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Laugarvatn -The Shallow Lake-Village

Laugarvatn is situated in South Iceland. It is a shallow lake that is situated in Arnessysla inlands. It is about 100 kms from Reykjavik. It is a favorite among visitors from all over the globe. It is very famous as a summer resort as one among the top in Iceland’s attractions. It is situated near several other cultural and natural attractions of Iceland like Geysir, Skalholt bishop seat, and Gulfoss waterfall.

Shallow lake with hot springs

This shallow lake is sized to around 2 sq. kms. It lies between Geysir, Thingvellir, and Gulfoss. The shallow lake is quite popular due to its hot springs under its floor. The lake heats due to these hot springs. It is so warm to take a bath here all through the year. A village surrounds the bank, also called Laugarvatn, which hardly inhabits 300 people.

Laugarvatnsfjall Mountain

Laugarvatn has a mountain called the Laugarvatnsfjall Mountain. It is very charming and beautiful to visit. Its slopes are covered with birch trees and towards its west is the village. You will be delighted to see a viewpoint called hringsja or panoramic point, which falls between the lake and the mountain and towards the village’s north side. From here you will get the best lake view and its adjoining area which is amazingly beautiful.

Activities of Laugarvatn

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Sailing
  • Boating
  • Trekking
  • Angling
  • Enjoying spa
  • Fishing

You can enjoy pony-trekking, hiking, and camping among woods and green hills on the northern side of Laugarvatn. You can hike as they are plenty of marked hiking paths to adventure in. The other thing you can do is hire a sailboard or a boat to sail or boat at Lake Laugarvatn. You also have a golf course where visitors can enjoy golfing. The area offers river and lake angling, fishing as well to its visitors. There is an environmental spa called Fontana Spa, where you can relax and take pleasure in the spa.

Environment of Laugarvatn

The region of Laugarvatn is quite pleasant for visitors. This town is encircled by hills, fertile countryside, and lava fields. It is surrounded by forest which is ever growing. You will find streams and brooks adding to this landscape, making it a visual treat to your eyes.

The lake is shallow and abundant in aquatic life. There is a good chance of lake fishing for trout, which can be done with permission. Gear up for some water sports and boating here with rented boats during summer. It is best to do boating when it is clear weather.

Gallery Laugarvatn

Check out the Iceland handicrafts at wide display at the Gallery Laugarvatn. It also provides a bed and breakfast.

Geothermal pools

Geothermal springs at the lake shores have been used at the Fontana spa. Here you have a swimming pool with geothermal spring water along with three steam areas to relax over the hot bubbling sport with 100% humidity. It is popularly visited in summer. You will find a sauna with Finnish styling and mineral baths that are interconnected. The spa embosses Erla Þórarinsdóttir artist’s stonework, adding to its charm. You will find a very nice view at Viska hot tub of the adjoining area of the Laugarvatn. Another geothermal pool is the Blue Lagoon, which is a little bigger than the Fontana spa. However, Fontana is affordable comparatively. You can wade out into the shallow lake here. Geothermal spring water here lacks revitalizing or healing properties.

Nearby attractions

  • Laugarvatn falls between the Geysir Geothermal area and Pingvellir National Park. They form the 2 primary points of the Golden circle.
  • Pingvellir National park is a natural wonderland. It is situated between 2 tectonic plates. It has forests, clear streams, and incredible geology.
  • Geysir and Strokkur are geysers or hot springs. Another hot spot is the Gulfoss Waterfall.

Conclusion

Laugarvatn is one of Iceland’s popular spots, with ample facilities of hotels, cottages, resorts, and guesthouses. You will find the basic services here without any hassle. It is a popular spot in Iceland that can be visited all through the year.

Laugarvatn Fontana – The Spa

Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths are situated at the heart of the famous tourist route in Iceland, i.e., the Golden Circle. The geothermal springs provide an exceptional experience. One can soak in the natural pool and then listen to the hot spring in their steam rooms. Individuals who wish to go on an adventure can take a bath in the refreshing lake.

Steam baths

Acoording to the reports, ever since 1929, natives began relishing the steam baths’ healing abilities offered by Lake Laugarvatn. There are three conventional steam rooms, in which hot steam emerges directly from the ground.

The temperature of the steam is directly proportional to the temperature of the hot spring and weather. Humidity is considered to be extremely high in the steam rooms. Grids present on the same floor as the steam rooms enable visitors to listen and inhale the natural hot spring that is boiling underneath, thereby rendering an experience that one can never forget.

