Favorite thing: Þingvellir National Park is a wild and unique landscape that is really worth the trip. Where else on earth can you say that you were able to drive or walk from North America to Europe? The geological impacts of glacial and volcanic activity are truly remarkable worth some exploration. It's no wonder that the park was named as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 2004. The easiest way to visit the park is to do it as part of the Golden Circle Tour which follows Iceland's famous Ring Road (route 1) and takes you to Þingvellir as well as the spectacular waterfalls at Gulfoss, incredible geysers at Geysir, the interesting religious site at Skálholt and the geothermal hub of the country, Hveragerði.
Favorite thing: This region is Iceland's oldest National Park, and there are many places of great natural beauty. I'm sure that in the summer months you could spend days just investigating this area. In the winter it's a little more difficult - unless you are big into winter camping!
Fondest memory: One of my most memorable memories of Iceland took place right at the base of the Öxaráfoss. In the picture you'll see a small patch of green turn on the bottom right. Well that was actually a small 'islet' in the river that I decided I wanted to stand on to take pictures of the Öxaráfoss. Well I had no problem jumping onto this little patch of earth as I managed to get a good running start. However, when I wanted to get back, I no longer had the luxury of a running start and found myself knee deep in freezing water when I attempted to get back to where I started. Along with the scraped palms, that was not a pleasant experience. Fortunately I had tossed my camera to Liz for safe keeping.
This is the biggest not man-made lake in Iceland and is supposed to be a big trout-fishing lake. The lake offers tremendous mirror images on a clear day.
Fondest memory: I spent quite a few hours trying to catch trout in Þingvallavatn during my childhood without much success. The only fish I caught were some inedible tinies I cannot name in English.
Öxará river is a fresh river that runs through Almannagjá gorge. Öxarárfoss waterfall is where the river falls into the gorge.
When Þingvellir held the parliment it also held the court of law. Although death penalties have long since been abolished in Iceland they were performed in former times. Drekkingarhylur is a deep place in Öxará where women criminals were executed by drowning.
A lot of easy walks on marked trails are on offer at Þingvellir. The tourist information center has a small map for a small fee.
Fondest memory: Þingvellir are definately most impressive at fall with all the colorful leaves decorating the place.
Favorite thing: When looking out on the plain, the quiet of the place is very misleading. This pastoral scene has been built by the most tremendous forces in the world. Note that the yellow dot on the river is a canoe.
Favorite thing: There are several places along the road where you can pull-over safely, without having to worry about being in the way of oncoming traffic. Not that there was much traffic here in early March!
Favorite thing: The power lines which connect the generating station to the outside world are one of the few signs on human civilization in this part of the country.
A natural theater made of a big lava fissure. This is the place where speakers spoke their speeches at the parliament.
This place also gives a good view of the park.
Favorite thing: Streams are everywhere here. From the quiet little rivulet to the turbulent river. Enjoy the gift of Mother Nature.
Favorite thing: Keep your eyes open when wandering around the place. The lanscape is very contorted and the most unusual sights await you, such as this dramatically balanced rock.
Favorite thing: The internal forces of the Earth are close to the surface in Þingvellir. A constant reminder are the controted lava formations that can be found all over the place.