I was nearly blown away. Literally.
The path which led to the “view point” on one of the rock edges was closed due to slippery ground and strong wind, but I noticed some people had ignored the sign and hopped over the little gate and so I followed them.
I had never stood at a place so mighty, intimidating, insanely cold and dangerously windy. I was all wrapped up in layers of body warmers and an oversized water-proof ski jacket but the humidity and the force of the wind somehow managed to penetrate effortlessly through my clothes and sent chills to my every fibre. The icy and slippery ground didn’t help either. I made sure that every single step I took was stable, because if I slipped and fell by any reason there was a possibility the strong wind could push me straight into the angry stream of Gullfoss.
Iceland has many waterfalls, and Gullfoss, or the Golden Waterall, is unarguably the most famous one. It is massive, horrifying and indescribably beautiful, which is why visitors to Iceland shouldn’t miss this. I was in awe watching 5000 cubic feet of water per second plunge forcefully into the deep, narrow crevice below. The 32 metre-high crevice, which screamed *DEATH*, made it look as if the entire river could just vanish into the earth’s core.
Have you seen the film Prometheus? The opening scene was shot another waterfall “Dettifoss” in thr North of Iceland which is somewhat just as epic as Gullfoss.
In that scene, a giant hairless porcelain-skin alien hunk in tight pants with a very unwelcoming face drinks some thick liquid from a small metal cup (not sure why he thinks it’s a good idea) and that liquid made its skin disintegrate into dust particles and was swept away in the crazy strong wind. THAT’S the state I reckoned I would end up in if I spent too long standing there.
Yes. Cold. Windy. Very cold. Nevertheless, being able to witness this beautifully lethal masterpiece of Mother Nature in such extreme winter was totally mind-blowing.
And here are a few more shots from a higher viewpoint with a sturdy wooden fence that could actually prevent me from falling off and dying.
Then I realised I only had less than 5 minutes left before my tour coach departed to the next stop, so I headed back to my coach as I didn’t fancy being left behind and turning into an Oriental ice statue there. Usually I wouldn’t join those commercial tourist packages, but having very little time in Iceland, this 1-day Golden Circle Tour by Reyjkavik Excursions seemed like a wise option. Especially when I didn’t want to get any near-death experience driving on icy road with only 5-metre visibility max in this weather condition (when the local Icelandic people call it “an extreme weather condition” you know it’s real bad…).
Lastly, if anyone wonders how different and magnificent Gullfoss is in varying times of the year, below are some images I have stolen from the internet.
Above image by Lurie Belegurschi
Above image from www.reddit.com
Above image from www.tineey.com
Above image from bobkim.net
And lastly, I came across the highly over-saturated pic of Gullfoss in the summer on the internet…
Whoever photoshopped this photo has totally destroyed the natural beauty of this magnificent waterfall. Since I’m sarcastic by nature, I couldn’t restrain myself from making this pic more complete by adding what is REALLY missing:
That’s it. I’m done.