Relaxing Pools at Laugarvatn Fontana

Lauga, Sæla, and Viska are linked to outdoor baths that differ in size, depth, and temperature. The pools and hot tub present here are considered ideal for both rest and recreation. They also feature the joyful artwork in stone created by Erla Thorarinsdottir, an Icelandic artist. The hot tub in Viska is constructed at a relatively more significant level, thereby offering a scenic view of the wonderful environment as the individual relaxes in the healthy water.

Finnish-style Sauna

Ylur, a Finnish-style sauna, is present right beside the steam room. The temperature ranges between 176°F and 194°F and has a lower humidity when compared to the steam room. Relax and take pleasure in the wonderful lake view by looking through the huge window. For Finnish individuals, the sauna has been regarded as a complete necessity, a site to rest with family as well as friends. It happens to be one of the best places for physical and mental relaxation.

A Dip in the Lake

Completing the collection is none other than the lake itself along with the beach. Bathers can take a stroll into the lake from a pier. A cool dip in this lake situated in between the hot steam rooms and sauna is regarded by many as an amazing temperature shift for a healthy individual.

Cold bathing is proven to have beneficial effects on individual health, like regulating blood circulation, speeding up muscular soreness, and recovery. It benefits those visitors who are suffering from arthritis as well as other joint issues.

Northern lights at Laugarvatn Fontana

Enjoy the fantastic evening of noticing the Northern Lights right from the geothermal baths offered at Laugarvatn Fontana. This is definitely one of the best retreats in Iceland and ideal for the majority of the tourists who have been waiting to observe the Northern Lights. The Northern lights are just as exceptional and beautiful as Iceland itself.

The Northern Lights provide the individual with an unexpected feel as they are considered to be the dancing spirits, omens of war, and reflections of the phantom fire. Some think of the lights as another natural wonder. This is a must-watch for every visitor of the geothermal baths.

How to get here

Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths can be reached in 50 minutes by taking a drive from Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. The geothermal baths are situated in the Laugarvatn village, a popular region for beautiful surroundings and a peaceful climate.

Laugarvatn is likewise located in the center of the Golden Circle, the famous day trip for travelers to Iceland. It makes a perfect break between Thingvellir National Park and Geysir’s natural wonder and royal waterfall Gullfoss.

Conclusion

Laugarvatn Fontana is a perfect addition to the list of must-visit places as the geothermal baths provide comfort and luxury, and healing abilities. The various steam rooms, Finnish-style sauna, and mineral baths don’t distract you from taking pleasure in the panoramic view of its attractive environment.

Icelandic horse in the Golden Circle

Iceland has so much to see, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on a quick trip and need to pack a lot. You can book a horse riding tour and merge two must-do Icelandic activities with loads of tour companies offering half-day excursions. These companies make it an action-packed day for you with a morning of Icelandic horse riding, followed by the famous Golden Circle tour.

Icelandic horses have some interesting sketches for an engaged equestrian and look stunning against the epic Icelandic scenery. Horses in Iceland have five gaits that are distinct from the four of a typical horse, which, as it turns out, makes the whole horse riding task very different. Usually, these tours depart from Reykjavik early in the morning. They also offer a hotel pickup. When you arrive at Laxnes Horse Farm, which is situated in the middle of Thingvellir National Park, you will see that the Icelandic horses are tiny or small.

Icelandic Horse in the Golden Circle

The Icelandic horse is a horse breed that has been developed in Iceland. Although the horses are small, often pony-sized, most Icelandic registries refer to them as horses. Icelandic horses are hardy and long-lived. They have few diseases; Icelandic law forbids horses from being introduced into the country, and exported animals are not permitted to return. The Icelandic horses show two gaits along with standard walk, canter/gallop and trot. The latter are typically exhibited by other breeds. They are also common internationally as the only breed of horse in Iceland, and there are significant populations in North America and Europe. The breed remains to be used for traditional sheepherding work and recreation, showing, and racing.

The breed is written on the literary documents and historical records in Icelandic history, and the first reference to a named horse is in the 12th century, established by Norse settlers in Iceland in the 9th and 10th century. In Norse’s mythology, horses were venerated, which the earliest settlers carried back to Iceland. The breeding has grown into its present form selectively over the years. Natural selection has played a part as the harsh Icelandic climate has eliminated many horses by cold and hunger. Most of the Icelandic horses were killed during a volcanic eruption in Laki in the 1780s. In 1904, the societies were established in Iceland, the first horse society in 19 countries united under the Parent Association, the International Federation of the Icelandic Horse Associations. Organizations from 19 different nations represent the group.

