Thursday, 10 June 2010

Back from holiday (Part 2)

The Reykjavik Excursion tour company

So we decided to join Reykjavik Excursion for full day excursion that lasted 8 hours. Having very poor meal last nite, we decided to have huge breakfast at the hotel. We have chosen "The Golden Circle"excursion. The name "Golden Circle" might be a tourist-industry tag, but it's also apt, as this broad circuit east from Reykjavik covers many Iceland's best known features and touches on the root of much of its history. The whole round trip is about 300km.
We started by visiting Hellisheidi geothermal power plant, a high temperature geothermal area just 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik. This stop at the power station is very educational as we learnt that most heatings and hot water to all building in Iceland is supplied by geothermal plants. A further 1.5hours drive through the vast space of soutwest from Reykjavik brought us to the beautiful waterfall Gullfoss (Golden Fall), where we can walk so close to the edge that we felt the mist of the glacial water on our faces. This water fall plunges in 2 stage before dissapearing into huge gorge. Amazing really to see the volume of glacier waters being released into the gorge. One of the most beautiful waterfall I've seen.

The Amazing Gulfoss

Next we head up to a nearby geothermal field where the famed Great Geyser is located. However the Great Geyser no longer gushed out hot water fountain but the nearby Strokkur is, with spectacular bubbling hot water fountain display, 30 metres high, in an interval of between e 3-4 minutes. It's the wonder of nature in display first to see geyser in action, amazing really.
Hot bubbling Strokkur geysir

After lunch we headed up to Pingvellir National Park. The region is scarred by one of the world's great geological boundaries, a rift valley marking where the North American and Eurasian continental plates are physically tearing apart by 2-4cm each year. As our tour guide explained jokingly, we need passport to cross the continent as we enter from Eurasian plate into North American plate. Over here the landscape is of vast moor land, volcanoes and lake Pingvallavatn. ├×ingvellir is geologically remarkable and the tectonic plate boundaries form a breathtaking scenery. Over here you'll also be able to see the Icelandic parliament Al├żingi was founded in the year 930 AD. One of the world first parliament.
To the left-North American plate, to the right Eurasian plate

We headed back to Reykjavik after an interesting tour of Golden Circle. Again, I truly enjoy Iceland wonder of nature.

Langjokull Glacier in the distance (white color)

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