31 March 2017
I took off from Bergen in the rain, og landed in Reykjavik i beautiful sunshine!
It took ages to pick up the rental car, but eventually, quite delayed, I hit the roads.
Hafnir is first stop after only 15 km (1 mile).
A cabin in Hafnir abandoned between 770 and 880 provides the earliest known archeological evidence of settlement in Iceland. In 1881, the American ship “Jamestown” ran aground off Hafnir, loaded with timber. The timber was salvaged and sold off. The ship’s anchor is on display outside the village church. (built 1861) Today: 110 inhabitants.
After another 8 km (5 miles) I arrived at Miðlína.
This is "The bridge between continents": 15 meters (49 feet), built in 2002 to honour Leif Eriksson, born in Iceland in 973. He was the first one to discover North America around year 1000. Leif was the son of Eirik the Red, from Jæren, in south west Norway.
Here the continental plates are drifting apart by about 2 cm (0.8 inches) a year.
It is believed that Iceland rose from the sea about 20 million years ago. The oldest rocks are 15-16 million years old. . Film from Miðlína.
Gunnuhver Hot Springs
After another 7 km (4 miles) I arrived at Gunnuhver Springs.
Gunnuhver is the heart in a future geopark where the North Atlantic ridge is rising from the ocean. 1/4 of Iceland is active volcanic zone!
After another 16 km (1 mile) I arrive in Grindavík.
Landnáma or The Book of Settlements mentions that around 934 two Viking settlers, Molda-Gnúpur Hrólfsson and Þórir Haustmyrkur Vígbjóðsson, arrived in the Reykjanes area. Þórir settled in Selvogur (around 40 km / 25 miles further east), and Molda-Gnúpur here in Grindavík.
The origins of the municipality can be traced to Einar Einarsson’s decision to move there to build and run a shop in 1897. Back then, the population was only around 360.
Today the population is around 3000.
The biggest lake in the area, Kleifarvatn, began to diminish after a big earthquake in 2000; 20% of its surface has since disappeared.
In this area there were some farms until the 19th century, after which they were abandoned. Only a small chapel, Krísuvíkurkirkja, built in 1857, remained, until it burned to the ground on 2 January 2010
With around 24000 inhabitants, Hafnarfjörður is the third largest municipality in Iceland. Hafnarfjörður has been a busy port ever since the 16th century. And Hafnarfjörður was the first place in Iceland to get an electric plant. This was in 1904. Here is the oldest aluminum smelters in Iceland.
Kerið - vulcanic crater lake
Kerið is a vulcanic crater lake, formed about 3000 years ago when the land masses moved over a heating point.
The caldera itself is around 55 meters (180 ft) deep, 170 meters (558 ft) wide and 270 meters (886 ft) across. The water is 7-12 meters (23-39 ft) deep.
The waterfall is formed by the river Hvitá, and is 32 meters (105 ft), in two different falls.
The upper fall is 11 meters (36 ft), and the lower has a fall of 21 meters (69 ft). Below the waterfall the canyon is 70 meters (230 ft) deep.
The average waterflow is 109 m3 (3849 cubic feet) per second.
Gullfoss is a part of The Golden Circle. Film from Gullfoss and Geysir.
This geyser is one of the most famous geysers in Iceland, and erups up to 20 meters (33 ft) into the air every 6 – 10 minutes.
The geyser is a part of The Golden Circle. Film from Gullfoss and Geysir.
Þingvellir / Thingvellir / Tingvellir. The Althing, the national parliament of Iceland, was established here at Þingvellir in 930, and held its sessions here until 1798. Þingvellir National Park was founded in 1930, marking the one-thousandth anniversary of the Althing. It was later expanded to protect natural phenomena in the surrounding area, and became a World Heritage Site in 2004.
Þingvallavatn is with its 84 sq km (32 sq miles) the largest lake in Iceland, and was formed as a result of a crack between the continents thousands of years ago. Average depth: 34 meters (112 ft). Max depth: 114 meters (374 ft). There are frequent earthquakes in this area.
Þingvellir is a part of The Golden Circle. Film from Thingvellir.