Icelandic Horse in the Golden Circle is Tiny

It was really different from what you are used to when horse riding in Iceland, but you will really like it. The panorama is spectacular and you will be able to walk down, and up the local volcanic landscape, even across a river or two. Horse riding and horse racing in Iceland has to be in your checklist.

You can take up a coach tour and ride an Icelandic horse in Golden Circle after having lunch at the horse farms. Coach still tours are visitors’ favorite way of transportation, but that seems to be the only way you can get there without a vehicle or hiking. The excursions usually involve a traditional big coach tour bus with stereotypical commentary by the tour guide.

Uses

Despite growing mechanization and road improvements, Icelandic horses still play an important role in Icelandic life. In 1874, the first Icelandic official horse course took place in Akureyri, and from April to June, many Icelandic horses still take place in the entire region. The Icelandic horse competitions are conducted; both galloping and speed and performances illustrate the Icelandic horses’ uniqueness. Winter competitions, including Icelandic horses on water bodies, are often held. The first shows concentrating on animal quality as breeding stocks were in 1906. The National Association of Riding Clubs and the Agricultural Society of Iceland organizes daily competitions in various groups. This year’s event resulted from horses and riders falling into the river and needed to be rescued.

Conclusion

Icelandic horse in the Golden Circle combines Icelandic Horse Riding and The Golden Circle of Iceland. You can visit the trio- Thingvillir national park, Geysir hot springs and Gulfoss waterfall along with Icelandic horse riding.

Historical Sites in Iceland

Iceland is not only an ideal location for nature enthusiasts, but also for those who are fascinated with history. Numerous historical sites in Iceland that are famous and formed centuries ago along with several places that are popular for its history are awaiting for their visitors to explore.

Historical sites in Iceland

Þingvellir national park among the top Historical sites in Iceland

Þingvellir had been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ever since 930 AD, Icelanders were using this place as a part of their meetings for an Icelandic Parliament. From then, Icelanders celebrated their national holidays in Þingvellir due to its significance in Iceland’s history. This place had also been a symbolic location for native poets. The parliament happened in the eye-catching rift valley, which is believed to be formed around 10,000 years ago.

Godafoss waterfall

This wonderful waterfall is situated in Northern Iceland. It is popular for its breathtaking views as it happens to be a wide river waterfall. When Iceland recognized Christianity, Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoð threw statues of Norse gods into Godafoss waterfall. It has an interesting history, that appeals and interests the visitors from all over the globe.

Gasir- one of the medieval times in Historical sites in Iceland

During medieval times, this place used to be a popular trade market which is situated around 11 km from Akureyri. The perfect time to check this place out is in the month of July, as this is the period when native craftsmen rebuild the medieval market. After the reconstruction, they begin selling handmade items just like how it was done during medieval times. Archeologists claim that the place was a lively trading point till the 16th century.

Örlygsstaðir

Örlygsstaðir is recognized as a tragic place due to the battle that took place here in between the major clans of Iceland in the 12th century. This battle was also part of the civil war that was happening in the country. The location is found several times in the Icelandic literature and is situated in West Iceland.

Stykkishólmur

Stykkishólmur is another location that is recognized for its trading. It was lively there approximately 400 years ago. Besides that, Stykkishólmur is popular for its ancient meteorological station in the country and also perhaps the world. The station began operating in the year 1845, and currently, it can be found in the native folk museum in the building. Several old houses in the region make this place very comfortable and unique.

Gufuskálar

This place is one of the most ancient fishing locations in Scandinavia. This place was deserted in 1948, but there are some trails and ruins that can be found even now. Likewise, there are remains referred to as “the Irish camps,” which date back to 9-10 centuries.

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja is a church with a special appearance as the idea of its design originates from the form made when lava transforms into basalt rock. Gudjon Samuel designed this particular church in the year 1937. Its construction was carried out between 1945 and 1986. The tower dominates Reykjavik’s skyline, which measures 239.5 ft (73 m). One can view the entire city along with the landscapes and the sea next to the capital from the top of the church.

Reykjavik Open Air Museum, Reykjavik

You will get a clear understanding of the folklore in the capital city by visiting Reykjavik Open Air Museum. The Reykjavik Society was formed while individuals were worried about the regional history of Reykjavik. Therefore, this museum was created to get rid of these problems and explore methods to re-establish the town’s past. This likewise included the restoration of farm buildings, which is the reason why the museum is open-air. One can look at the professor’s house, an exhibit having old trains, a typical stable, a blacksmith’s house, and an old slaughterhouse. You can likewise explore the archaeological findings in one of the museum’s latest exhibits.

Conclusion

Historical sites in Iceland are very welcoming and pleasing to visitors who are planning a trip to Iceland. For historical lovers, Iceland has its own pleasant treat of historical spots and stories.

Historical sites in Golden Circle

Golden Circle is one of Iceland’s famous tourist routes in which an individual can explore the landscapes of the country. These landscapes are filled with history and folklore. There are a lot of amazing spots in between these attractions where you can stop and enjoy. They include Icelandic horse farms, Lutheran churches, and Icelandic cuisines as well.

Some of the Historical sites in Golden Circle

Þingvellir National Park

This park has a fascinating history which always attracts the interest of the visitors. This place is not only popular as a snorkeling and diving spot, but also for its history.

During the 800s, the first permanent settlers arrived in Iceland, and they comprised of individuals who were against bending a knee to the High King of Norway. In 930 AD, they decided that a form of collective government had a chance to settle disputes on the island. Therefore, each group of thirty members or so sent for someone to represent them.

They had named their meeting place ‘Þingvellir,’ which translates to ‘the fields of parliament.’This first parliament was very successful that the tradition had continued for centuries. The institution continued even after Norway took control of the Icelandic Commonwealth in 1262, and also after it got shifted into the Danish crown’s clutches in the year 1380. However, its function remained the same even after it got transferred to Reykjavik.

This is the most ancient and ongoing Icelandic parliament in the entire world. Later, Iceland had declared Þingvellir a National Park in 1930. In 2004, UNESCO had declared it a World Heritage Site. Due to its significance in Icelandic history, Þingvellir had seen a lot of variations that the nation went through as it developed. However, it is just one among the three iconic locations on the Golden Circle route.

Laugarvatnshellar

Laugarvatnshellar has two caves situated on the west side of the Laugarvatnsvellir dry flatlands. This place was used by the people initially for the sheep. They were also the home of individuals during the first decades of the previous century. A young couple resided there in 1910–1911, followed by another couple in 1918–1922. The Cave People refurbished the caves, after which they started welcoming tourists to observe the place and listen to the story of its residents.

Skálholt

Skálholt is one of the historical places in Iceland. It is currently a place of spirituality and culture, along with its church and cultural center. The first settler at Skálholt was said to be TeiturKetilbjarnarson, the grandfather of the first bishop. Skálholt was the seat of bishops from 1056 to 1796. It also functioned as a school followed by the Reformation and intermittently during Catholic times. A lot of historical events are linked with Skálholt. The execution of the final Catholic bishop named JónArason, together with two of his sons, took place here in the year 1550.

Secondary Historical sites in Golden Circle

Sólheimar

The ecovillage known as Sólheimar is situated in between Þingvellirand the Geysir Geothermal Area. Traveling to this village helps an individual to know more regarding the community that maximizes the potential of every resident, irrespective of their disability or age.

Gulfoss Waterfall

Gulfoss Waterfall translates to the ‘Golden Waterfall’, and is one of the best locations in the country that you shouldn’t miss. When you are here, you can also choose to raft the HvitaRiver that provides an opportunity to feel the power of the falls. You can also check out ‘Iceland’s first environmentalist, ‘Sigridur Tómasdóttir. She is a native woman who campaigned against property development around the falls. This ultimately resulted in the falls to be protected forever as a national conservation region.

Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon is located at Hverahólmi, the geothermal area close by Flúðir. It was created in 1891 and happened to be the most ancient swimming pool in Iceland. In 1909, the first swimming lessons were carried out in the pool. This tradition endured until 1947 when the new pool in Flúðir was opened to the public.

Conclusion

Historical sites in Golden Circle are popular in the place as they depict their Icelandic history. Visiting these locations will give an in-depth knowledge of their history, and the adjoining scenic beauty is breathtaking.

