Continuing our fourth day in Iceland, we were still on the Golden Circle tour with GeoIceland and now heading on to Thingvellir National park (or Þingvellir). Thingvellir is a really important place for Icelandic people, Althing (the Icelandic parliament) was founded here in 930 and the parliament met here all the way up until 1798. Icelandic people journeyed (sometimes very tough journeys) annually to this area to settle disputes and set new laws. The day we travelled to Thingvellir there was thick snow falling covering the entire landscape in a thick white, crispy carpet.
If you paid attention in Geography classes at school you’ll possibly know that Iceland sits on top of both the North Atlantic and Eurasian tectonic plates. Iceland was actually formed because of these two plates where the volcanic matter came out of the mantle to form the land. I’m probably partially wrong with that explanation and maybe over simplifying it.. but if you want more info it’s out there.
These plates obviously cause the earth quakes and at Thingvellir you can really see these two plates in action, the drift between the two plates has caused the effect in the photo below.
Each side of this rift is on a different continent plate so if you’ve ever wanted to be in Europe and North America at the same time you can here, kind of. It’s one of the coolest example of geography I’d ever seen. If you’re a diver there are two rifts that you can actually dive in, they are considered entirely unique globally. There’s also an interesting visitor centre at Thingvellir where they have media presentations.
While my photos and description may not be selling Thingvellir to you very well you should plan a visit if you visit Iceland, it’s a really beautiful national park. After our time in the nation park our GeoIceland driver carefully drove us all back to Reykjavik in what seemed like a blizzard to me! When Iceland has heavy snow the roads can get very dangerous very quickly at least UK standards, there’s a saying in Iceland ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes’ and it’s true so be aware that the weather can and will change quickly when driving. I think perhaps Iceland might have ‘borrowed’ that saying about the weather from Mark Twain but hey I’m sure he doesn’t mind.
We’d had another awesome day again with the GeoIceland tour, I’d highly recommend them (I don’t work for them or receive commission honest). Although GeoIceland if you’re reading this and want to send me any free stuff for the endorsement I’m open to offers haha! No really I’m bought fairly cheaply… food, money, anything.
That evening we hadn’t booked anywhere special to eat which by the way seemed to be a mistake, everywhere was really busy! We ended up just a short walk from our apartment in the end, within the old harbour area is a restaurant called Koper.
We got a lovely seat looking out a large snowy window to the harbour. Check out the bread, I think they may have run out of butter dishes as our butter came out smeared on a brick. Just kidding it was a cool touch, lots of trendy restaurants in the UK serve food on what looks like roof tiles so Koper restaurant just took that idea a step further. What would our main meals come out on, an old piece of linoleum from a bathroom floor, plaster board?OK I’m taking it too far now aren’t I? Sorry.
The bread and butter by the way were lovely.
I think the dish above was my starter, like a icelandic crabby mezze with crab soup, crab cake at the rear and a crab salad. It was good and very crabby.
Look at the cool water bottles you get, you can’t take me anywhere I know.
I think the above was a lovely Salmon dish.
This was mine, I can’t remember what fish it was sorry. But I remember it was good.
I think the dessert was the some kind of brownie with peanuts and salted caramel ice cream. This also was most agreeable. The staff at Koper were lovely, the food good and the other courses didn’t come out on bathroom linoleum which was a slight relief so it’s a restaurant worth a visit.
We went for a brief snowy walk around the old harbour area to burn off some of the food.
Iceland was easily one of the coolest places we’d ever visited. The food and the people were lovely and the sights entirely unique. It deserves a place on your travel list, for us the following morning our fab trip came to an end and we waved goodbye, thanks for reading.