First stop after 3 full day of cruising in the Atlantic Ocean was Reykjavik, Iceland. We would be embarking on an excursion known as the Golden Circle which covers the Gullfoss (meaning “golden falls”), Geysir hot spring and the National Park Thinvellir. Iceland is a small nation with a population of 325,671 and an area of 103,000 km2  making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The country is volcanically and geoleogically active. Through our journey on the bus, there were hectares of lava fields surrounding us. Here we are, at the capital of Iceland!

Our first stop was to  Hellisheiði power plant which generates power to supply electricity to homes of Icelanders. It is the largest geothermal power station in Iceland and currently in the world. More than 90% of houses in Iceland are heated with geothermal energy.

Start of the tour around Hellisheiði Power Station

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The sky was overcast that day with intermittent showers in the afternoon but it did not dampen our mood! Next stop was to Gullfoss (meaning “Golden Waterfall”) which is the most famous of the country’s many waterfalls.

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It started to rain heavily shortly after we left Gullfoss, so we decided to have an early dinner before stopping by the Geyser area.

Geyser activity, like all hot spring activity, is caused by surface water gradually seeping down through the ground until it meets rock heated by magma. The geothermally heated water then rises back toward the surface by convection through porous and fractured rocks.

After dinner, we walked towards the larger Geyser and there were many like us all ready with cameras to video the sudden sprout of water in the air every 5-10 mins.

Geyser

Geyser Iceland

Amazing video I found on this site.

The final leg of the 8-hour tour was to the beautiful Thingvellir National Park. The rain had stopped and the clouds have cleared.

Walking through the fault

We walked through the geological fault known as Almannagja and were in awe at the picturesque view before our eyes.

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Over a thousand years ago, the country’s first parliaments were convened here, adding historical significance to an area of unbelievable natural beauty.

Drowning Pool

This quiet pool is near the place where the Icelandic Althingi (parliament) assembled for over 800 years. During the time of Danish rule, it was used to execute unmarried women who had children out-of-wedlock, whereas men who broke the this same taboo were either hanged or beheaded.

 

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