Cairns and Geysirs

Day 2: Off to Thingvellir National Park – the original home Iceland’s democracy, a spectacular lake on the fissure where the European and North American plates meet.  We were supposed to go snorkeling in that fissure where you can touch both continents at the same time.  A scheduling snafu got in the way of that plan, but cairns, geysirs and waterfalls provided plenty of other entertainment.

 A landscape of green and gray

A landscape of green and gray

 Cairns point the way

Cairns point the way

Our Yellowstone geysers are named such, because of the one here in Iceland.  Scientists have determined it has been active for over 10,000 years and shows up in recorded history as early as the 1200’s.  It had been inactive for 70 years when seismic activity in 2000 caused them to spring back to life. It created a wonderful tourist attraction for Iceland’s burgeoning tourism trade.  These performers don’t have the same color as the yellow and blue ones in the American West, but they put on a good show.  My favorite part is the bubble that forms on the surface, just before the explosion upwards.

 The Geysir bubble...

The Geysir bubble...

Nearby is Gullfloss, a waterfall that has a greater water flow than any waterfall in Europe or North America.   The drop is in two parts and it is pretty spectacular, even on a dreary gray day.