Every day we headed out in an attempt to see as much as possible in the few short hours of daylight (and I use the word “daylight” real loosely, more like “dim light” because SO DARK). One of the things we saw was waterfalls. Really beautiful waterfalls. The Icelandic word for waterfall is foss, so if you see names that end in foss, it’s a waterfall.
First, this one.
Very big. Very powerful. The other three members of our group went behind it and said it was thunderous and strong.
I don’t climb or hike so I went to the gift shop and bought ethically-harvested Iceland salt for forty dollars. Before you sass me for how freakin’ much it cost, one: everything, EVERYTHING in Iceland is expensive and two: in my defense it’s really yummy salt. It’s two bottles, one was flaky and mixed with charcoal so it looks like lava and one was flaky and smoked with birch wood which is one of two trees that grows in Iceland (the other being some Christmas-tree-looking pine). I do not regret my salty purchases.
No joke, best salt I’ve ever tasted. If you know someone going to Iceland, make them get it for you. It’s sold everywhere.
Returning to waterfalls: remember that movie that had so much potential, Prometheus? According to Snorth the opening sequence was filmed in front of one of Iceland’s waterfalls, Dettifoss I think it was. Makes total sense.
Later that day we checked out another waterfall. It was pushing 2:30 in the afternoon so we had to get our shots in quick because it was getting dark.
D. took a photo of me with the flash but because of the mist on the lens it looks like I am anointed by God. BEHOLD MY GLORY.
Now, let’s move away from waterfalls for a minute. We went to visit a beach. A beach? Who cares about a beach? Oh, this was a fancy beach. This beach had basalt columns. An explanation:
It is the nature of basaltic lava cooling that allows this to happen: this lava is hotter and moves faster than other kinds. As it cools from the bottom up and from the center outward, long fractures form columns that at times take on astoundingly clear-cut hexagons. The whole process is called columnar jointing.
I have mentioned my love of basalt columns previously. The previous basalt columns were in Japan and they were small and very few. Iceland brought the basalt like never before. When we arrived at the beach we were informed of how desperately the ocean wanted to consume us and force us to live in the bosom of Neptune for all time.
Death. Instant death if you touch the ocean. Got it.
There was a huge cliff directly in front of us. We walked around the corner and… there they were.
And I promptly freaked out. Have you ever seen anyone shriek with glee at tubular rocks? Travel with me and you will get that opportunity.
And next to that was a basalt column cave! All hexagons all the time!
At the very end of this beach (which was covered with beautifully round stones) there were craggy rocks in the water being pelted by unnecessarily aggressive waves while tons of seabirds circled above. SUPER-nature-y and photogenic.
And the ocean was no joke. Those signs were absolutely right.
I deviated from waterfalls to tell you about the basalt columns because we went to a waterfall WITH basalt columns! Sad news: I felt ill so I stayed in the car but the others went and it looked like this:
Not is all lost, however. I plan to go back to Iceland in the summer at some point to see the fields of wildflowers and neither stone no water is seasonal so I’ll maybe get to see this waterfall for myself. Because BASALT COLUMNS.