Hallgrimskirkja-Volcano inspired- Tallest church

The Hallgrímskirkja has beautiful views of the city, Reykjavik. This is the tallest church that is visible from anywhere in the capital. It is situated in the core of Reykjavik. The Hallgrimskirkja towers over the colorful capital.

Inspirational Design of Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja is a memorial construction that was designed by GuðjónSamúelsson, an architect. He designed this church to honor the poet and the saint HallgrímurPétursson. He was popular for his work called Hymns of the Passion. He was amazed by the cooled lava shapes and created a design that is motivated by basalt rocks. His first blueprint of the design was questioned by many, but today it is appreciated a lot. It is currently the landmark symbol of the city. It is a must-see for any visitor to Iceland.

The Interiors and Exteriors

It was initiated in 1945 and finished in 1986. The façade of Hallgrímskirkja is a nature-inspired design. The church stands 245 feet tall. It has a long central tower with sloping sides. They simulate a massive stalagmite of lava residue. Inspite of having a grand exterior, the internal design is simple. The columns are tall and grey. They flank the elegant aisle that leads to an altar. It appears to curve to arches that are pointed and punctuated by big glass windows.

The basalt-colored wood upholstery present in this church complement the long rows of seats. The interiors are minimal, and they reflect the Lutheran base of the church. They give a variant aesthetic of the Gothic design.

A Pipe Organ

This is the most eye-appealing feature which was added during December in 1992. This towers about 50 feet tall. It is made of 5,275 pipes. The organ weighs 25-tons. It was designed by Johannes Klaishas, a German builder. Christopher Herrick, an international organist, features it. It was displayed in pieces during this concert. LeifurEiríksson’s statue stands outside the church.

How to reach Hallgrimskirkja?

There is an elevator in the Hallgrímskirkja. It runs through the bell tower of the church. It leads to a deck that is for an open-air observation for the visitors. They can view lanes and houses stretched outlining the Norwegian sea waters. There’s a vantage point where the church appears a sentinel who is watching and protecting Reykjavik. Visitors from all over the world can also get into the church using stained glass equipped doors before strolling towards the church altar. For an iconic exterior view, an evening visit to the church is the right time. You will see the church illuminated with lights and the statue standing outside welcoming you.

Best time to visit Hallgrímskirkja

The church is open to visitors with varying timings at different seasons.

The church is open for visitors:

  • October to April- 9am-5pm
  • May to September-9am-9pm

The tower is closed for service from 10.30am-12.15pm on Sundays.

Entry fee

  • Adults- 8 dollars
  • Children-1 dollar

Winter Lights Festival

This festival is held in February. You can see Hallgrímskirkja covered by a vibrant light set up. This church is amongst the 6 constructions that transform into vibrant artwork during festivity times.

Nearby

You will get to see more amazing sights from a lesser crowded Church of Kópavogar, located on Borgarholt Hill. This is one of the well-known elf colonies for its population in Iceland. It was built in 1963. The construction features stained glass featured windows made by GerðurHelgadóttirand, an artist. This church is at a brief distance from a well-known museum for contemporary and modern art, Gerðarsafn.

Conclusion

Hallgrímskirkja is the tallest church in Reykjavik. This church is known for its city views. You will be able to view this church from anywhere in the city. The church is inspired by a design of the shape of lava stones.

Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland

Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland

The most favourite tourist spots in Iceland are Haukadalur geothermal valley, Þingvellir National Park, and Gulfoss-the golden falls. The Golden Circle is among top three here. It is a widely known tourist trail in Iceland. The entire route spans 190 miles overall. It can be conveniently reached in 6 hours. There are several other attractions to visit closeby. You can either drive or reach this place by bus. A luxurious private helicopter ride can also be enjoyed to get a birds-eye perspective of these locations.

Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland

You can visit this route in winter as well as summer. It attracts several visitors due to its unique and serene beauty. It is close to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. When visiting the Golden Circle, your Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland can be at Reykjavik, Thingvellir/ Þingvellir, Geysir, or near Gulfoss.

Points of interest in Golden Circle Iceland

Thingvellir – Here you can visit the Þingvellir National park, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Take part in snorkeling, boating, fishing, angling, scuba diving, and other activities.

Geysir- Enjoy the geothermal hot springs and other activities of the place. Take a plunge into the hot springs around spa hotels such as Fontana Spa or Blue lagoon.

Gulfoss- Enjoy the waterfalls called golden falls. Take part in the activities of the place. These falls drop to 32 m overall, two cascading steps to the Gullfossgjufur canyon.

