Monday, September 21, 2015

Iceland Day 11: Hella to Gullfoss

I inserted the above photograph of another 4x4 truck in Iceland from the Hella hotel parking lot (because I want to learn how to ford a river ... as a passenger). Then I watched a video (partially) and discovered that these vehicles can drive on top of the snow. The true definition of off roading. Until next time....

We searched long and hard for the most complicated Icelandic road sign where I was not pointing into the sun to photograph it. This one in between Hella and Gullfoss was a winner. There is a gravel turn out in front, if you see it quick enough to pull over, where one can read the map because that surely isn't going to happen when driving by at "90 kph".

Yet another remarkable waterfall in the middle of little vegetation and a seemingly flat landscape ... Gullfoss. This one had two tiers and produced enough mist to cause cameras to rust instantaneously.

Lower tier

The view of the upper tier was my favorite because it felt as if I could have been swept away into the current (not that I long for that to happen like some people who feel the pull of Niagara Falls, but there was a certain rush being that close to it).

I was standing behind a barrier when taking his photograph...

... he, however, was not.

We drove through the Golden Circle visiting the tourist destinations of Geysir and Laugarvatn Lake briefly (because they barely competed with the rest of the country in terms of magnificence) before reaching Þingvellir National Park (AKA Field of the Parliament or Parliament Plains). I enjoyed it here immensely. History dominates (and does not rely on fairies or trolls to tell it). It is not that difficult to imagine laws enacted, marriage licenses obtained, and people from all over the country traveling here in 1100 AD to camp and trade on the plains surrounding the Öxará River.

I was enamored with the boardwalk at Öxaráfoss. The precise cuts enabled rocks to jut out freely replicating the landscape in the distance or were zoomorphic in appearance.

I could not stop thinking about the Drowning Pool in the Öxará (Ax River). I have experience with water and accidental demise but not via execution. Between 1618 and 1749, eighteen women guilty of adultery and perjury, were known to have been placed into a sack, held down and drowned here. There was no way to adequately depict the history or emotion of this in photographs, but I would try on two separate occasions.

The falls below the Drowning Pool.

Ending on an upbeat note, I have a new goal before my next voyage to the Land of Fire and Ice: obtain my scuba certification and visit the Silfra fissure, known to have the "clearest water on earth." I too want my photograph taken touching both the Eurasian and North-American plates because this is the most unimaginable activity I could accomplish and never even knew it was a possibility.

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