Day 3: November 7, 2015
As the day wore on we made our way to Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park to bear witness to the beautiful result of the North American and Eurasian (tectonic) Plates at odds with one another. That is to say some of the 3000 daily earthquakes Iceland experiences has aided in the land being split apart (2-cm annually), creating fissures and peaks and overall prettiness.
I met a girl in the locker room at the Blue Lagoon who said she went scuba diving in one of these fissures (with a dry suit on of course)—likely in the Silfra. She literally swam between two continents.
Apparently, visibility is excellent—up to 200 ft. I need to learn to scuba dive!
I noticed these little gems in the distance: the Alþingi (Althingi aka parliament). I have since learned that Iceland’s first parliaments were housed here—over a thousand years ago and considered one of the oldest houses of parliament in the world (circa 930). The surrounding lands house clues giving us insight into how peeps lived over the centuries—from the 10th to the 20th… I’m thinking V I K I N G S.
We got a little closer to the historical church (the first in Iceland).
I like to think Trolls and Hidden People chill here.
We walked partway through the Almannagjá gorge to places where laws and policies were implemented (like the Law Rock)… and where executions occurred (typically by drowning?!).
Lögberg (Law Rock) was the focal point of the Alþing. The Icelandic flag marks the (tentative) spot. Tentative, because over the course of a thousand years and the whole, plates shifting apart bit, the locale likely has moved.
Perhaps Öxaráfoss… and where you’d be drowned if you were not an upstanding citizen?
We ended the day with an opportunity to spot the northern lights. We clambered onto a bus in ALL of our warm and waterproof gear. Cameras configured to settings conducive to capturing the northern lights (apparently the camera sees more than what the naked eye can see). We drove to a cemetery of all places, away from Reykjavik’s lights. For best visibility you need to be able to see stars (as in, no clouds to block your view). We sure did see a lot of patches of stars – we were hopeful. I even did some made-up dance to entice the Northern Light gods. No such luck. Though, there was a faint something going on in the distance, just not enough to really warrant, “We saw the Northern Lights!”
I at least got to know my camera.
I wasn’t kidding, we were hanging out in a cemetery.
An action packed day, ending with midnight cemetery shenanigans in cold, rainy weather, in Iceland. A+ in my books.