We are heading out of town today to go on the most famous one day trip in Iceland the golden circle. We start out of town in somewhat misty conditions on the American side of the island.
The first stop we do is at one of the most famous places in Iceland. The Thingvellir where the oldest parliament in the world the Althing met back in the Viking days. The Althing had it first meeting in 930 and continued meeting here until 1798. People from all over the island met here annually for all that time debating the affairs of the island – supposedly these annual meeting is the main reason why there is no local dialect on the island despite it significant size. The area was turned into a national park in 1930 to mark the 1000 anniversary of the first assembly at the field.
The area around Thingvellir is at a unique location. It is placed right at the foothill of the continental divide between America and Europe. Today when you go to the visitor center you arrive at the American side of the country – but from there you can just walk down the hill seeing a cliff on each side of you as you are walking one in America and one in Europe. When you get down the hill you will have left America and arrived in the old land of Europe. It isn’t every day I have the option to walk from one continent to another and you can really only do this in a handful of countries around the world.
The walk down the hill is a kind of magical – and it just gets helped by the fact it starts in the mist and miraculously the weather seems to change into sunshine down the hill.