Chasing waterfalls in the wilds of Iceland

June 22, 2014

There's an incredible difference between the Iceland that exists inside Reyjavik and the Iceland that lies beyond the capital's borders. Think about it like this: the country's total population is roughly 320,000, and roughly 120,000 of those people live in that single city. That's one-third of the total population. And it shows.

The landscape is very green and mountainous. It's not exactly fertile land — we saw very few farms during our four-hour drive east to Glacier Lagoon — but the vast expanses of open space that slope directly into towering mountains are like nothing we see here in the United States. The sharp elevation changes around coastal Iceland creates lots of very impressive waterfalls. Skógafoss was a highlight, just a giant gush of water falling hundreds of feet to pool at the base of a towering cliff. Virginia and I hiked up the 350+ steps to get to the top, then hopped a fence to get to a hiking path that led even deeper into the beautiful Iceland wilderness.

I can't stress this enough: if you ever venture to Iceland, be sure to set aside time to leave Reykjavik and explore. Both in and out of the city, we constantly let whatever cool thing we saw around the next corner, or on the next horizon, dictate where we went and what we did. It was a powerful experience.