Judul : 3 must-see waterfalls along the South-Coast of Iceland
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3 must-see waterfalls along the South-Coast of Iceland
With so many waterfalls to choose from how is one supposed to choose? For me it was a case of popularity and accessibility due to not having a rental car and only staying in Reykjavik for four days. Of those I did get the chance to witness the following three were my favorites. With the furthest (Skógafoss) only 150 km from Reykjavik and en route to the not-to-be-missed Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (more on this to come) and a high frequency of local buses and tours visiting all three waterfalls, you have no excuse to miss these ones!
Pronunciation: Sko-ah-fahss (You didn't think that it was possible for any Icelandic to be easy to pronounce did you? )
Pronunciation: Sell-yah-lahnds-fahss (I like to remember it as sell your lands first - before you sell this waterfall).
Although Iceland has many amazing waterfalls, it has only one that allows you to walk behind it - Seljalandsfoss. In English, “Seljalandsfoss” translates to 'selling the land of waterfalls', which is fitting for its spectacular nature. Depending on the weather and time, from behind Seljalandsfoss one can see a rainbow or the Northern Lights past the waterfall making for a truly epic Icelandic experience. Although the time and weather did not allow me these pleasures, I did get the joy of experiencing the changing colors of the cascading falls as I watched the sun set from behind them, which is an experience I recommend working into your itinerary if you can.
The Gullfoss - or Golden Falls - are almost invisible within the Icelandic landscape until you are literally standing above them; with the Hvítá river that feeds the falls seeming to simply vanish into the earth. As one hikes down the steps to stand beside the waterfall however, the river can be seen to flow down into a wide curved three-step staircase before abruptly plunging into a 32 metre deep crevice.
With all this power during the 20th century, there were talks of using the waterfall to generate electricity. During this period, the waterfall was rented by its owners, Tómas Tómasson and Halldór Halldórsson, to foreign investors. However, the investors' attempts were unsuccessful, partly due to lack of money. The waterfall was later sold to the state of Iceland, under who the waterfall became legally protected. Legend has it that Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of Tómas Tómasson was so determined to preserve the waterfall's condition that she even threatened to throw herself into the waterfall. Today, you can see a stone memorial to Sigriður located above the falls.
Why the name though? The falls are named for the brownish tint in the plunging water. This discoloring is due to the glacial nature of the water, meaning that the water bears soil particles picked up when the glacier grinded its way downhill.
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