Monday, September 15, 2014

Reykjavik, Iceland - Thingvellir National Park (Þingvellir)

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Our first stop was at Thingvellir National Park.  This location is important because the first Parliament was established in this area in 930 and remained until 1798.  A national park, the first one in Iceland, was founded in 1930 to protect the remains of the buildings, as well as the natural phenomena in this area...more on that later.

The first thing that the group decided to do was to use the WC (toilets).  You needed to put a ticket or coin in the turnstiles to get in.  The tour guide gave us a comp one.  Inside, the building was very interesting as it had have wall windows that let you view the countryside while you washed your hands.

The continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates can be clearly seen in the cracks or faults which traverse the region, the largest one, Almannagjá, being a veritable canyon.

This looks at Þingvellir from the information center lookout.

You are able to walk between the tectonic plates, with the North American plate on one side and the Eurasian plate on the other.  This is one of the few (if not the only) spot where you can walk between the plates.  The park has areas that are under a lake, and you are able to dive.  The plates are separating at about 1" a year.

1 comment:

Don said...

Neat that you can walk from one tectonic plate to the other.