Thingvellir - Iceland

River at Thingvellir. Water and light at Thingvellir (written þingvellir) Go to another site. in Iceland Some 30 miles to the east of the capital Reykjavik lies Iceland's largest lake - Thingvallavatn. Just near this lake the tectonic plates of Asia and America meet - and are gently parting. Go to another site. This movement continuously produces seismic events. But the reason this is a World Heritage site Go to another site. is not the geology, but the fact that nearly 1,100 years ago Iceland's first assembly met here. The leaders took the opportunity of a newly available location, which was reasonably central to the whole of Iceland's population, to hold their first assembly of the people. Thingvellir plain and lake. The Thingvellir plain and lake The Oxarar River. The Öxarár River flows past the Thingvellir buildings and into the lake Old parliament buildings. The old parliament buildings and church The walls of the rift. Here, at that rock wall running across the picture, the Asian and American tectonic plates are moving apart leaving an expanding gap or rift... Rock walls forming a channel ...the only other example of this formation is the Rift Valley in East Africa. Above is a view between the two diverging walls Calm water in the rift. And here a calm stretch of water filling the rift between the two continents Go to another site. Stream between the rocks. The relatively soft rocks, formed from the volcanic activity, take on weird forms along the rift... Looking over the Thingvellir plain. ...and here looking out from them across the Thingvellir plain with the river running towards the lake Stream between the rocks. A stream finds a way through... Tumbled rocks. ...the strewn rocks of the rift Oxarar river falling into the rift. The Öxarár river falls over the wall of the rift... River running on along the channel. ...and runs along the channel below Spray in the light. Cascades of spray in the bright light... Walls of the rift. ...bounded by two continents Rift wall with building and water in foreground. The line of the rift can be seen marching across the landscape Weeds at the bottom of a pool. Looking at a grass bed? This shot to the left summarises much of what makes Iceland so special. The air and the water are clear. Such a simple claim and yet one we hardly ever encounter, the photo to the left looks down into a pool, maybe you can see the air bubbles around the plants growing at the bottom of the water, but there is no hint of the water itself. Light on pool of water. Invisible water is one delight, but the play of light on and through water is often transfixing The next page has yet more water, this time coming from a neighbouring Icelandic speciality. The original hot water spout was called Geysir, a name which has been adopted for all such phenomena Hot water spout near the original Geysir. line
Saturday 23rd December 2017 Murphy on duty

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