Þingvellir National Park

Þingvellir 12

Driving to the national park we were wondering why we weren’t stopping at so many of the beautiful sights that were passing us by. I soon realized that if you did that it would take years to go around Iceland and not ten days.

When we arrived at Thingvellir National Park (not having an Icelandic keyboard it is now Thingvellir) I noticed there aren’t many trees. Being from Alberta and having Banff near by, National Park tends to mean trees but Iceland actually has very few trees. The trees they do have are very small, most shorter than I am. The terrain tends to be covered instead by moss or grass and it being a beautiful clear day the scenery was amazing.

This is where parliament plains is, the oldest parliament in the world but I’ll cover that tomorrow. It is also where the tectonic plates for North America and Eurasia can be seen as cracks or faults, some small and others MASSIVE.

The water in the streams is incredibly clear and you can fill up your water bottle and drink the water with no problems.

Þingvellir 3Is this the entrance for the “unseen people” or the trolls? Perhaps a Hobbit entrance?

Þingvellir 8As always in a national park, stick to the marked trails:

Þingvellir 9More pictures………

Þingvellir 1 Þingvellir 2 Þingvellir 4 Þingvellir 5 Þingvellir 6 Þingvellir 7 Þingvellir 10 Þingvellir 11

Crater Hike!

This is the crater that you can do a hike around. I believe you have to go with a guide. We didn’t have time for the hike on this day but if I go back it’s definitely on my list!

The landscape is so surreal and the steam rising just adds to the atmosphere. I imagine the hike being down wandering through the steam would be well worth it, even in the rain. It rains a lot in Hilo.

Crater Hilo 4 Crater Hilo 5 Crater Hilo 3 Crater Hilo 1 Crater Hilo 2

Lava Tube

At Volcano National Park we go to walk through a lave tube which was pretty cool. The lights in the tube give it a weird red glow and there is silvery moss as well that didn’t come out well in the pictures.

What is a lave tube? Wikipedia explains it better than I can Lave Tube.

It was fun to walk through and I couldn’t decide whether is was very hobbit like or dune like it was a very curious atmosphere.

Entrance to the lava tube:

Lave Tube Entrance

Walls in the lava tube:

Lave Tube Wall 3 Lave Tube Wall 2 Lave Tube Wall 1

People wandering through:

Lave Tube Walking Lava Tube Exit

Volcano National Park Scenery

There are more than volcanos at Volcano National Park, the scenery is gorgeous. The plants are lush and then you turn around and it’s more barren.

It’s almost like apocalypse, no apocalypse, apocalypse….

It’s really the contrasting colours that I love even on the walkway:

Volcano National Park Walkway

The picture is a little blurry from steam coming up through a vent in the ground:

Volcano National Park Steamy

Without the steam:

Volcano National Park Scenery

Beautiful foliage (I just wanted to use that word):

Volcano National Park Foliage

It’s wonderful place and tomorrow the lava tube!