Þingvellir

Last Wednesday we arrived in Iceland in the early evening but still had to travel to Reykjavik from the airport at Keflavik, find our accommodation and then go out into town to get something to eat so our first evening there was mostly gone by the time we had done all that.  The following morning though Mrs Mjollnir and I walked into central Reykjavik and hired a car for two days so that we could see as much as we could in our all-too-brief stay.

Our first port of call was the famous site of Þingvellir, a place of great geological, historical and cultural significance.  Þingvellir is one of the few places in the world where you can walk through a rift valley between two continental plates as Eurasia and North America move apart at a rate of about 2cm a year.

It is also the site of the original Icelandic parliament or Alþingi first convened in 930AD and which continued to meet there right up until 1798. Þingvellir National Park was set up around the area in 1930 and was decreed to be a “protected national shrine for all Icelanders, the perpetual property of the Icelandic nation under the preservation of parliament, never to be sold or mortgaged.”

Crust
The first signs of the cracks in the crust of the earth.
Continents
The path winds down between the continents.
Europe
Europe in the foreground, North America behind.
Mountains
The view across the Eurasian plate towards some distant mountains.

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20 thoughts on “Þingvellir

    1. Thanks Suzanne and to be honest I doubt if two years would be enough! We did pack in as much as possible during our stay although of course we could only hit the main touristy bits.

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      1. I would tend to agree with you. There is so much beauty in that country and some of it isn’t easily accessible. For example, we weren’t able to go to the centre of the island as you need special equipments and it is probably better to go with a guide…

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  1. A picture paints a thousand words? My brother went to Iceland,and until your posts though he raved about the country I hadn’t been inspired to visit I am now

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      1. First time we went it was early May, bright but still pale. Last time was unusual cold and snow even though it was December, so made my intention of capturing images of troll rocks and dragon landscapes a little tricky…..

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