Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 11 - Breakfast -> Pick up rental car -> Seljalandsfoss, a walk behind the falls -> Gljúfrabúi Waterfall -> Lunch fish & chip -> Skógafoss

Breakfast provided by the hotel was the usual standard western fare. Nothing to shout about.

From Reykavik, we drove across the plateau Hellisheiði with a lot of geothermal activity and plumes of steam rising from the ground. Numerous boreholes have been drilled on Hellisheiði in the last years for hot water and steam, some of the cleanest energy available. Drove past Selfoss town and village Hveragerði, where geothermal water is harnessed to heat greenhouses for cultivation of decorative flowers and vegetables. Hveragerði and Selfoss suffered considerable property damage during the major earthquakes that shook the south of Iceland in late May, 2008. The center of this earthquake, that measured 6.3 R, was between the two towns.

Soon we arrived at waterfall Seljalandsfoss, where a walk behind the falls is possible during summer. It is situated in the Eyjafjöll district at the foot of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull glacier and a volcano.

There are just so many waterfalls in Iceland, each with its own character!
Seljalandsfoss is one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland, standing at 65m high. It is located very near the ring road so you cannot miss it!

The fun part visitng this fall is you can walk behind the waterfall. But you will need a raincoat as you will get wet from the mist shower. Special care must be taken when treading on the slippery and slimy rocks. It was so cold behind the falls even though it was Summer! The hands almost freezed when touching the cold rocks for support. However, it was a great experience walking behind the falls and fun watching the fall from behind! The path is closed in winter as the path gets too slippery and dangerous.

Seljalandsfoss is not far from Reykjavík, only 120 kilometres, so a day trip is possible. In fact, most of the nice, natural attractions are in the South.

Beautiful landscape

Another waterfall called Gljúfrabúi is very near to Seljalandsfoss. The name means "Dweller of the Gorge". Gljúfrabúi is sometimes called Gljúfrafoss.
Gljúfrabúi is 40 meters high and is hidden behind a big rock with a gap. This rock is called Franskanef cliff or the French nose.
Visiting Gljúfrabúi is a different experience from visiting Seljalandsfoss, It is wise to wear proper shoes/boots and maybe a raincoat as there is a lot of mist shower.

You can walk through the gap to view the fall but caution must be taken as it is very wet!

A little further east by road 1 is Skógafoss, another stunning waterfall, the largest on the south coast. Nearby is Folk Museum at Skógar, close to the waterfall. The glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull are towering above, capping the Eyjafjöll mountain chain. On March 20th 2010, a volcanic eruption started on Fimmvörðuháls, a mountain ridge between the glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. The eruption on Fimmvörðuháls lasted a couple of weeks. After this eruption came to an end, a bigger and more powerful eruption started underneath the nearby icecap of Eyjafjallajökull Glacier. This eruption came to an end on 23. May 2010 after causing serious disturbance to air traffic in the northern hemisphere. Skógafoss - a very magnificent and gigantic fall. So far, all the falls are near to highway 1

Eyjafjallajökull is one of the smaller ice caps of Iceland, north of Skógar and west of Mýrdalsjökull. The ice cap covers the caldera of a volcano with a summit elevation of 1,651 metres (5,417 ft). The volcano erupted relatively frequently since the last glacial period, most recently in 2010. Admission applies for visiting the museum.

Eyjafjallajökull Museum

Highway 1

The next waterfall we visited was Skógafoss, which is a short drive from Seljalandsfoss, just off the ring-road 1.

Before viewing the fall, we had lunch at a make shift van

Fish and chips which was quite delicous. But price was steep at ~$22 per plate!

Skógafoss is 60m high and 25m wide and you can walk right up to where it is. It is breathtakingly beautiful and it is huge! It is wonderful and thrilling to be able to get so near and close to a huge fall!

The river nearby the waterfall.

More views of the magnificent, thundering Skógafoss

There are staircases leading up to the top of the hill above Skógafoss and from there you can look down at this powerful waterfall and the huge green beautiful green plains below.
There are 527 steps according to a blogger.

view from the top - Wow - such beautiful plains!

Double rainbows on the falls!

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