Water in Iceland

There’s a lot of water in Iceland and it comes in many shapes and forms. Not just the cold, hard kind implied by the country’s name.

For example, if you’re into waterfalls, you’ve come to the right place. Gullfoss, part of the Golden Circle series of natural attractions just east of Reykjavik, is a pretty spectacular double waterfall.

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There’s a very flimsy rope barrier keeping those people from plummeting to their doom.

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Sometimes it’s hard to decide which are more hypnotically compelling: the gushing torrents or the veils of drifting mist.

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Along the south coast you’ll find another couple of beauties. First, Skogafoss.

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And then Seljalandsfoss, which treated us to a rainbow. And you’ve probably worked out by now that “foss” means “falls”.

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Seljalandsfoss’ USP is that you can walk around and behind the falling water.

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Well that’s all very pretty and delicate, I hear you say, but I want a big, thunderous, Monster Truck style of waterfall. Where do I go for that? You go north, I reply. You go to Dettifoss.

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Dettimoss.

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You may remember this particular cascade from the opening scene of the movie Prometheus. It’s the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of “volume discharge”.

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So that’s the falling water, but what about water that shoots up into the air? Iceland’s got that covered too. Another stop in the Golden Circle tour is Geysir, home of the original geyser. Unfortunately the original geyser no longer works, allegedly because too many tourists threw stones into it over the years, blocking it up. But fear not, because just alongside it is Strokkur, which provides a satisfyingly big, loud, hot spurt every ten minutes or so.

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But of course, it’s called Iceland for a reason. So here’s some ice.

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These are fragments of glacier which have broken off and are floating in a lagoon called Jökulsárlón. Eventually they drift out to sea to be consumed by the waves.
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Black striations are caused by volcanic ash.

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Speaking of waves, we saw some dramatic ones on the Snaefellsnes peninsula over on the west coast.

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Loads more photos here.