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North of Reykjavik

ICELAND | Saturday, 24 July 2010 | Views [462]

Children´s Falls

Children´s Falls

After a killer night in Reykjavik (killer good, not killer bad), we drove north a little ways to the idyllic valley of Glymur, where a 200 meter (!!!) waterfall comes pouring over the edge of a volcanic shelf. What the waterfall pours into is an endlessly deep and mesmerizing steep-sided gorge, covered from top to bottom with vibrant green moss. Looking over the side is a hugely dizzying experience. Gulls nest in the canyon, and soar around, white on green, adding an amazing aspect of depth to the view. And the nests are often located right below the trail, but the birds aren´t scared of humans in the least, so they don´t move, and we could see their fuzzy grey chicks wobbling around the ledges. An epic day to be sure! No pictures since they are all on my mom´s camera.

Then today we left the town of Borgarnes and headed into the interior again to explore an amazing mile-long lava tube in the highlands. The lava flow only formed in 900 AD, so the whole thing is roughly 1000 years old, which is possibly the youngest big landscape I´ve ever seen! The tubes open up like massive worm holes in the ground, like tube that those worms from Dune could travel through. And inside they´re frsoty-cold and glittering with ice. They wind on and on until they pop up again at another entrance, which is actually just a caved in portion of the tube, then continue on for hundreds of meters more. I was very proud of my non-spelunker mom and her open-air-loving husband for making it through! Photos of this adventure are in the album.

On the way home we stopped at two sets of waterfalls. One is a series of seeps bursting from below the lavafield into a much bigger glacial river. The other is a set of cataracts in the main river, rushing through a set of arches and narrow rock walls. Apparently there used to be a rock arch over the river (this is back in 1200 AD), but too many children died trying to cross over it, so the mothers in the village cursed the bridge and made it collapse so their children would be safe. The name of the falls is Barnafoss, which means Children´s Falls.

Now we´re back in Borgarnes on the edge of the ocean, after enjoying a few hours of hot tubbing. Dinner and wine then bed! Cheers!

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