Iceland is an astonishment. It is one of the few places that the mid-atlantic Ridge is exposed, and the the tectonic forces of the earth laid bare.
The mid-atlantic ridge, is a submarine mountain range that extends 40K miles around the earth, and is the site of sea-floor spreading. Its volcanic activity slowly separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, and formed the island of Iceland.
Volcanoes and massive glaciers shape the landscape, Waterfalls flirt with light and rainbows glimmer. Mosses struggle to colonize the lava, and exquisite wildflowers grace rock crevices. A later blog will focus on the ecosystem.
|Mid-Atlantic Ridge exposed, Thingvellir National Park.|
|Rift Valley, formed by spreading tectonic plates.|
That is the River Sog, the longest spring-fed river in the country.
Thingvellir is a Unesco World Heritage site.
The Allthing, or IcelandicParliament
was established here in 930 and remained until 1789.
Scenes from "The Game of Thrones" were shot here..
|Gullfoss. "Foss" is waterfall.|
|From the right vantage, it looks as if the falls are disappearing into the earth.|
Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss, comprise the "GoldenCircle" tour.
|Surface water and glacial melt water|
are filtered through a lava field
|The lava dates from 800 AD|
|The river Fossa.|
|Drops from a height of 122ft. Second highest in Iceland.|
Hai-foss, high falls.
|On the way to Landmannalaugur, in the interior highlands of Iceland.|
Landmannalaugur is on the edge Laugaharan Lava field.
|The patterns on Icelandic sweaters were inspired |
by the snow on the volcanic mountains
|Landmannalaugur, the Rhyolite and Obsidian mountains|
|Landmannalaugur is in the interior highlands of Iceland.|
|Landmannalaugur is on the edge of Laugaharan lava field. |
Can you see the Obsidian shining in these rocks?
|There are hot springs to bathe in in this valley|
|Leaving Landmannalaugur, |
the Valley of Eldgja.
|Eldgja is the longest valley in Iceland.|
|Vatnajokull is the largest glacier in Iceland.|
|Vatnajokull gives birth to the famous Jokuksarlon Glacial lagoon.|
|The icebergs drift down a river, to the volcanic sand Ice Beach.|
|Where they are eventually swept out to sea|
|Further along the coast, sea stacks and the Basalt beach of Vik,|
one of the wettest places in Iceland.
|Cliff of Basalt columns, formed by cooling lava.|
|Thorsmork is a mountain ridge named after the Norse god Thor.|
It is between the Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafallajokull glaciers
|The rainbow followed us all day.|
|Rainbows are "common" in Iceland.|
Because of the latitude, the light is low in the sky.
|Glacial river in Thorsmork. Both Landmannalaugur and Thorsmork|
are popular hiking grounds.
|Uradafoss, more water flows over this falls than any other in Iceland.|
|We had been very lucky with the September weather, but today was gray.|
The coastal weather is wetter and grayer than the interior..Time to head home.
|The Indian Head bids us farewell. A crater lake in the background. |
Reykjanes Penninsula, near Keflavik Airport.
A good beginning makes a good ending ~ Iceland Proverb