowly drift apart, 3mm annually. Therefore, there are many fissures in the soil at Þingvellir. Over 10,000 years there has been a 70 metre divergence of the 2 plates and the valley floor has subsided by 40 m. It is a myth that you can stand with one leg on each plate as they are too far away - great tourist sales pitch though.
Iceland's largest lake is Lake Þingvellir which is 84 km2
in area, 100m above sea level and the deepest part is 114m.
We then drove into Iceland's capital, Reykjavík, where we explored the city. As we were not in Iceland to see cities but to see unusual natural features, we decides to do the 1 hour Hop-on-hop-off bus around the city. Half way around we stopped at the Perlan Centre where there was an
excellent panoramic view of the city. We had lunch at a lovely restaurant in this Centre also. After the round trip had finished, we walked around the town and then drove to the largest church in Iceland the Hallgrímskirkja church, which looms up over the city. Inside, it was very light and inviting. You can walk up the tower of the church to see the city but as we had already seen the city panorama, we didn't go up.
We then decided to drive 48 kms in the afternoon to the Blue Lagoon for a swim in the mineral-rich hot water. The Blue Lagoon is situated 20 minutes from the Reykjavik airport, but close to an hour from Reykjavik proper. To get there, we had to drive through old lava-covered plains and then soon saw that we were near to the pools as steam was coming out of the ground. There was also a thermal water treatment plant on site to provide heat for Reykjavik and the large Blue Lagoon.
It was fantastic to float around in the 38 degrees water which was 2/3rds salt and 1/3 fresh water. There was a waterfall we sat under to
get a wonderful upper body massage. A bar in the pool was an easy was to buy a drink. We were all given a bracelet which we used to lock our clothes locker, to enter the pool and to register the purchase of your drinks - which you pay for when you exit. We were there for a good 45 minutes, having to occasionally stand up to cool off. We were 'floating' as we walked out of the facility. It was well worth the fee.
We then into Borgarfjörður for overnight at a camp site in Varmaland, yet another camping site on a farming property. The farm neighbouring the camp site had big glasshouses which had bright lights in them to generate fast growth of the plants. We later saw that the lights power was from thermal heat as a mini thermal power plant could be seen in the back yard with steam coming from it and some through the soil.
By the time we were driving to our camp site for the night there was a little drizzle which didn't worry us. The weather has certainly called for coats and sometimes beanies, scarves and gloves,
but today only required wind protection because the sun shone most of the day.
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