travel to pingvellir (icelandic pronounce thing ver clif)
PINGVELLIR – It lies in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge – north America / Eurasian continental plates. It is at the northern end of Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. 2cm per year – on average the valley floor drops a couple of centimetres but in 1789 it dropped by half a meter.
Parliament or Alþingi (“Althing” in English) was established at Þingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1798. 48 cheiftans 12 from each quarter of the country – pass new laws, amend old laws, pass sentence with jurors who were nominated from free farmers.
Oxarafoss – the axe river – 20 m drop
Heading to Reykjavik for a couple of hours before dropping one of our tour back at the docks.
Travelling through the interior to Hveravellir geothermal area, very low cloud but visibility does improve. Once we arrive at Hveravellir I look at the weather and as we have made good time decide it would be warmer and drier to head on the F35 to Geysir and have a 2 night stop in Geysir.
Coming out from the interior following the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river all the way from the glacier to Dettifoss waterfall.
Dettifoss is a waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland, and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. D ettifoss is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacierand collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. The sediment-rich runoff colors the water a greyish white.
Leaving the hot waterfall and heading towards kverkfjoll.
Remote Iceland village of Moorudalur, where we met a beautiful arctic fox cub.
Kreppa river – is a short tributary of the 206 kilometres long Jokulsa a Fjollum. Flood water from Kverkfjokull.
Hvannalindir – A hot spring area an oasis in the lava desert. Outlaw Eyvindur + harsh tempered wife Halla between 1774-1775 survived on dried horse meat and the n=bitter roots of the angelica. He considered this to be one of the worst experiences of his 20 year son the run. Ironically he received a full pardon after he returned from his 20 years on the run.
Odadahraun (pronounce older roon) lava field half the size of Yorkshire 2600 square miles it is known as the desert of miss deads lives under the rain shadow of vatnajokull.
Kverkfjoll (nook mountains) last erupted in the fifteenth century. It is classed as dormant at the moment it has a glacier that splits the mountain region north-south and can be seen for miles.
Snaefell is a stratovolcano and has not been active for thousands of years, geologist are still undecided if this is still active as some of the lava at the top appears to have less erosion from glaciation meaning that an eruption could have happened after the last iceage making it still active.
We saw reindeer today as well as a stunning view of vatnajokull before our visit to the hot waterfall.
Driving to Eglisstadir to meet the ferry where we meet 2 more couples. Along the route we follow the eastern fjords with stunning views of the coast as well as travel along some interesting mountain passes.
skaftafell – Skaftafell National Park then became a part of Europe’s largest national park, Vatnajökull National Park, which was established June 7, 2008 and covers over 12.000 km². That accounts for 12% of Iceland’s surface, and makes it the biggest national park in Europe. Vatnajökull is Europe’s biggest glacier and the 3rd biggest in the world. To begin with, the national park will cover the whole of Skaftafell National Park and the Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, in addition to almost whole of Vatnajökull and the surrounding area.
Skaftafell is a rare oasis for flora, surrounded by sands and lakes. Öræfajökull (pronounce your a fay jok kult)(a part of Vatnajökull) provides excellent cover in Skaftafell, which makes it renowned for its good weather. The tallest peak in Iceland is Hvannadalshnjúkur (2.110 m) which is in Öræfajökull.
JOKULSARLON – (glacial river lagoon) Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull (pronounce bray the merk u jok kult) glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers. It is now 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away from the ocean’s edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). It recently became the deepest lake in Iceland, at over 248 metres (814 ft), It appears as “a ghostly procession of luminous blue icebergs. Jökulsárlón has been a setting for several movies: A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.