A last look at Thingvellir before we move on next week to Akureyri and travel into the Icelandic countryside:
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But it’s the sheer cliffs lining the Almannagjá fault gorge which I found most fascinating.
This next image is of the nearby, very quaint Thingvellir Church:
But let’s return to looking at the Almannagjá fault and it’s vegetation:
For some really fascinating reading on the geology of this area, see Geology and tectonics of Þingvellir.
Thingvellir is a real geological oddity, as this is the heart of a rift valley with significance. It is here that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge protrudes above sea level, creating the island of Iceland. More specifically, this is where the North American tectonic plate collides dramatically with the Eurasian tectonic plate.
Or, to put it another way, when you walk along the Hakið (Hakid) scenic pathway dividing these plates, and step within the great Almannagjá fault, you are in fact standing on the divide separating Europe from North America.
From here the views of the rift valley are spectacular. Here is Þingvallavatn (Thingvallavatn), a rift valley lake:
There are also several apparently remote residences in this desolate-looking area:
We’ll continue exploring Thingvellir Wednesday and this week’s Fun Photo Friday, but for today here is one last image of the pathway within the fault: