When we finally reached Reykjavik, Iceland and I touched the mainland with both my feet, my joy and happiness hit the highest level possible. Marcin and I could say – we have done it!
Two complete rookies sailed from Norway to Iceland and survived.
We have experienced so much during these two weeks! The seasickness, the harsh sailing conditions, the cold, the dump, crap food and exhaustion, the 4 hours shifts, the force of the wind which did not let me steer… And we have seen incredible places, which we would never go to if it was not for this sailing trip.
We had only 24 hours to see Iceland, before Marcin and I flew back to our home.
Five of us rented a car and we have made the best use out of it. We have started our tour at 9 o’clock in the morning and finished it at 2 am, leaving for the airport at 4 am. Who needed a sleep anyway?
Iceland is incredible.
The raw beauty, the waterfalls, the ever-changing weather, the gazers and glaciers, the white nights, the golden circle…
We have seen it all, driving around southwestern Iceland and trying to take it all in.
We have managed to see three waterfalls – Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Gullfoss. I simply love waterfalls. Looking at the water speeding down, hitting the river below with an incredible and unstoppable force makes you admire the nature.
Skógafoss welcomed us with rain, which put Marcin and I off from getting to the top of the cliff to look at the waterfall from above.
The cold and dump hit us without mercy, but it did not prevent us from trying to get a little closer and steal few pictures to prove that we did look at this beauty. Below the waterfall flows the Skógá River, smoothing the fury of the falling water.
The cliffs, which stretch parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometres, established a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland. They were lusciously green. The falling water created incredible contrast between the cliffs and itself, letting them make it looks even whiter than it seemed.
We have left the rainy clouds behind and drove a little further, towards Seljalandsfoss.
This little beauty is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland – 60m drop! Powerful and thin stream can be observed from the front and from the small cave hidden behind it. In here it is your one and only opportunity to see all the faces of the waterfall! For this little treat it is worth getting soaking wet, when you try to reach the little cave hidden behind the heavy masses of water.
Iceland weather is difficult, it can change very quickly. When we reached our next waterfall, no one expected the sun to come out and paint the most beautiful picture the sun and the water can create.
Gullfoss waterfall is absolutely enormous!
No wonder, since it consists of two waterfalls – the high of the upper waterfalls is 11m and the lower one is 20m. The Gullfoss gorge is approximately 2.5 km in length and up to 70m depth, showing off the great glacial floods, where the river carved out its channel at the end of the Ice Age.
I think that one was my favourite – beautiful in the full sun, with a rainbow creating a bridge to the other side of the valley. Apart from that we have discovered a truly romantic story associated with this waterfall!
The story is about the son of a Brattholt farmer and his wife, who guarded sheep in summer pastures upstream by Hvita. On one side of the river the girl kept watch over sheep from Hamarsholt and on the other the boy was looking after his family sheep. They kept a keen eye on each other and one day the girl asked the boy to come to her. He waded into the stream at its shallows and managed to cross the river! Little is known how the girl responded, but apparently they got married and had many children!
When you look below this waterfall you have to wonder how on earth did he manage to cross over?
The frothy water below looks so scary and the cliffs are no joke either. I do not think a lot has changed here since the 17 century, when the story took place, so my admiration for the boy bravery and the power of his love is high.
We left this last waterfall, looking towards the glacier, I could catch on my camera, looming in the clear weather. Little I knew that the next step of our journey in Iceland will take us exactly there…