|'Journey to the Golden Circle' 12x24 pastel ©Karen Margulis Iceland Summer 2014|
painting available for purchase $325
In case you just started reading this travelog I went to Iceland as a part of Stan Sperlak's Painter's Passport program. This trip was an art workshop/expedition. Artists and adventurers from all over the world came together to explore and create art together. Most of us were pastelists but we also had a photographer in our group. On our touring days we could bring our supplies for a quick painting or sketch or just take photos and experience the landscape. I chose to experience the Golden Circle with my camera.
The Golden Circle is the name given to the collection of three of Iceland's best known historical sites and natural phenomena. They happen to be located fairly close together and a short drive from the capital Reykjavik. We had a longer drive from our home base of Stykkisholmur but any drive across the countryside of Iceland is filled with beautiful scenery. (today's painting was inspired by a photo I took on our drive to the Golden Circle area)
|We took the long scenic route|
|Beautiful lush country|
Our first stop was Thingvellir National Park. This area has both historical and geological importance. It was the site where the Vikings established their democratic parliament in 930 AD. It is also another place where you can see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This division of the earth's tectonic plates creates beautiful scenery. I was especially drawn to the many wildflowers that graced the walking paths in the park.
|Wildflowers along the Mid Atlantic Ridge|
|Interesting green flowers in the foreground|
|Love the color of this door|
|Check out the round stones on the gate posts|
|Such a tranquil setting|
The second stop on the tour was the geothermal area of Geysir. This is an area filled with steaming earth, bubbling pools of boiling water and of course Geysers. We get our word Geyser from the Icelandic word. The highlight of this interesting spot were the geysers themselves. One of them erupted quite regularly. It went off about every five minutes while we were there. It seemed to spout off a really big one followed by some lesser eruptions. I enjoyed watching the tourists watch the geyser through their phones or cameras. That was quite entertaining...and a few people were in the wrong place and got soaked.
|A few photos of the Geysir area. Loved watching the people!|
The last site on our tour of the Golden Circle was the most spectacular. It was a breathtaking waterfall with two huge cascades called Gullfoss. (Golden Waterfall) This waterfall was spectacular and so powerful. There was a trail that went close to the edge of the lower falls and the ground shook with the power. I can still feel the mist and hear the deafening roar of the falls. It is said that a rainbow is visible on sunny days. It wasn't sunny (but it wasn't raining either!).
|A few photos from Gullfoss|
After a full day of wonderful sights we returned to the Red and Gray houses in Stykkisholmur. The hot tub was calling and another fantastic day in Iceland came to a close.
|On our way home we took the shortcut through the tunnel|