Strokkur– It has hot springs that erupt in 5-10 minutes. They appear at water jets high into the air to about 20 meters above. Almost 40 fumaroles steaming with geothermal water and mud cauldrons are present here.

Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland

  • Family Hotels-You will find these hotels with 2, 3, 4 beds. They are family-friendly.
  • Budget Hotels- These hotels are cheaper and affordable for all. They will have basic facilities.
  • Self-catering accommodation-These are the guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation. You will have no food service as such.
  • Luxury Hotels- These are the high-end hotels with swimming pools, food service, and other facilities. They are a little expensive, relatively.
  • Spa Hotels- Hotels such as these offer spas with geothermal bathing, hot tubs, and steam room to relax and rejuvenate with a drink or eatables.

Some of the popular Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland are:

Hotel Gulfoss

This is a highland hotel in Haudkadalaur. It has a restaurant too. Situated by the Hvita River, you can reach the Gulfoss waterfall lying 3 kms away. Within 10 minutes you can visit the great Geysir. About 35 minutes is the Thingvellir National park. Kjolur highland road is about 2 kms to connect the south and north Iceland.

Facilities offered:

  • Tea/Coffee
  • Private bathrooms
  • TV
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • Lobby with TV and a seating area

Hestar Geysir

This property is a horse farm and is about 90 mins from Reykjavik. The Gulfoss waterfall is about 10 minutes drive, and the closest airport is Reykjavik Domestic Airport.

 Features

  • Great lounge
  • Horse riding and diving tours
  • Garden
  • Gift shop
  • Private and shared bathrooms
  • Free Wifi

Farmstead

This is about 6 miles off Haukadalur. This rustic farmstead has four bedrooms accommodating 8 people. There are two floors to rent out. The entire property is about 150 sq.m. in area.

Features

  • Accommodates 8 people
  • Fresh produce to enjoy
  • Rolling farmlands around
  • View Icelandic horses

Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland between Haukadalaur and Gulfoss

Helludalur Cottage

It is situated at Bjarnarfell Mountain base.

Features

  • 3 bedrooms
  • Accommodates 8 people
  • Comfortable moving space
  • Excellent terrace space
  • Scenic views

Haukladalur Cottage

This cottage is a 10-minute stroll from Haukadalur.

Features

  • Accommodates 6 people
  • 2-bedroom cottage
  • Laundry
  • Barbeque
  • Free Wifi

Conclusion

There are several points of Accommodation in Golden Circle Iceland. Several holiday cottages, hotels, luxury homes at Flúðir, Gulfoos, Hauklaudur, Geysir, Thengivillir, etc., form excellent accommodation space. Álfaheiði, Ásabyggð, and several others make fantastic rental choices for accommodation. Choose the accommodation suitable for your needs and budget to enjoy the Golden Circle area and the area around it.

Halldór Laxness – Nobel Prize Winner of Iceland

The birth of HalldórKiljan Laxness took place in the year 1902 in Reykjavik. However, he has spent his entire youth in the country.

Early years

The birth of HalldórKiljan Laxness took place in the year 1902. His family had relocated to Laxness farm situated in Mosfellssveit parish while he was three years old. He began reading books and had written interesting stories at a very young age. He went to the technical school in Reykjavík from 1915 to 1916. In the year 1916, he had published in the Morgunblaðið newspaper. His first novel called Barn náttúrunnar was published in 1919 while he was traveling on the European continent.

His influence on writing novels

From the time when he had turned 17, he started traveling and living abroad. He lived in different places on the European continent. Expressionism and other modern currents in Germany and France had a great influence on him. In the middle of the twentieth century, he had been converted to Catholicism. Many of his books represented his spiritual experiences, mainly UndirHelgahnúk, 1924. In 1927, he published VefarinnmiklifráKasmír (The Great Weaver from Kashmir), which was his very first significant novel. However, Laxness’s religious influences did not stay for long. During his visit to America, he got attracted to socialism. Alþydubókin (The Book of the People), 1929, depicts his change towards socialism. Laxness settled in Iceland in 1930.

In Summary

  • HalldórKiljan Laxness was born on 23rd April 1902 in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland.
  • His death took place on 8th February 1998(aged 95 years).
  • His nationality is Icelandic, although he spent most of his time in other European countries.
  • He was married to IngibjörgEinarsdóttir.
  • His notable award is the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Three novel cycles

Laxness’s major achievements include his three novel cycles written at the time of thirties, relating to Iceland individuals.

