Iceland has a lot of waterfalls, and the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall is its answer to Niagara, Victoria or Iguazu Falls.
This 32 metre (105 feet) high double waterfall is Iceland's most popular, but we had it all to ourselves.
The Mighty, Milky Cascade of Gullfoss, Iceland
We pulled up to the parking lot early in the day and were the only people there. Like much of our trip through Iceland, it was windy and rainy, but we bundled up in our waterproof clothing layered over warm down jackets and hiked out for a better look.
As we walked along the path to the look out, a spectacular sight came in to view. At first we only saw the top of the falls which you see in this picture.
It was magnificent enough to see the water flow over the huge boulder steps, but as we got closer, we saw that it eventually turns a corner and plunges into the Hvítá River at a mighty force.
Different Vantage Points
There are several lookouts that allow you different vantage points and we took advantage of all of them. Once you take your wide photo from the roped off area near the parking lot, you can walk along a path that takes you right beside the falls where you will have a close-up view and can actually feel its force.
Water sprays from all directions as 140 cubic meters (5000 cubic feet) of water per second plunges into the narrow crevice below.
It was difficult to shoot this close as the water constantly sprayed into Dave's camera lens. We kept his camera dry with a rain sleeve and I had my microfibre cloth in hand to wipe it down his filter just before he took his long exposure shot.
Taking Pictures of Gullfoss
The effort was worth it and we went away feeling satisfied with our mini photo tour of the Gullfoss waterfall. Photographing waterfalls in Iceland took patience.
Between the weather, wind and people, it was always a challenge, but by taking our time and having the luxury to be on our own schedule we managed to snap plenty of spectacular images like this one.
The Icelandic government was originally going to sell Gullfoss to be used for hydroelectric energy in the early 20th century, but Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of the waterfall's owner worked hard to keep that from happening. It is said, she was Iceland's first activist.
There is a memorial built in her honour at Gullfoss telling the story of how she walked overland to argue her case against rich and powerful men. In the end she won out and the waterfall is preserved for all of us to marvel over.
If you go to Iceland, be sure to stop at Gullfoss it's an hour and a half west of Reykjavik and worth the drive.