Akureyri Area Favorites Part 2:
There are other waterfalls here, both upstream and downstream, within a short distance of Dettifoss. The most impressive of these secondary attractions is the downstream Hafragilsfoss, to which we did not have time to hike. But just upstream is Selfoss which, while not as impressive as Dettifoss, is nevertheless a dynamic scene because of the sheer basalt cliffs from which the falls drop.
Still, as much as the sights and sounds of falling water may attract, the basalt lava fields also leave quite the impression:
Until this week’s Fun Photo Friday, here is one last look at Dettifoss with a rather impressive rainbow highlighting it:
What happens when you cross the barren lava fields of Dimmuborgir with a waterfall even more spectacular than Goðafoss? You get the Vatnajökull National Park. And in Vatnajökull National Park you are treated to a microcosm of Iceland — glacial runoff forging mighty rivers, geothermal activity, lava fields with basalt pillars, and one of the most impressive waterfalls on Earth.
Our tour stopped within Vatnajökull National Park some ways from the Dettifoss (Falling Waterfall), which would require us to hike in across basalt lava fields to get to the falls. The terrain is rugged, but not too difficult a stroll along the well defined pathways.
As you head east from the parking lot, you can see in the distance some really impressive basalt cliffs and pillars:
This is a barren, almost alien landscape.
Indeed, the area here is so alien that Dettifloss was the location for the opening scenes of the 2012 science fiction movie Prometheus. You’ll hear the waterfall as you approach the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River, for it is the second most powerful waterfall, in terms of cubic feet/meters of water flow, in all of Europe. Only the Rhine Falls surpass it, but the Rhine Falls are nowhere near as impressive looking since Dettifoss is a straight drop as opposed the cascading drop of the Rhine.
We’ll continue looking at the sights in this wondrous area on Wednesday. Until then I’ll leave you with this image: