Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Iceland 1

The beginning of March brought with it a collision between Storm Emma and "the beast from the east", resulting in huge snowfalls in Ireland, closing Dublin Airport for a day and most annoying of all, disrupting my holiday plans! Though the airport had reopened in time for my plan to take off on the Saturday morning, there was no way for me to get to the airport -- my estate was snowed and iced in, roads in my town impassable, and no bus or train service till that afternoon (too late for me!). After re-scheduling the departure for the earliest date -- 3 days later -- I got to have a whirlwind trip to Iceland. It was beautiful & cold, the sky a pure blue, and lots of mountains were visible. This is the view ahead, driving on the Golden Circle road towards Laugarvatn, from Kevlavik (Reykjavik airport).


As both a stopping point and a site of interest, we went to Thingvellir National Park. Driving up to the park, I was amazed at the oddness of the lake view. It struck me like a frame of a film of a lake --  I could see motion in the water, but it was stopped. The lake was frozen. 


The land is rugged and there are trail pathways for explorers. However, it was just too cold to do more than an hour's wandering at a time.


Thingvellir is where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet visibly, and actually pull apart at the rate of 2 cm a year. There is a valley pathway between the plates.



Just before sunset we arrived at our accommodation on the outskirts of Laugarvatn: The Golden Circle Apartments are a complex of three private buildings of comfortable, self-catering apartments.



Inside our apartment, we were especially delighted with the view from our main living-dining room. The flags on the right mark the location of Fontana Spa, a one minute walk away. Of course we headed down there once we were settled and enjoyed an evening of hot and cold relaxation. The night sky was incredible from the luxury of the spa.