Iceland Day 4: Skógafoss and Other Falls

Iceland Day 4: Skógafoss and Other Falls

Even in the dark on the way to Vatnajökull, Yen noticed a few waterfalls that would require visiting when more time presented itself. Our last two days had rather loose schedules, as we assumed we’d stumble across things along the way and wanted to have space to attack them. So up the next morning, back in the car, back on the eastbound Ring Road, and we discovered this little waterfall, this foss.

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It was out in the middle of someone’s field, so we climbed up over this fence to get to it. So very muddy…

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Then we were on to the main attraction. I forgot to mention an important resource on our trip, which is World of Waterfalls. Someday Yen and this guy are going to meet, and they’ll run to each other in a meadow with a waterfall in the background. They are completely meant to be best friends. Anyway, his site is a very thorough guide to finding waterfalls literally all over the world. Yen used the site to set the GPS before we left for Iceland, and it pretty much settled our itinerary.

By the way, I also imagine that at this meeting, the guy’s wife and I are enjoying a glass of wine on the patio back at the hotel.

Anyway, Skógafoss.

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This is a big one, as you can see. It also had a staircase up the side of it. I felt uneasy seeing that because I knew what would come next.

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Yep. There I go. Up, up, up the stairs and into the wind.

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Surprise! Here’s the real attraction of Skógafoss, and something most people miss: there’s an 8km hike at the top of the hill that takes you past 23 different waterfalls. And remember what I said: these are no mere cataracts! I had a full bottle of water, 5 or 6 oranges, and some granola bars. We could handle this. By the way, doesn’t this make you think of Scotland? A lot of Iceland did.

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Here’s waterfall #1. So far, so exciting. I had to keep reminding Yen to come on. We’ve got 22 more to go!

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Hellooo!

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Waterfall #2 goes around a curve!

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Uh oh. Fog. That’s not good. Did I remind you we’re right by the coast?

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Waterfall #3, barely visible and getting worse.

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This one isn’t #4; it’s a baby offshoot of #3.

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So, I’m very sorry. But we had to turn back. The fog was just so very thick. But we made a solemn vow: we will return, probably during May or October, and we will hike it. All of it. I will post a photo of all 23 waterfalls, and Yen positively hum with happiness. But that’ll all be the next trip.

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Back on the ground, some young boys arrived. And as young boys insist on doing, they got as close as they could to the water. Silly, but nice for scale.

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Ok, back on the road again, and now we’ve begun photographing the little huts dug into the hills.

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We got back into the car and headed to the next destination. I’m very sorry to report that I’m not sure about the name of this one. And I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t get out of the car for it. I was so cold, so damp, and it was raining so hard. So instead of venturing out, I lent Yen my coat as a camera cover, and he visited it alone. It’s a shame that I did this, because it turns out you can walk all the way around this one, which would have  been cool.

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A little farther down the road is this little waterfall that is hidden inside a canyon.

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We stopped off at a grocery store to pick up some food and noticed a little market next door. We didn’t buy anything, so these photos of souvenirs will have to be your souvenir. These are little candle holders made from lava rocks.

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One of the towns we really liked was Selfoss. It’s just so cute. Apparently Bobby Fischer lived there at the end of his life. You know, the whacky years?

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One of the ways that Icelanders seem to battle all that darkness is with Christmas lights everywhere. They even decorate the cemetery. It’s very beautiful, and I like the idea of celebrating the holidays with all of the family. It’s sweet.

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Remember I mentioned how few vegetables there are? Obviously they could import whatever they need, but that gets awfully expensive. So every once in a while we came across these giant greenhouses. But greenhouses only work when the sun is there to warm and light them. So the greenhouses have to have enormous spotlights. You can see them from miles down the road, making the clouds and everything glow.

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