Thingvellir

Past and present at Thingvellir

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We have a large collection of lantern slides from the Manchester Geographical Society in the museum stores, including some of Iceland, and they gave us a window onto the lansdscapes of the past. Some of the most striking were images of Thingvellir National Park.

The three-gabled manor house was built in 1930 to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the Alþing.
The three-gabled manor house was built in 1930 to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the Alþing.

 

The second two gables were added in 1974 to celebrate 1100 years since Settlement
The second two gables were added in 1974 to celebrate 1100 years since Settlement
View from the top of the Almannagjá fissure
View from the top of the Almannagjá fissure

 

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From the viewing point today

Beautiful Icelandic Botany

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Today David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences, and myself were at Þingvellir in south-western Iceland. In 930, the Norwegian settlers established a parliament at this site and now it is a stunning National Park. The area is full of faults and fissures as the North American and Eurasian plates pull away from each other by up to 18mm per year. We were lucky with the weather today and the autumn colours were looking wonderful in the sunshine.

Mountain avens (Dryas octopetela)
Mountain avens (Dryas octopetela)
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
Downy birch (Betula pubescens)
Downy birch (Betula pubescens)
Bearberry (Arctostaphylus uva-ursi)
Bearberry (Arctostaphylus uva-ursi)
Autumn colours on birches and willows
Autumn colours on birches and willows

 

Butterworts (Pinguicula vulgaris)
Butterworts (Pinguicula vulgaris)