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Iceland – Meeting on Another Planet XIII

Published: 15.2.2015
Today, not really pleasant weather starts today. It is raining cats and dogs here. One cannot see in this dense rain, so our plans from the previous day are hard to realize. The departure is postponed. Yet we still are going to get on the top of the highest waterfall on Iceland.

21. 8. 2013

Glymur, Reykjavík

Glymur waterfall is the highest point on the iseland, it is at 195 meters. It is not as huge yet when snow melts in spring, or after rain when is often very massive. The waterfall drains water from Hvalvatn lake which then goes to a deep canyon. Through Botnsdalur valley goes a road.

We grope around for a while until we finally reach a parking lot. From there, a 5 km long road goes to the top of the waterfall. There are several options how to get to the top. Our group splits to four subgroups. I start with the last. Its members include me, and couple of others who will not go to the top. Now from the beginning: 1. group – called the wolfs, chose trail going on the right side of the waterfall, and they have to go across river. The second group – the classics go swiftly along the left side of the waterfall. The third group – the cool ones – go slowly, they did it and reached the top; unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs. They returned completely wet and tired. Jirinka even claims that she capture the waterfall going from the bottom to the top. Those who stayed wanted to go the same direction, only part of the trail. Yet the weather captured us in the bus, so we told each other stories from our past journeys.

Reykjavík

We return back to Reykjavík. In the afternoon, we have a tour in the city. A bus takes us to the center. Reykjavík is the northernmost city in the world. Translation of the name means the Smoke Bay.

First stop is the colossal concrete cathedralof Hallgrímskirkja. Its height of 74,5 m makes it city’s landmark and also one of the highest buildings on Iceland. It took 40 years to build it. Only in 1986 it was finished. Its architect is Guðjón Samúelsson. Back to the cathedral is the statue of Leifa Eriksson who discovered America. In 1930, the statue was gifted to the city from the United States to the one-thousandth anniversary of Icelandic parliament. The Lutheran church is truly hard to miss, it is monumental and noticeable from large distance.

Hallgrímskirkja

From here, we go to the sea. At Sæbraut shoreline we see the very well-known statue of Sun Voyager which is one of the most recognizable city’s attractions. Sun Voyager - Sólfar in Icelandic – is an ode to the sun. It arouses thoughts of discovery, freedom, and knowledge. the statue depicts a Viking ship. The statue’s creator is Jón Gunnar Árnason.

Vracíme se do ulic města, konkrétně do komerční tepny Laugavegur (cesta termálního pramene), kde uspokojíme i své nákupní touhy. Tato ulice je plná velkých obchodů, butiků a s lákavou nabídkou přívětivých kaváren, restaurací a barů. Samozřejmě že neodoláme a na chvilku posedíme a vychutnáme si místní atmosféru, než se vydáme zpátky do kempu.

Počasí se opět vrací k té ranní variantě, prší, prší, respektive proudy deště nás opět uvězní v autobusu, kde výjimečně i povečeříme. Večer je připraveno přátelské posezení ve společenské místnosti, kde se více seznámíme s novou partou cestovatelů, kteří se k nám připojili. Nesmí chybět kytara a pěkné písničky.

22. 8. 2013

Golden circuit, Þingvellir, Alþingi; Strokkur, Geysir; Gullfoss; Skálholt

Today it is cloudy, but no raining. The Golden circuit, we are about to see, is a trail going from east of Reykjavík. It includes the most interesting of all Icelandic sights such as Þingvellir, Skálholt religious center, Geysir (after this all similar natural phenomena got this name), and the majestic Gullfoss.

Þingvellir, our first stop. There is one of the largest geological fractures in the world. It is a rift valley that splits North-American and Euroasian continental plates. At this very place, Iceland tribe chiefs formally accepted common laws thus creating a national identity. The rift valley goes through the whole of Iceland. 4 meters wide and 40 meters deep fracture in terrain is lined by basalt formations that run 16 kilometers long. This whole area was declared a national park in 1930.

To be continued...

 

Text and photo: Magdaléna Radostová

 



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