me + Þingvellir
It's the only place in the world where you can walk between two tectonic plates. You can see the edges of the North American and Eurasian plates (as in the above photo) So it's important geologically, but also is a site of cultural significance to Icelanders.
The Icelandic Parliament first met here in 930 AD and continued to do so until 1798. You can see remnants of the above meetings still on site. The National Park was founded in 1930 in honor of the 1,000th anniversary of Parliament. It's now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We rented a car and self drove the Golden Circle, as we wanted to spend more than a day doing so and so we could spend more time at each place. It turned out to be a wonderful decision because we got more time at each location than every tour bus we saw. Often we'd arrive before the next batch of buses, and still be there when they left. So I highly recommend self driving this if you go.
There are so many wonderful lookouts too. I took so many photos of this park that the number itself is unbelievable, let alone the scenery. I still cannot believe the beauty!!
The beauty of Thingvellir, and also Iceland in general, is the stunning geological features (and scars). But after that, even the stark emptiness and simplicity of Iceland is beautiful. I cannot wait to go back in the summer!
Here's a few more gratuitous photos of Thingvellir:
from near the visitor center
Short walk to a waterfall surrounded by black rock
I love falling water
And cold, stark scenery. It's beauty is amazing and intense.
You can see forever!
Sunrise in Thingvellir