Looking at the sunrise 12:00 in a cold snowy morning at þingvellir national park is a natural wonder. The spectacular landscape is smoothed by Lake Þingvallavatn.
Iceland is trapped between two continents as it is largely positions between two tectonic plates of Eurasia and North America. When these plates move apart, volcanic material rises naturally. The island is a hotspot with all the bubbling hot water and volcanic activity. Two severe earthquakes in 2000 were a result of movement of the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates. We found ourselves suddenly in Europa just driving a couple of meters from the North-America tectonic plate to the Eurasian one. The picture below shows this geographic boundary between two tectonic plates.
“So now me are leaving America, and that’s kind of neat”- to put it in guide’s own words.
Gullfoss (Golden Falls) is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland part of the Golden Circle tour. No wonder Gullfoss is in World’s Top 10 Waterfalls list. It’s scenery with a drop of 32 m high is breathtaking. Absolute in the Must-see list. Also a very interesting saga behind the history of the waterfall, which would have not been here without the fighting of Sigríður Tómasdottir. She was the daughter of the landowner who was about to sell the land to parties with an interest in developing hydroelectricity in the area. She threatened her father that she would jump into the falls if he did’t withdraw from the deal. Here is a fantastic Video of the Waterfall 🙂
The landscape at the Geyser area in south west Iceland looked like from another planet. Steamy holes in a dark earthy ground with running thermal water up 120 grad celsius. In addition to enduring the freezing cold while trying to filming the eruption of one Geyser, which erupted every 8-10 minutes, I learned some interesting facts related to it. The research shows that Geyser has been active for approximately 10,000 years and that changes in the Geyser activity are strongly affected by the earthquakeactivity. For example, due to the earthquake in 2000 the geyser reached 122 meters for two day while this year it has erupted 43 – 54 m high. To have a clear idea how that looks like, here are a couple of photos and a Video.
The Sun Voyager – an impressive sculpture of a Viking ship by the ocean close to Reykjavík center. The ship symbolizes the Viking’s past of the Icelanders, when the first settlers came sailing to Iceland. The artist Jón Gunnar Árnason created the dream boat as a promise to undiscovered territory, the dream of brighter future. The landscape after snowing left us speechless. Definitely the photos of the day.
Three things will strike you immediately once landing in Reykjavík. The strong wind (Hamburger should stop complaining about the wind), colorful roof-tops and the artfully designed streets. The city itself is small and looks like a charming little alpine town with 5 hours of daylight now in wintertime. It is dark when you wake up at 11 am, and gets dark again at 4 pm. So maximize your day-light schedule.
Luckily enough I’m staying in between a designer street, so I can pleasantly drink my morning coffee at a new location, and further explore the Icelander hipster culture. Nicely designed coffee shops and bars often empowers health & well-being. An exotic sandwich and cafe latte at the Lemon coffee shop will give you that feeling of harmony. Worth giving a try.
One might attempt to figure out what an Icelander can do for living if not involved in the tourism, geothermal power or fishing industry? The answer is clear. Be a poet, painter, or designer.
Designated as a UNESCO City of Literature, it treasures the works of many talented poets and writers. No wonder that even at the cheapest supermarket in town, you’ll not be able to find wine, but definitely a book-stand.
If one fails being a writer, the next chance is lining up as alternative rock musician, following the foot-steps of the legendary Björk. And if also this attempt turns unsuccessful, one will definitely make it as a street-artist while every little corner or facade is gracefully painted.