After a relaxed start in the blue lagoon and Reykjavík, the second day of our road trip to Iceland should be a more active one. After visiting Reykjavík in the morning we headed to the north-west and inside the country to see our first Icelandic waterfall. Apart from a dense traffic network around the capital, there is just one main road, the ring road, that revolves around the island. In addition to that, gravel roads connect the mountains and also the main sites with the ring road. With a normal car it is quite challenging to drive on the gravel roads, since many, partly very deep potholes have to be avoided.
Our first stop on this day was the waterfall Glymur (note: there is no special character in this name!). Up until the year 2011 it was, with its height of 200 m, considered the highest waterfall on Iceland. It was only 5 years ago, that another, even higher waterfall was discovered. Just the fact, that a 230 m high waterfall could hide from people up until 2011 underlines how unique Iceland’s nature is and how many waterfalls there are (in fact, Wikipedia even has a list of them).
The way to reach Glymur included a 3h hiking trip, that was probably the biggest adventure of our road trip. Not only could we look down steep cliffs, but we also had to cross a river hanging on just one fixed metal rope. Alongside the trail there were many small streams constantly emitting water vapor. The reason for this was, that the water in the stream was heated up by geothermal energy to around 40 to 80°C.
Having reached the waterfall, it was impressive to see which forces the water developed that made it eventually cut itself inside the rock. The steep cliffs were ideal places for birds to breed so the air was full of them and their screams made the scene even more special.
Þingvellir National Park
After a motivating hike to Glymur we got back to our car and went south again to cross the Þingvellir national park. The park consists of the rather flat land around the lake of the same name. In the back we could already see the snow-covered mountains that we should explore in the next days. The drive through the park was very enjoyable, especially as the sun was slowly setting.
Our accommodation for this day was at the north edge of the Golden Circle. What this is, I will discuss in the next post about our road trip to Iceland. You are planning a trip to Iceland on your own? Feel free to contact me.