We had an easy day today. Well… I say ‘easy’, but we’ve walked 10k! But at least nothing scared me today or was strenuous, and I’m not feeling poorly any more, although my nose is still streaming. With my red nose from blowing it, and sore eyes and skin from the relentless wind, I’m not looking my most attractive at the moment!
I had another rubbish night’s sleep so we had another early start. We were the first people to arrive at the Kerið volcanic crater and we paid the fee and set off around the rim, looking down at the icy lake, 55 metres below.
Then, we took the steps down into the crater, which was formed about 6500 years ago. Apparently, the lake is deep blue and contrasts beautifully with the rocks and vegetation in the summer. But even today, at the end of winter, it was quite something! We’re glad we made the short detour to see it before other people started arriving.
We then travelled about 30 minutes to Þingvellir national park. (These Icelandic characters are a nightmare to type!) Þingvellir lies in a rift valley at the junction of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, which are drifting apart at about 2.5 centimetres a year, slowly dividing Iceland in two. Rough lava outcrops cover the valley and walking below the high cliffs and fissures was amazing.
Although the sun was shining today, it was still very windy. However, I finally got chance to set up my tripod and try some long exposures at Öxarárfoss waterfall. It was a beautiful, sheltered spot and John was happy to sit in the sunshine and wait for me for a while.
Þingvellir, historically, was the site of the formal government and is a centre of Icelandic culture. There’s a rock where laws were read aloud, with superb views across to the mountains, and a small, pretty church.
The park was getting very busy, and we’d pretty much seen everything, apart from the deep pools between the tectonic plates where people were snorkelling.
We were fed up of the crowds, spilling from the tourist buses, and felt a bit wind battered, so we decided to head off and get some lunch. I finally felt like eating out, so we treated ourselves on the way back to our Airbnb.
We’ve stocked up with food for the next few days because tomorrow we move to Kirkjubæjarklaustur (yep… I copied and pasted that one!). The supermarket was packed and we waited ages in a queue of people with full trolleys. We’re wondering if the shops shut for Easter. Hopefully we have enough supplies now… We still have plenty of gin and wine anyway!
The next Airbnb is a remote cabin. We won’t have wifi there and, although I have an Icelandic SIM card in my iPad, I’m not sure what the signal will be like, so I may not be able to post more blogs for a few days. Maybe the northern lights will turn up there though!