His 3 novel cycles are:

  • Þúvínviðurhreini in the year 1931, and Fuglinn í fjörunni in 1932, (both translated as Salka Valka), tell the tale of a poor fisher girl
  • Sjálfstættfólk (Independent People) during 1934-35, tells about the fortunes of small farmers.
  • While the tetralogy Ljósheimsins (The Light of the World) published during 1937-40, has got its hero as an Icelandic folk poet.

Laxness’s later works are oftenancient and effected by the saga tradition, including:

  • Íslandsklukkan (The Bell of Iceland) during 1943-46.
  • Gerpla (The Happy Warriors) in 1952.
  • Paradísarheimt (Paradise Reclaimed) in the year 1960.
  • Likewise, he is the author of the interesting and tight polemicalAtómstöðin (The Atom Station) published in the year 1948.

Later years

During the 1960s, Laxness was extremely active in Icelandic theater. He wrote and shaped plays, the most famous of which was called The Pigeon Banquet (Dúfnaveislan, 1966).

In 1968, Laxness wrote the visionary novel calledKristnihaldundirJökli (Under the Glacier / Christianity at the Glacier).

During the 1970s, he also published what he referred to as “essay novels”

  • Innansveitarkronika (A Parish Chronicle, 1970)
  • Guðsgjafaþula (A Narration of God’s Gifts, 1972)

None of these were translated into English. Laxness achieved the Sonning Prize in the year 1969.

In 1970, Laxness wrote an effective ecological essay known as Hernaðurinngegnlandinu (The War against the Land). He carried on to publish essays as well as memoirs during the 1970s and 1980s. As he grew older, he suffered from an Alzheimer’s ailment and was transferred to a nursing home later in which he died at the age of 95.

Conclusion

Halldor Laxness is a great novelist in Iceland. He is very popular for his novels and what he called essay novels. His ecological essay became very popular. He won a Nobel Prize for literature and a Sonning Prize. He lived up to 95 years.

Gullfoss Area – The Golden Falls

Gullfoss or the Golden Waterfall is the most popular waterfall in Iceland. It is amongst the natural wonders on the globe. It is regarded to be a very powerful waterfall in Europe. The Gullfoss Area’s golden waterfall’s best sight is sunlit when the misty clouds encircle this jamming falls, creating several rainbows. This is a view with spectacular motion and color to see in your lifetime.

As per news reports, tourism in Iceland always rose at least by 20%-25% each year. At one point in time, Iceland was debated to be a victim of over-tourism. It toppled in recent times when the biggest industry of Iceland-tourism became impacted.

Golden Falls or Gullfoss is situated in the Hvita river canyon of Southwest Iceland. Hvita is a mighty glacial river, also referred to as a white river. A couple of kilometers off the Golden Falls is another glacial cascade drop of 32 m, called Geysir. This is a very popular white cascade drop into a 2.5 km long and 70m deep narrow canyon.

The Golden Waterfall of Gulfoss Area

The golden waterfall has 3 stages curved staircase. The water from the Hvita river streams southward to a kilometer and falls. This is where the river streams to 3-stepped fall. It then plunges to 36 ft and 69 ft stages (2 stages) to a 105 ft deep crevice. The length of the crevice is 2.5 kms long. It continues to flow perpendicular to the river flow. The flow of water changes from 80 cu.m in winter to 141 cu.m in summer time.

Gulfoss is a waterfall that formed due to a fissure within the lava that paved a passage via it. They are 2 different waterfalls. It can be classified as an upper drop of 11m and a lower drop of 21m. The river bedrock was created in the interglacial times. The flow of water is at a rate of 109 cu m/s.

Protected Gulfoss Area

In the initial half of the twentieth century to the late twentieth century, Gulfoss was considered for generating electricity. For the same reason, the owners- Halldor Halldorsson and Tomas Tomasson rented it to foreign investors. The attempt to generate electricity fell apart due to lack of funds and other reasons. The state of Iceland now procures it, and it is currently a protected area.

Hvítá river-Water of the waterfall

Sogio, Hvita, Olfusa combined form a river system that stretches to the beaches from the mountains. It connects to the sea linking Gulfoss, Kerlingarfjöll, Geysir, Ármannsfell, Skálholt, Eyrarbakki, and Thingvellir.

