I have seen some amazing waterfalls in my short life (the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is a major highlight among them) but I’ve never seen a concentration of waterfalls like I have in Iceland. It seems impossible to travel just a couple of kms without spotting waterfalls rushing or trickling from the glacial mountains and colossal fjords. We stopped pointing them out to each other after a while, both of us continually and telepathically aware of the beauteous multitude of them.
With a guidebook in hand and google maps plugged in, we set off on a waterfall-chasing adventure, and ended up being more and more amazed every time parked the car, stepped out into the cold and under the icy spray.
The broad Hvítá (white river) rushes from the highlands in the north before it turns sharply to plunge into the gorge at three-tiered Gullfoss waterfall. I clearly remember the sound of the rush of the water filling the space as we stepped out of our car and followed the crowd towards the edge. My eyes widened as the waterfall revealed itself with each step we took closer to the snow-covered plateau before the drop. The icy blue of the water contrasted sharply with the white foam of the convulsing water, the spray rising from gorge and the snow surrounding us, with the two colours coming together in the glassy turquoise of a frozen overhang, seemingly ready to crack, drop and shake the earth.
We stepped over the ‘don’t step over here’ sign and shuffled and slid so that we could get as close to the deep sound of the waterfall as we could, after which we were blown away by the scope of the landscape from a bird’s eye view.
I had to hold myself back from running (and slipping) into Seljalandsfoss – I was so excited when I saw it. And by into I mean up and around into the cave behind the waterfall. Instead, we smiled eagerly, zipped up our raincoats and trudged carefully through the mud, following the trail behind and around the fall. Laughing out loud in gleeful cheers, feeling like we were caught in an icy downpour, yelling stuff to each other over the sound of the tumbling water.
As per our waterfall-ritual, we basically ran towards Skógafoss as soon as we exited the car. Just a stone’s throw from the road, Skógafoss is surprisingly impressive (actually one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls being 25m wide with a 60m drop). We opted for the 400+ stairs to get a look at her from the viewing deck, after which we spun around in the vast amount of spray underneath a double-rainbow whilst the sun set in golden hues over the mossy-green, icy-blue, sparkling-white and deepest-black landscape of Iceland.