After first few days in Reykjavik, impressions of Iceland are so good that I am already thinking about going back as soon as possible. Looks like some kind connection emerged between us, some chemistry, perhaps even emotion. The desire for further research is growing incredibly. Even those consequences of ” fitting in ” – crazy entertainment on weekends with all its adds, doesn`t fall hard. You are ready and eager to discover why experienced travelers considered Iceland as one of the most beautiful countries in the world .
The most known route in Iceland, famous ” Golden Circle “, starts with National Park Thingvellir. The ride to the park could take some time, because you`ll almost certainly experience the “shock ” caused by brilliant scenery. Simply, you have to stop your car dozen times to enjoy the surroundings. Your eyes aren`t accustomed to such unusual and brilliant scenery.
Thingvellir is one of those places which makes Iceland so special. Place located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, on the border between America and Europe. It is considered to be the place of first parliament in the world, the birthplace of Icelandic nation. So, geological, historical and cultural significance. Enough, from where I`m standing. For all these reasons, had been declared as National Park in 1930. Also, it is under protection of UNESCO. Walk through the rifts between the North American and Eurasian geotectonic plates causes in man a sense of pride, just for being in such incredible place. It crossed my mind that only few people were here. However, this is a ” distant and cold ” Iceland.
The settling of Iceland began in AD 874. The first resident was Ingolfur Arnarson with his wife Hallveig. He built his homestead in, and gave name to Reykjavik. Afterwords, colonization continues, mainly in the Reykjavik area. Newcomers, Nordics and Celts were needed a place where voice of the people can be heard, place for socializing and punishment for disobedience. Thus, in AD 930 the first parliament in the world called Althing was assembled and held its sessions at Thingvellir until 1799. In the area of Thingvellir National Park, there are several impressive waterfalls, church, lake Thingvallavatn with place called Silfra – the best location for diving in Iceland and among the top five in the world. Here you have the opportunity to dive between two geotectonic plates with water visibility to 100 meters.
40 minute drive from Thinvellir to the east is an area of geothermal activity with the main attraction, geysers “Geysir “and “Strokkur”. Geysir is the most famous geyser in the world. Inactive for almost one hundred years, with a few sporadic short-term eruptions, caused by increased seismic activity of the area. There are some records of spitting water up to 170 meters in height. Today, the major attraction for tourists is younger geyser called “Strokkur”, which ejects water up to 30 meters in height.
Another natural wonder of ” Golden Circle ” is Gullfoss waterfall , only 10 minute drive from Geysir. Gullfoss or The Golden Waterfall is double cascade waterfall on the river Hvita, with average flow rate of 140 m3/s. Walking near waterfall shows you how much nature can be powerful, dramatic and beautiful.
The Golden waterfall – Gullfoss
To be continued …