Drownings and lake monsters

Keflavik Travel Blog

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Þingvellir

I awoke to the steaming geysirs outside my cabin and a chillly rain.  After repacking everything and loading up the car once again, I had some tea in my room.  I had bought some Skyr that I had put in the fridge overnight only to find it frozen solid and inedible this morning.  So much for breakfast.

Instead, I took off on the Golden Circle route to the last of the main stops: Þingvellir.  Þingvellir was the original site of the government of Iceland starting around 870.  Because of these meetings taking place here, it was also used for other celebrations as well as judicial proceedings.  This included beheadings for men and drownings for women who broke laws by commiting incest or affairs.  Some of the names of sites around Þingvellir reflect some of this history, thus Drekkingarhylur (Drowning Pool) would be where women were drowned.

Þingvellir
  Another site is Peningagja (money chasm) named for the coins people throw into it for luck.

This place was created by the force of the North American and European tectonic plates pushing together and creating tall cliffs and chasms.  There are also small streams and waterfalls running through it, making it a very dynamic place to be.

September must again be the best time to visit because the vegetation is changing colors and it just lights up the entire valley.  When I arrived the rain stopped and the sun began to rise, highlighting all the reds and oranges scattered throughout the sides of the hills.

After Þingvellir, I drove back into Rejkyavik and stopped at one of its famous bakeries for some breakfast.  I'm not sure what I bought, but it was flaky and delicious whatever it was.

Seltún
 

I then decided to check out the Reykanes peninsula.  I started driving south and after a short while seemed to be in the middle of nowhere.  I passed by fish drying on racks and was suddenly on a winding black dirt road through the hills.  Finally I reached Kleifarvatn lake with its black beaches and geothermal pools.  Supposedly there is a monster hiding in the lake similar to the Loch Ness monster, but I didn't see him today.

Just past the lake is Seltún, the site of numerous geothermal springs.  This looks very different from geysir though as the minerals from underground have risen higher to the surface and you can see their many colors more readily.  The smell of sulfur here is also much stronger, it smelled just like permanent hair dye except immensely stronger.

Kleifarvatn lake
  Makes me wonder what effect it had on my hair when I was in the Blue Lagoon.

Across the road was Grænavatn, a large green lake formed by a volcanic crater.  The deep green color was very eerie

After driving a bit further I came to Krísuvíkurkirkja, an old church built out here when there was a small settlement nearby.

I then headed up to Keflavik for some seafood along the water.  It was a very confusing set up to the town for some reason, I think mostly because the major roads didn't have any signs only the minor ones did.  I circled for awhile, but finally found the restaurant I was looking for.  Lonely Planet said almost their entire menu was seafood, so I was pretty disappointed when all I saw were burgers.  Luckily one of the specials was a mix of seafood including cod, salmon, shrimp, and halibut so I got to try a bit of what the area is famous for.  This was my last day in Iceland, next stop the airport. 

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Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Seltún
Seltún
Kleifarvatn lake
Kleifarvatn lake
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir Peningagjá
Þingvellir Peningagjá
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Þingvellir Lögberg
Þingvellir Lögberg
Þingvellir Drekkingarhylur where …
Þingvellir Drekkingarhylur where…
Krýsuvík church
Krýsuvík church
Þingvellir
Þingvellir
Golden circle
Golden circle
Fish drying racks
Fish drying racks
Reykjanes peninsula
Reykjanes peninsula
Kleifarvatn Lake
Kleifarvatn Lake
Kleifarvatn Lake
Kleifarvatn Lake
If you know what this says please …
If you know what this says please…
Kleifarvatn Lake
Kleifarvatn Lake
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Seltún
Kleifarvatn lake
Kleifarvatn lake
Reykjanes peninsula
Reykjanes peninsula
Famouns Icelandic seafood
Famouns Icelandic seafood
2,888 km (1,795 miles) traveled
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photo by: Vikram