Sunday, June 16, 2013

Golden Circle Tour

In Iceland they're just discovering the wonders of eating breakfast out, so we had a hard time finding a place at 8 AM yesterday. We settled into a bakery that opened at 8:30, and enjoyed donuts and pecan pastries.

In the afternoon, we took a tour of three of Iceland's most famous attractions. First stop was the "Geyser," after which all other geysers are named. It's dormant now, but another one is very active, shooting up every 5 to 10 minutes. Since you never know when it's going to happen it was really hard to get a good photo of it!

Next was the Gullfoss (Golden) waterfall - what a sight! We were hot and wanted to jump in.

Our last stop was at Pingvellir National Park, which was the site of the first Icelandic Parliament in 930. They gathered on the grass every year and heard and made the laws. There was actually a person who would serve for three years as the "law speaker," the one who memorized all the laws since they didn't write them down back then.
This is also where you can see the giant rift between two continental plates (North American and Eurasian) - the lake divides one from the other. 
The fissure below is just one of many - it just happens to be a huge one.

We saw lots of evidence of the geothermal activity taking place underground. Iceland uses 99% sustainable power (geothermal and hydro); they're doing better than Kodiak! 90% of the homes are heated with the underground hot water.

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