It is time to explore the most popular section of Iceland called the Golden Circle.
We started out at the Arbaer Open Air Museum where we saw several historic buildings and houses that were moved to this museum since 1954. One thing I learned here is that Iceland was very poor and rural until the beginning of the 20th century. In fact, the capital only had 11,000 people in it in 1910 and in the country side people lived in turf houses, which were made of sod stacked up. This is why there are so few historic sites to visit. At the museum my favorites were a display about the rise of the capital, the Boy Scout Hut, and the original turf farm house dating from the mid 1800’s.
Bingvellir National Park is the most visited park in Iceland.
To me the coolest part about this park was walking along the continental rift dividing the North American and European tectonic plates.
The next coolest thing was the location of the oldest parliament in the world. You see the Vikings would meet at this site for two weeks each year and hold court on one particular rock that has become famous to the Icelandic people. We also saw a waterfall running down the continental rift and a church from 1859 that is on a site house a church since the 1500’s.
Next we visited Geysir which is where our word geyser comes from. This particular one use to go off regularly, but a recent earthquake has made it much more sporadic. Luckily though right next to it is Strokkur which goes off every 4-8 minutes. To put this in perspective, Old Faithful in Yellowstone NP is about the same size, but it only goes off every 30-60 minutes.
Our last stop was Gullfoss, meaning Golden Waterfall. It is a wonderful waterfall that flows over the ledge one direction and then another one going 90 degrees a different direction making it double cascade waterfall.
We ended the night by finding a camping spot within 10 miles a couple hundred feet up F535 (a type of road which our car rental company does not allow us on, so ssshhhhh) around 8pm.