Monday, 18 March 2013

Entering the Land of Fire and Ice: Venturing into the Golden Circle.

Today, we would be heading into Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. It’s within the circle that most of the natural wonders of the country can be found. These include the numerous snow covered mountains, giant lakes, water falls and geysers. Our first destination was the Pingvellir national park where in 930AD the Alpingi parliament was established.

On the way to our historic destination we stopped to take a look at the impressive mountain ranges. The mountains in Iceland are easily the most impressive panoramic spectacle I have ever come across. Taking in the huge scale was difficult enough for my eyes and a picture certainly can’t convey anything close to the true grandeur of the peaks. You have to see them for yourself to get real sense of the scale.

The sun was still shining brightly as we arrived at the parliament lake area. Here you can walk down into a massive rift in the earth where the American and European tectonic plates are gradually moving apart. The lake area was incredibly beautiful. Water cascades down from a number of small waterfalls and creates channels through the frozen areas of water. Behind the lake the landscape rolls away to far off hills and mountains.

We walked along the rift taking in the glorious sunshine and views. At the far end you can get close to one of the small waterfalls that filter down to the lake. I stood there for a while just watching the water gently flow through its frozen surroundings. There is a lot of history around this area of Iceland but I was much more interested in its scenery. It's just so breath taking and epic.

Eventually, we emerged from the other side of the rift and it was time to head off across the mountains to the Gullfoss falls. Unfortunately, this meant driving towards the rather ominous clouds that were forming on the horizon.

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