Gullfoss – the last of the Big 3 on the Golden Circle Route (the other two being Thingvellir and Geysir).   This waterfall is characterised by its two separate cascades that are at right angles to each other.

Gullfoss View

The unmistakable perpendicular waterfalls of Gullfoss

The weather had been in steady decline the whole day long – such that by the time we reached Gullfoss the wind was whipping up a frenzy and the rain was coming in at angles I’d never before witnessed – and I grew up in Scotland!

Everything was grey… and cold.

The chills in the air were matched by the icy glacial melt-water of Langjokull (Long Glacier) – Here’s a map I made earlier (…but neglected to share it… doh!)

South-West Iceland

I’ve seen some spectacular photographs of this location.  Mine hardly do it justice.  I’m blaming the weather…  Not that “bad” weather doesn’t make for “good” photos (for some other people) – it’s just that my camera was getting a good soaking from both the rain and the mists from the waterfall itself 😦  Had I had more time, I might have noticed that my shutter speed was doing absolutely nothing for capturing either sharp images of individual water droplets, or those lovely blurry shots you get from long exposures. Bah!

Upper falls Gullfoss

The upper falls are 11m high

Gullfoss gorge

The second waterfall is into a 70m deep gorge

What struck me was the fact that you could get right up close to these falls.  On the lower of the two pathways – the pathway is roped off (more of a guide than preventative) – but once you climb onto the rocks at the junction of the two falls there is little in the way of barricades.  Nothing that wouldn’t stop you from falling in, if you were really unfortunate.  With the wind blowing at your back, and a deep gorge in front of you, you feel suddenly extremely exposed to the elements of nature.  It was quite daunting.

Slippery rocks

Watch your step…

Gullfoss visitors

See? Exposed…

Now for some close-ups:

Facing the oncoming white-water wall

White water wall

Over the edge

Watching water dancing on the edge

Plunging glacial melt-water

Plunging glacial melt-water

I could have tried capturing more photos like the previous shot – but I was literally standing on the edge!  The pull was enormous!

Gullfoss gorge wall

A glimpse of the gorge wall on the other side

Always present in the back of my mind was the possibility of another volcanic eruption – and a blast of additional icy water from a glacier on “express melt”.  Luckily, that didn’t happen…

UPDATE:
This post and the photographs herein have been re-edited in light of my recent discovery of  how to use Lightroom 3 more effectively.  For any of you re-visiting, I hope that the photographs are more visually compelling than the tripe I posted earlier (although they are still not absolutely ideal); my apologies for making you look at such rubbish.

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