Gulfoss Area- The canyon

Below Gulfoss, the canyon stretches to about 2.5kms and is 70 metres deep. Geologists believe the canyon formed due to glacial outbursts that could have occurred at the final ice age stage.

Gulfoss Area- Vegetation

You will find lichen growing on the surrounding land area on rocks. They form unusual patches of different colors. You will also see widespread wooly willows in this dry moorland. They are identified with their light green colored leaves coated with grey fuzz. Dwarch birch and blueberry are common shrubs found here. Holy grass and lady smock are also seen here in low lying regions. A fine scent of linens is spread in the air.

Time and price to visit the golden falls

The waterfall is open and available for the public all through the day. It can be visited free of charge.

How to get here?

It is conveniently reachable in 2hrs from the capital of Iceland. You have guided packages available too.

Conclusion

Gulfoss waterfall is one of the natural wonders on the globe, which is not to be missed for its beautiful cascade and views. It is the perfect setting for a nature lover visiting Iceland to seal it in your memory as real beauty of nature.

Guðjón Samúelsson – State Icelandic architect

Guðjón Samúelsson was born on 16th April 1887 in Iceland. He is an Icelandic native who is well known for his works in architecture. His notable works include the University of Iceland, Akureyrarkirkja, Hallgrímskirkja, National Theatre of Iceland, and so on. His death took place on 25th April 1950 in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland.

Guðjón Samúelsson had been a State Architect of Iceland, and also the first Icelander to be educated in the field of architecture. He is well known as one of the most significant architects of Iceland. He designed the University of Iceland’s main structure, the Landakot Roman Catholic Cathedral in Reykjavík, the National Theatre of Iceland, and the Church of Akureyri. His last and most popular work is Hallgrímskirkja church that was commissioned in 1937.

Biography

There is not much knowledge regarding his early life except for the fact that he finished his studies in the year 1919. Pétur Ármannsson, an Icelandic architect, defines him as an influential figure in terms of Icelandic architecture. During the 1920s, Guðjón was instructed to plan the main buildings that were constructed by the Icelandic state. He played an important role in the urban plans of the capital city, Reykjavík. This was the time when Iceland had begun modernizing and urbanizing.

Guðjón made an effort to craft an Icelandic form of architecture. The natural geology of Iceland was believed to be his inspiration for a majority of his designs. Hallgrímskirkja was inspired by basalt columns that can be found at Svartifoss. He had designed the main structure of the University of Iceland in a brand-new and iconic Icelandic style. He had done so in order to contribute renewal of the Icelandic Commonwealth. At the time when the British had occupied Iceland in 1940, the British commander did not choose to seize the University of Iceland central-building as he found it very wonderful.

His rural creations were inspired by Icelandic turf houses, like the Héraðsskólinn schoolhouse. However, efforts to re-build turf house style buildings in rural regions had ended during the 1930s. This was because these forms of structures were not considered as cost-effective and useful. This is why Guðjón did not choose the turf house style while designing the schoolhouse at Reykholt.

Guðjón influenced numerous church designs in Iceland in order to combine naturalism with modernism. A demonstrative exhibition of his works was conducted at the Hafnarborg in Hafnarfjördur during 2019-2020. This was on the centenary of his graduation in 1919 and also his appointment as state architect (1920).

Other works

The house situated in the corner Austurstræti in Reykjavík was constructed in around 1916-1917 and was designed by Guðjón. It is also the first huge building in Iceland and was inspired by Art Nouveau and Danish Nationalist Romanticism and complex statues made by Einar Jónsson. There had been an agency Reykjavíkurapótek as well as Landsbankinn, that opened in the year 1930.

Landspítalinn Hótel Borg Héraðsskólinn is yet another one of Guðjón’s works that were constructed in 1928. Ever since then, the school had been transformed into a hostel. Guðjón opted for this particular location as it was close to the hot spring and also because of its lovely scenery.

Guðjón also made Landakotskirkja. It is the cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland. It is also referred to as Basilika Krists konungs (The Basilica of Christ the King).

Other major works by Guðjón Samúelsson include Sundhöll Keflavíkur, the Museum of local history in Kópasker, the Sundhöllin swimming pool and the Héraðsskólinn Schoolhouse.

Conclusion

Guðjón Samúelsson is very famous for his architecture work in Iceland. He has big names under his sleeve. His works have made a tremendous impact on Icelandic architecture. This is because he blended modernism with naturalism.