PINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK

Monday, July 3.

Pingvellir National Park is the most important site in Iceland in terms of history, culture and geology. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to Icelands largest natural lake, at 84 square kilometers,and the place where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia split and drift apart.

A foot on each continent.

Crack is a little wider here. This is known as the Almannagja, where the plates are pulling apart at the rate of 2.5cm/year. They are currently around 5kms apart at the widest point.

Lava formations. Each layer represents an eruption.

The flagpole stands on Loberg, Law Rock, where the Albings Lawspeaker stood, during assemblies, and recited the country’s laws to the masses below, in the natural amphitheatre.

Pingvellir Church, is a reminder of 1000AD, when despite strong opposition from pagan priests, the Islandic nation adopted Christianity as its sole religion. It was built in 1859, but the pulpit dates to 1683.

Oxararfoss Falls. All the water is glacial melt. Legend has it that the falls were created when the Ozawa river was diverted around 930AD to provide drinking water during the assemblies.

During medieval times executions were carried out here. The men were beheaded and the women were drowned by dragging them through the pool by rope. Hence the name, drowning pool. The water flows up from deep underground, and was used in the past for bathing and washing when there were settlements here.

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Buttercups here too!🌼🌼

The thin dark line below the peaks is the Eurasian side of the fault line at its widest point.

This is it up closer.

Next stop, Gullfoss, the golden falls, is a two tier waterfall on the Hvita, ‘White River’. Fed solely from a melting glacier, falling 20 metres and then turning ninety degrees to fall a further 35 metres. All rather spectacular and rather noisy.

Lots of lovely flowers too.

Just to prove we actually went there.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

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In 1907, landowner Einar Benediktsson, signed away Gulfoss to be submerged by a hydro electric dam across the river Hvita. Sigriour Tomasdottir, whose father was involved in the deal, was so incensed that she took legal action against the developers. Although she lost the case, public opinion was so high in her favour that construction never began and Gulfoss was later donated to the nation as a special reserve.

This shows the actual size of the falls. Where the people are standing is where we took the selfies previously.

Cute seat outside the info centre.

On the road across the glacial plain to the Geysir, spelling is correct as this is where the word originated from, hot springs. There are only around 1,000 world wide.


Two shots of The Gusher, over 10,000 years old, which has not erupted since the late 20th century, although it still bubbles away.

Check out the colour of the water and the temperature sign.

Sequence of shots showing the Churn erupting to around 100 metres. Pretty spectacular.

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​Blesi, ‘the blazer’, is a set of twin pools, one clear and scalding, the other cooler, opaque and powder blue with dissolved minerals.

Sulphuric smells like you wouldn’t believe along with layer upon layer of silica.

Little geysir bubbling away.

Quaint church in the middle of nowhere.

Not really, the town is nearby.

Amazing landscape with vents everywhere and volcanic rubble covering most of it. The majority of the rock is covered by moss which takes 10,000 years to do so following an eruption and forms the soils for other plants to grow.

Saw lots of these today.

The largest geothermal power station in the world.

This is the blunt end of road safety.

Back in Reykjavik after a truelly amazing day. To be able to stand on two continental plates at the same time, watch a glacial fed waterfall and stand beside an erupting geysir, pretty special.

Street performer on way to dinner. He is actually standing still.

Another of the local timber buildings.

More amazing murals.

One happy girl having real Vietnamese coffee in Iceland.

9.30 at night, just finished blog and still broad daylight outside even though it is overcast. Like my fisherman mate?




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