Anything more fascinating than nature and our mother Earth? From volcanic crater, to Thingvellir National Park, to Geysir, Gullfoss waterfalls and Secret lagoon for another hot pool soaking. The landscape changes as we drive around, red rocks, black rocks, green moss covered rocks…
Good that everything is well marked and the signs are easy to read. We still liked our GPS more.
The colour of the Kerid volcano lake was dark green today. The crater was created by a volcanic eruption some 6,500 years ago. Iceland is one of Earth’s most volcanically active areas. On average, Iceland experiences a volcanic event every four years. There are about 130 volcanos (most of which inactive, luckily) that are visited by many tourists. Kerid, being so close to Reykjavik is probably the most famous. We walked around the rim of the crater. It is also possible to walk down to the lake itself, but we moved on to our next destination.
Thingvellir National Park is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on Iceland. They say that “looking upon the face of this cliff is to literally look at the edge of North America. If you drive through the park, you will ascend on the other side adjacent to another wall; this is Eurasia. The valley in between, in which Þingvellir is contained, is the rift valley.” In some ways, we were touching Canada. Everywhere you looked, there was either water or cliffs. As I am still amazed by the size and hight of trees in BC rainforest, so was I am fascinated by these humongous plates of rocks, full of cracks. They look like they will start crumbling down, but, despite of their shifting and movement due to the tectonic plates, they have been here for ages. Apparently, you can go snorkeling in Thingvellir, which must be a memorable experience.
Due to the numerous volcanos, the whole Iceland benefits from geothermal energy. Over 85% of housing in Iceland is heated by natural geothermal heat from hot springs common in most parts of Iceland, making Iceland one of the least polluted countries in the world. I imagine the boiling lava finding its way through the ground we walk on, trapped in the depth of the Earth, like a giant dragon. Finally, through some holes, it finds a relief – a geysir. I watched this famous one on the field eight years ago, and it still shoots up with equal energy and it seems equal pace, every 2-4 min. I hope you can recognize the people around the geysir, which will help with recognizing its size.
On our way from Gullfoss waterfalls to the Secret Lagoon, we finally saw them: Icelandic horses. I had to stop to say hi. What a lovely animal!