When in Iceland…Waterproof!

iceland waterfall gulfoss300pxI was fortunate to travel to Iceland in June 2017 for a ten-day tour. Having lived in Canada’s Arctic for several years, I thought I knew exactly how to dress and what to pack for this adventure. I was on the right track but learned a valuable lesson on the differences between Canada’s Arctic and Iceland; namely, The Arctic has a dry cold with permafrost. Iceland has geothermal areas, hot springs, waterfalls, and geysers.

There are mists, sprays, and steam everywhere you go. During the 10-day trip, we only experienced one day of rain, and it wasn’t even the whole day. We did, however, visit many waterfalls starting with the Glanni waterfall, a suspected home of elves and trolls!

There were stunning outdoor and indoor geothermal swimming pools in Hofsos village, which added to the dampness in the air. Whale watching in the northern fjords in the Fljot district meant colder sea sprays as well as sprays from the whales, a sight to remember. Godafoss, Waterfall of the Gods, was the next picturesque falls we visited and then we toured on to the Krafla volcanic area with its lava fields and fissures. Here we encountered boiling fumaroles and violently bubbling pools of mud. Basalt columns along the seashore, lush vegetation in the northeastern region of Iceland, and a 25-kilometer river canyon add to the cool, wet air.

Iceland 400pxEurope’s mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss, is a thundering cascade of glacial water and mist among shattered cliffs. At the Gullfoss and Geysir area, we are introduced to the Queen of Icelandic waterfalls herself, Gullfoss. The majestic waterfall of sparkling mist and golden charm is situated on Hvita (White River) which is fed by Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjokull. King of all geysers, the great Geysir is nearby in a steam geothermal field of bubbling mud and hot springs. Iceland’s uninhabited interior near Fjallabak Nature Reserve reveals the geological wonders of volcanic craters, steaming lava fields, and a crater filled with a lake. Thor’s Playground is a hidden valley resembling paradise and is nestled between two glaciers, crisscrossed by rivers, and shielded by mountains. A walk through this Nature Reserve allows you to walk behind the curtain of cascading water of the Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

The best way to take part in and enjoy these amazing wonders, sights, and sounds is to have waterproof clothing, shoes, and a lightweight wicking towel to dry things off if need be. Whether you are travelling by car or tour bus, it is always more enjoyable when you stay warm and dry. A journey worth taking. An adventure worth having. Iceland is a unique and beautiful part of the world. A rain jacket, nylon pants, and waterproof shoes will help you enjoy the journey.

Jean Lawson, Tour Leader
Today's Woman Traveller / The Travel Broker

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