Tag Archives: waterfall

Bruarfoss, Iceland

Bruarfoss became, quite frankly, a bit of an obsession.

In the months leading up to the return trip to Iceland this year I knew that I really wanted to visit Bruarfoss. It is one of those oddities in travel – a hidden gem off the tourist path that, despite its beauty, no one seemed to talk about.

As I researched it I began to understand why it is, at least so far, off most visitors radar. First, despite being located near one of the busiest tourist roads in Iceland, route 37 that travels right past Geysir, it is located down a potholed, mostly single-lane dirt track that prevents coaches from getting near. As most visitors to Iceland tend to be those that base themselves in Reykjavik and take day trips to the various sights, this pretty much eliminates most visitors from seeing Bruarfoss. For those that do venture out and hire a vehicle (and I feel confident in suggesting a normal 2WD car driven carefully would be fine) finding it is the biggest challenge. Looking at Google Maps there are three possible paths that each take the intrepid driver on a windy path through what appears to be a summer home area, which apparently it is. Turn to the Internet and matters become more confusing as some people suggest one route, with others countering that the route is not possible as the track has a barrier across it and that you need to go another way instead – a suggestion that yet more people disagree with. It doesn’t help that the Google Maps road overlay has inaccuracies either. I spent untold hours over a couple of months trying to find instructions that any two people agreed upon. I failed.

For me, with two days set aside for the Bruarfoss area, it was frustrating – I didn’t want to spend a half-day just trying to find the place – but for those don’t have the luxury of such time, I can see them either being put off altogether or simply running out of time trying to find it. Which is a real shame as it is, quite simply beautiful.

Bruarfoss #1

 

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Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellfoss, Iceland.

As impressive as the waterfalls in Iceland generally are, you can’t help but getting a little blasé by the time you’ve marvelled at the first thirty or forty. In fact, barring a particularly deep-rooted passion for waterfalls, by the end of a couple of weeks you’ll find yourself largely not noticing them.

And so it would be with the rather unassuming Kirkjufellfoss, a modest waterfall just west of Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Bluntly, after you’ve visited some of the other waterfalls on the usual itinerary, it wouldn’t really warrant a stop were it not for the striking presence of the nearby Kirkjufell mountain.

Despite nature conveniently placing the two next to each other it is a surprisingly difficult combination to photograph simply as (1) it has been photographed by thousands of photographers already and (2) there is always a hoard of photographers lined up trying to capture an interesting angle not already captured by one of the aforementioned thousands of photographers.

This shot was taken close to sunset on one of the few days where the cloud cover on the peninsula broke enough to allow shadows to dance across the land and illuminate Kirkjufell.

Kirkjufell 1600px

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Iceland: The Selfie

I defy you to find anyone who travels who hasn’t once taken a selfie. For years I resisted, but in Iceland I finally cracked.

This is Skogafoss, one of the more impressive waterfalls in a county known for impressive waterfalls. It is also typical of many of Iceland’s sights – when the coach parties disappear, you have it pretty much to yourself.

And yes, it was very, very wet…

My first, and hopefully my last, selfie...

My first, and hopefully my last, selfie…

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