Thursday, September 20, 2018

Iceland Day Four: The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle in Iceland refers to a loop done in southern Iceland (where we were) which takes in the most tourist sites (about 300 km/190 miles).  It is easily doable in one day.

The first stop is Þingvellir (prounounced "Tingvetler") National Park.  It is the location where the Eurasian and North American Plate are spreading apart and was the original location of the Alþing, the Icelandic parliament, from 930 to the 18th Century.

The Law Rock, where the laws of Iceland were repeated ever year (1/3  a year - originally they were memorized!).

Next was Gullfoss (Gull Waterfall).  140 cubic meters of water (2800 cubic feet of water) go over the falls every second.

Geysir, where there is an actual geyser:

Friþheimar Farms grows 20% of the tomatoes in Iceland.  It a series of greenhouses which uses geothermal energy and CO2 from volcanos to grow tomatoes (and other vegetables).

They are also quite famous for their tomato soup:

Skálholt was (from 1056-1785) one of the most important religious centers in Iceland.  It now serves as the national seminary of the Church of Iceland.

Original foundations of the cathedral:


Kerið is a relatively small (and old) explosive volcano crater, now filled with a lake.


Vera said...

I was interesting looking through your photos of Iceland. I do no think that I shall ever visit that country, but I feel as if it is not a total unknown to me now as you have introduced me to that land, and thankyou for that.

I have a dislike for travelling, finding the farm gives me all I need. Most people I know find this hard to understand! But then they do not meditate and connect with the wider energies of the Universe (God), so I travel but in a different way to most other people!

LindaG said...

Gorgeous. If I could still take the cold, I would like to live there. Or Alaska.
Thank you, TB. :-)

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Vera - You are quite welcome. I am glad they were able to help you see the country a little bit.

I understand wanting to stay where you belong - The Ravishing Mrs. TB likes travel far more than I. I would be perfectly content spending most of the rest of my life at the Ranch my parents currently live on (with annual trips to Japan to train, of course).

One of my favorite authors and farmers, the late Gene Logsdon (otherwise known as "The Contrary Farmer" - if you have never read him, I might think you would enjoy him) was of the same mind as you. In his book The Contrary Farmer he writes about how he never needed to travel because the wonders of the universe were literally right as his doorstep. He need only step out and see them.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Linda - you are more than welcome. But yes, enduring the cold would be a must. And the dark, at least part of the year. In theory it enchants me; in point of fact I am not sure I could do it.

LindaG said...

We spent about 4 years in Alaska, and we loved it. If we had stayed, it might be a different story today. But the Air Force moves you where they want you, and now in our 60s, it just wouldn't be the same.
You get used to all the dark. Just like you get used to all the light. :)

Leigh said...

Excellent photos. Iceland seems to have a very pure but lonely landscape. Seems quite meditative to me. I love the geothermal greenhouse.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

I am sure you do, Linda - just as I learned to get used to the humidity. That said, I do not know I would thrive - it would be an interesting experiment.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thanks Leigh! Imagine any time prior to the twentieth century, when the population was maxed out at 50,000! It is very lonely indeed - and stark, if I might choose a word.

The geothermal greenhouse was fascinating. There is actually an initiative in Iceland to strengthen their own agriculture through the use of greenhouses to drop the price of fruits and vegetables to the consumers.