The final stop on our Golden Circle tour in Iceland was at Þingvellir (or Thingvellir if your keyboard doesn’t have runes on it), a national park situated in a rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
The commentary on the bus ride to this destination was particularly good, explaining not only the history of the place (it was the location of Iceland’s first parliament to limit the power of the country’s chieftains) but also the fascinating geology. We stopped several times so that we could look down on gaps along the road where the Earth’s crust was splitting apart or where large variations in the surface level were located.
The bus eventually took us to Almannagjá, where the land simply seemed to suddenly step up tens of metres in the middle of nowhere. There was a path that could be walked to a tourism information point at the top of the canyon and we were offered the option of walking it to meet the bus there or staying on the bus. As you might guess, we walked. Many people stayed on the bus and the perfectly understandable reason for that along with the lack of photos from the bus was because of the torrential rain that was coming down at the time. It was without a doubt the most rain I’ve ever been drenched by in my life and the photographs of the walk up the canyon in Þingvellir below do not do the conditions any justice at all; the water was running off my coat like a waterfall and it was all I could do to keep my camera just dry enough with a cloth every now and then to shoot any pictures at all (the LCD tooks days to get the moisture out).