So this is Iceland... 64 degrees North. Sunset not until 2337 and then sunrise 0253. The land of volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls and fissures. Not quite the land of the midnight sun but nearly so. To the geologists - and this is their paradise - Þingvallavegur (say Thingvellir) is the rift valley between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates so the ground is particularly unstable but also spectacular. Iceland Met Office publishes an earthquake forecast, in addition to the usual rain and wind forecasts. Good to see no earthquakes exceeding 2.0 (Richter) expected....
Þingvallavegur is important in the history the Icelandic nation state. The national assembly was held here from about 1000 AD onwards and the tombs of some of the national heroes are in the peaceful area amongst the small lakes. It’s a major tourist attraction, a must-see for all of us tourists.
Photographically this topography is a challenge. Huge horizontal landscapes, think Wyoming with 30km or more between settlements (“towns”); I passed a sign saying the no fuel for the next 205km... Lots of black basalt yesterday but here I am in the land of lakes. Weather showery yesterday and grey today. That’ll do but some sunshine always helps the photographer.
Hike up from Thrushwood round Latrigg and Lonscale Crags for a picnic at the bridge over the Glendatarra Beck, that runs between the Skiddaw and Blencathra massifs. A stiff breeze whisking the sunny intervals through the view over Threlkeld Common and Bleaberry Fell, with Keswick and Derwent Water in the distance: the main thing about this path is the spectacular view. It’s not a particularly high route (max 450m. altitude), also this path is shared with mountain bikers on the Glendaterra & Lonscale Crags Mountain Bike Route. Events this Sunday included a run up Skiddaw, being passed at Latrigg Saddle by packs of runners evoked memories of my own running days, cross-country and a few fell and moorland runs.
Just 162 m. altitude and a ten to fifteen minute walk from Keswick town centre, Castlehead offers a famous panorama of Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake and the surrounding fells, which today were clouded with numerous shades of grey. The geological evidence is that this was once a glacial valley and even earlier was the lower slopes of the Borrowdale volcano.
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring