ÞINGVELLIR NP, where America meets Europe

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ÞINGVELLIR NP

My third stop on the Golden Circle tour was at Þingvellir NP, a place of great cultural and natural significance. This scenic area is characterized by a giant rift line running through it, marking the spot where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. One minute you’re walking in Europe, the next minute you’re on North American ground !IMG_9959.jpegSome rifts and faults are filled with clear blue water and are now a popular tourist attraction for scuba divers. Alþingi, the first Icelandic Parliament, was founded here at Þingvellir in 930 by the early Norse settlers and Vikings. The Parliament remained here until 1798. IMG_9985.jpegEvery year people would flock to Þingvellir from all over Iceland and set up their temporary houses for the two weeks of the Commonwealth assembly. During this time period, games and feasts were held, merchants would sell their goods and services, entertainers performed, news and tales were exchanged.IMG_9950.jpgÞingvellir was the cultural hub for everyone in Iceland and the meetings here established the foundation for the rich culture, language, and literature that are prominent in Iceland today. Upon leaving Þingvellir we piled into our mini bus and settled in for the return ride back to Reykjavik.IMG_9571.jpeg Although it was already time to head back into town it felt like we had just started the eight hour tour. The Golden Circle tour was definitely one of my highlights from visiting Iceland. It’s the perfect introduction to discovering the natural features and rich history of the country. IMG_0298.jpegI have been left with such a positive impression of southwestern Iceland and hope to return again soon. I would love to visit Iceland in the winter time to experience the cold snowy landscape, witness the aurora borealis, and experience a whole new side to the country. IMG_9925.jpegIMG_9963.jpeg

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