Splash out : mighty waterfalls ! 

Iceland Storytelling

In full December, the rigors of winter have already transformed the landscape: the flakes have silvered all the trees, and a network of ice covered the surface of the island.

The snow has almost shut all the echoes down: but the sound of water remains ubiquitous and the island of the Vikings is always full of treasures in cascades as if it was raining. Between the rumbling of majestic falls and the clatter of more timid waterfalls, it is a succession of aquatic avalanches that repeat their melody to infinity.

The melting of glaciers, like a drop of water that spills every year all the photogenic magic of Iceland, has galvanized its beauty and unfolds in multiple torrents.

Today, the drizzle is cool, but the gusts of wind make it sticky. At the gates of the Arctic Circle, the cold feels penetrating, almost prickly. It’s ten o’clock. Our steps are cautious and the spikes mandatory if we want to get near the waterfall, where everything’s icy. To admire it as closely as possible, we’ll need to walk on the white glass anyway.

Skógafoss falls down from its high cliffs with vertiginous waves… In front of us is a thick curtain about sixty meters high, the wall of water dissociating in imposing columns in a deafening stream. The aquilon blows hard and lifts to the most ambitious spray tens of meters from the falls, projected in a mischievous breath to soak visitors from head to toe. It even splashes the white steep slopes, and we can understand the stalactites hanging in petrified tears at its side. Dozens of yellow-billed seagulls, used to nest on these heights, fly in circles, laughing loudly. The noise mixes with the sounds of nature. At the right, a metal footbridge overhangs it just before its big dive and four hundred and twenty-eight steps separate from the summit. From the perch, the view offers a spectacle that remains in memory. While the snowlakes continue to crown the horizon, there is nothing left but her neighbor: but Seljalandsfoss is still a bit far … It will take a little more road before seeing her fall on her stone bed.

When we arrive on the spot, a basin dug in its base collects all the volume with mists and splashes once again. But in this season, the frost forbids us to borrow the famous recess hidden behind it. If this trail has made the site famous, the danger is too slippery, and it is too risky to fall into the icy water.

The game of waterfalls then leads to the heart of all the singularity of Icelandic landscapes. Concretions of basaltic organs, formed by a very slow cooling of the lava, encircle the “Dark Cascade”. Their color varies from bitumen to deep black coal. In the center of these hexagonal columns in the background, Svartifoss and its thin trickle of water flows there among what seems to hang like the pipes of an organ, over the edge of an amphitheater in the shape of a horseshoe.

The next day, it begins to snow when the polar wind fiercely whips our faces. During the night, the thick snow has recharged the icy ground. A few hours away from Svartifoss, another impressive flow mixes with the blizzard and the torments of snow: Gullfoss and its succession of two large waterfalls that compose it, plunge into the gorge as if the storm strengthened its violence. Below, it scatters its dust of muslin foam in the air. But there is no rainbow today, and we almost come to doubt the phenomenon that often happens, so often that it inspired its surname.

 

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