Last Saturday, we all went on the Golden Circle route. Gummi had called us and wanted to take us so we were able to go with his tour company with him as our guide. 🙂 If you remember, Xan and I took this trip in January so the winter pictures are at http://xanashley.blogspot.com/2009/01/golden-circle-tour.html if you want to compare.
First stop: Þingvellir National Park
This is where the first Icelandic Parliament was held back around 900 AD. Iceland actually has the oldest existing parliament since it has continued since that time to meet and still meets today. The location has changed to downtown Reykjavík, though.
This picture is looking down the fault line where the law speaker would stand and recite the law. There is one spot that if you speak into, you can be heard through the whole valley. Nice acoustics, right?
Here´s a view of the current church and farmhouses or hotels or whatever they are at the bottom of the valley.
Here is the famous Geysir. This Geysir doesn´t go off very often so we didn´t stand around to wait.
The water was really pretty to look at. This picture is from another quiet geysir. There are dozens of geysirs at this spot.
One of them is very active and goes off every 3 to 8 minutes almost! It is called Strokkur which means churn.
I was able to get two different shots.
Here is Gullfoss. It is the largest waterfall in all of Iceland.
No rainbows today like there were last time. There was no sun! Only a sprinkling shower and a lot of rising, spraying mist. We were all pretty wet by the time we left.
This waterfall tumbles 32 m. It is extremely powerful. It is protected by the Icelandic government and no power plants or anything are allowed to build any sort of dam that might ruin the waterfall.
Here´s a view from another look out point.
And another waterfall that was down the road from Gullfoss quite a ways. I don´t know the name of this one or exactly where it is but it was really pretty!
Here´s a site that Xan was really interested in seeing. It is the church at Skáholt. It was one of the two Cathelic Bishoprics that governed Iceland before the Reformation. The line of Bishops residing here was unbroken from 1056 to present time. There was a change up during the Reformation in the 16th century but it kept the same bishop… just switched religions. This current church was built in 1956.
Here are some old remains of a school house that was here. It is probably from the 19th century or so. But there is a tunnel from the basement of the church out to this school area.
Here´s a crater that we passed continuing on our way. They sometimes hold concerts in here. Björk has performed here. The audience sits around the crater and the performers are all in rafts in the water.
I took more shots of the power plant last time I was here but the weather didn´t let me take this shot. So, here it is.
I cannot believe how green everything has turned in just the past week! All this was yellow just a week ago and now it is almost brilliant green!
It was hard to get it on film though.
And so ends the Golden Circle tour. All that is left is the South Coast!