Sunday, December 25, 2016

Reykjavik, Iceland: The Golden Circle II

The next stop on our trip around The Golden Circle, was at one of Iceland's most visited sites, The Gullfoss Waterfall. Gullfoss translated into english means Golden, and this waterfall is well known for being able to spot rainbows in it's spray.

We walked down the dirt pathway that lead straight to the edge of the water, we had amazing views of the falls the entire way down.

Being surrounded by the powerful waterfalls is an amazing experience. There is so much power and energy behind the water, and you can feel it as you stand at it's edge and watch it plummet over the falls.

After experiencing the falls close up, we hiked back up to the bus to move on to our next adventure. The hike up was just as beautiful as the hike down, this time we got views of the gorgeous, green mountain side, covered with all sorts of wild flowers.

Our fourth stop of the day was Geysir Geothermal Field

Strokkur (the churn) is currently the most energetic spouting spring in Iceland. It spouts every few minutes, sometimes to a height of 40 m, yet generally less than 10-20 m.

During our short 20

 minute stop, we got to see the Strokkur Gyser erupt three times!

Then it was back on the bus for about a 30 minute drive to our final stop, Thingvellir National Park. The scenery is so diverse throughout Iceland, the view out the window never ceases to be amazing

Frozen's portrayal of the trolls as stones is pretty accurate to this landscape

Thingvellir is a place of great cultural, historical and geological importance in Iceland. It was the place where Iceland's national parliament was formed in 930, and where its sessions were held for many, many years. It is a rift valley, that marks the edges of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

While driving through the park, we passed several crack seams of where the tectonic plates are slowly separating.

We had the opportunity to walk through one of the main cracks between the two tectonic plates. It was fascinating to see the different layers of lava and rocks.

Ben has really gotten into photography over the past couple of years, I always loved coming across him lining up a perfect shot.

The walk through the plates is about 3/4 of a mile. We passed by fields of wild flowers, small waterfalls, huge lava formations and more. It was a fabulous ending to our busy day.

After our exhausting excursion, we came home and had lunch on the ship then I took a nap before the show and dinner. I was greeted by an adorable monkey and bear upon my return to my cabin for bedtime.

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