Iceland Day 8: Fjaðrárgljúfur, Skogafoss, and Seljasandsfoss

Having had a long day of hiking the previous day, I slept in as much as I could and rested up before I headed out. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich later, I was back on the road. My first stop was a really cool canyon that I was really looking forward to seeing, Fjaðrárgljúfur. This was one of my most anticipated spots on the trip, so my excitement was pretty high. The canyon was only about 45 minutes away, so I hit the road at a leisurely speed. One thing I started noticing, as I did the day before, was the heavy increase in people out on the road. I was finally coming full circle, inching my way closer and closer to Reykjavic. It was expected, but not desirable. 

I finally arrived at the canyon after taking a short drive up a dirt road from off the main highway. I wriggled my jeep down the rocky one lane road, and parked at the small parking lot. There were close to a dozen cars already parked. It was a little busier than I anticipated, but having seen so many cars on the road already the last day or so, it made sense. The land in the area was different shades of green and brown, with a weird mossy-type grass that covered it. I knew the canyon was going to be a unique visit. I headed up the main trail which lead to a few viewing platforms. My first look at the canyon was amazing. 

The canyon was pretty amazing. I kept exploring the trail, which didn't go far. I was a little upset there weren't many more places to explore in the area, at least none that were open at that time. I disobeyed a few of the signs already as I headed out on a few ledges that probably weren't all that safe. I needed the best view I could get. I had seen the canyon plenty from above, and headed back down to see if I could get on the ground level inside.  

I got down to what was a path that lead to the ground level of the canyon, but there was a small sign that indicated there was no walking allowed. I pretended like I didn't see it and head down there anyways. I didn't make it very far before the river took over most of the ground, and I had nowhere to go. I really wished I could of walked through the whole canyon, but I guess it just wasn't possible. It was still nice seeing it from the ground level though.

After wrapping up at the canyon, I headed back out toward my next stop: Skogafoss. After another fairly short drive, I arrived in a huge parking lot. The area had a restaurant, hotel, and hostel all right next to each other. Like a lot of the stops along this southern area, it was very touristy. Again though, understandable. I found myself a parking spot, recharged my batteries with a delicious Snickers, and headed to the falls.

The waterfall itself was by far the tallest I had seen yet. It was incredibly powerful looking while staring up at it from the black dirt and rocks at its base. The sun was shining at that time, and there were a few rainbows forming at the base of the falls. Families and couples alike were all staring and smiling admiring the beauty of it all. Just wonderful.

Couldn't avoid all the mist and splashing. no complaints though.

To the right of the falls was a very steep stairway that led up to a viewing platform that hangs above the waterfall. I made my way up the area next to the stairs, and noticed a very sketchy "viewing" ledge that was near the top. Nobody was there, so I figured it was a good place to capture a different angle than the crowd. The view was definitely awesome as I traversed my way very carefully to the edge of the cliff. The drop off was pretty high and steep, but the cool angle it gave me was worth the risk. I went about it pretty cautiously, I suppose. 

From here I continued up the remaining stairs and past the crowded viewing platform to a small ladder that lead over a fence. From here, there was a ton of open terrain that lead back into the hills and who knows where else. I walked around a little bit, taking in the amazing views and quietness from the high elevation. I was curious to keep going and explore some of the trails up there, but it was getting a little late and I had one more stop. After relaxing for a bit, I made my way back down to my car. 

From here, I wanted to get to Seljasandsfoss for a nice sunset. I headed there quickly as it was getting late, and arrived after a short drive. I made it before sunset, but the sky was extremely cloudy at that point, and there wasn't much available light. I was a little disappointed because I knew this was a great spot for sunset pictures. I was also pretty tired already by the time I arrived, so I didn't take much time to find a good shot. I set up my tripod in a few areas and snapped off a couple of shots. I wasn't liking what I was seeing, and was getting tired and cranky. I had to just make due with the few shots I got. 

I decided to stay the night in the parking lot of Seljasandsfoss that night. I cooked up some pasta, tossed it around with marinara, pesto, and hot sauce, and cozied my way into my sleeping bag for a little warm relaxation. The day was pretty eventful, though I didn't get to see everything I really wanted to. Still, I knew my trip was nearing its end, and wanted to finish strong. I slowly fell into a comfy nights sleep, ready for the next day.