The World of Waterfalls Blog

World of Waterfalls Home : World of Waterfalls Blog Home : June 2007





2007-06-01 04:15 - Sleepless in New York

Just to follow up on yesterday's blog...

I guess they weren't kidding about the city that doesn't sleep saying. After all, it was 1:30am and the garbage trucks were still noisily collecting trash and honking horns. I guess at least that'll clear up the heaps of trash bags sitting out on the street everywhere we walked. It's too bad the walls are a bit thin at the Holiday Inn Express here.

It was about 6am when apparently some guy blocked traffic on 45th St right in front of our hotel. That led to lots of angry drivers who were incessantly honking their horns with the cacophony of some urban orchestra. It seemed like it went on forever and since we weren't getting much sleep, this really sucked!

Now, it's just past 7am and I had to force myself to get up. Julie's still asleep... Hopefully, we can function at today's BEA...

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-01 19:17 - BEA and NYC Sightseeing

For most of the day, we were finally at the Book Expo of America. Within its two floors of booths and crowds of people, we were able to talk to distributors, editors, foreign rights agents, printers, and even some familiar faces from other seminars and conferences. It was really taxing work and the greenhouse effect from the glass roof of the Javits Center made it quite hot inside.

However, the big surprise came when we attended Fore Word Magazine's announcements of their book awards. That was when we learned that A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls won the Bronze Medal in the Travel Guide category. Stoked about this development, we finally left BEA and walked over to Madison Square Garden in the humid afternoon to meet up with Julie's cousin for some additional sightseeing.

With the help of Julie's cousin, we were able to take the Subway from the Penn Station to Brooklyn and have dinner together at Grimaldi's Pizzeria. The pizza was pretty good and like many places with a reputation in New York, it too had a line.

After the dinner, we walked towards a viewing area by the Brooklyn Bridge, where we could see the skyline. It was a gorgeous sight and one could only imagine (for those who haven't been here before) what it must have been like had the World Trade Towers were part of the skyline.

Finally, we returned to Times Square with Julie's cousin after recovering the camera at her apartment and took more photos. It was a pleasant afternoon getting to see family again and getting to know New York a bit better from a resident's perspective. But by the time we returned to our hotel, we were beat. After a whole day of walking with limited rest, we would have no trouble catching zzz's this evening. There's still tomorrow for more of BEA and NYC Sightseeing...

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-03 13:25 - BEA, New York, and Hollywood

After a hectic morning that started with a 3:30am wakeup, a 7am flight, and some time to get settled at home, I finally have time to get back to blogging about our last full day spent in New York.

Our second day at BEA focused mainly on talking with a few more people at the Travel Booths before attending a series of Foreword- and IPG-sponsored talks about various issues of Publishing. Once again (as it always seems to be), it was very educational yet quite a lot of information to absorb.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent seeing the rest of New York. When all was said and done, it pretty much reflected a somewhat Hollywood theme thanks to Julie's love of movies and her lead in visiting the very places that have appeared in movies she has seen. With the help of Julie's cousin, we once again used the old but efficient Subway system to get to places such as Katz's Delicatessen (which appeared on "When Harry Met Sally"), Central Park (which appeared on too many movies and TV shows to count), and Serendipity (which appeared on "Serendipity").

Katz's specializes in pastrami sandwiches while Serendipity was known its frozen hot chocolate (really an ice-blended chocolate milk). As usual, each place we ate at had a line, with Serendipity's wait requiring 90 minutes. Anyhow, in the limited time we had spent sightseeing New York, we got a lot done. More importantly, we learned a lot about BEA and the context of the book publishing business (as well as our place in it).

We'll have another go at the City That Never Sleeps in mid July after our long-awaited waterfalling trip to Iceland.

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-04 07:35 - New Featured Waterfall


Karekare Falls, New Zealand


Karekare Falls, New Zealand

[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-05 07:15 - International Waterfall Classification System

During the trip to New York, I managed to read through the International Waterfall Classification System by Richard H. Beisel Jr. Although the casual waterfall enthusiast may find the material dry and the quality of the book fitting of an academic thesis, I like how Beisel came up with an objective, scientific way of evaluating the sizes of waterfalls based on water volume present inside the drop of the waterfall. In fact, I tried to pick apart the ratings system with examples of waterfalls I've run across in my travels and it seems to stand up pretty well to my tests (in principle at least; there are a few faulty examples in the book, but that's an indictment of the cases and not the system itself). Scientifically-minded people like myself will especially appreciate the book's Appendix which goes into nuances of calculating water volume in a waterfall, which is the main component of coming up with his logarithmic "Class" rating from 1-10.

Of course, there is still room for interpretation about where a waterfall begins and ends, what counts as a waterfall, and how accurate truly averaged stream-flow and dimension data of the various streams are (especially where the agencies have yet to set up gauges). Moreover, rapid-type waterfalls spanning the width of a large river tends to get evaluated with higher class ratings than the taller, more aesthetic ones. Therefore, aesthetic ratings still have a place in evaluating waterfalls. In fact, Beisel's Class Ratings should be complemented with such aesthetic ratings to get a better at-a-glance idea of whether a waterfall should be a part of your itinerary.

Nonetheless, this system can be used to help rate waterfalls more consistently with a lesser impact from emotional bias or from false tourist literature to try to mislead visitors with exaggerated claims. I think I'll eventually try to employ his system to help adjust some of my own subjective waterfall ratings.

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-06 07:30 - A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls Wins Award at BEA

A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls, which is featured in the Books section of this website, has won ForeWord Magazine's Bronze Award for the Book of the Year Awards in the category of Travel Guides at this year's Book Expo of America (BEA) held in New York City. It is a tremendous honor to receive such an award as it is acknowledged and awarded by book industry peers - especially considering it is only the first of many waterfall-themed guidebooks published by the nature-minded Story Nature Press.

See for yourself what the commotion is all about. [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-07 08:06 - New Featured Waterfall


Kitekite Falls, New Zealand


Kitekite Falls, New Zealand

[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-08 07:22 - Powdery Blue Waterfalls in New Zealand

One of the most striking things about many of New Zealand's waterfalls is their color. You may find that several of them have a powdery-blue or turquoise tint to them, which further adds to the drama and uniqueness of these features. The main reason for this is due to the amount of minerals present in their watercourses. The minerals are picked up (either by natural water erosion or from glacial scouring) from the underlying volcanic soil from the streambed or lakebed. An example of a colorful waterfall from water erosion is Huka Falls. A good example of a waterfall whose color comes from the effects of glacial scouring is Thunder Creek Falls.

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-09 08:08 - Preparing to see Iceland Waterfalls

Preparations are being made for our upcoming trip to Iceland. Both Julie and I eagerly anticipate this trip as we know the country has quite an eclectic collection of waterfalls. The trip will circle the entire island including parts of the Westfjords and we hope to catch some of the major waterfalls in the Interior (depending on availability and circmstances).

Complementing this trip will be a short weeklong excursion through Western New York to see Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes.

Needless to say, it's going to be one busy trip. But like all things in life, the more you put in to something and take risks, the greater the rewards. Stay tuned as we'll update you on developments leading up to and throughout this major trip...

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-10 08:01 - New Featured Waterfall


Kitekite Falls, New Zealand


Kitekite Falls, New Zealand

[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-11 08:51 - The Secret to a Happy, Healthy Life Already Exists in Nature

Believe it or not, you don't need drugs or elixirs to live a happier and healthier life. Nature already provides what we need to invigorate our bodies. But are you willing to go out there and experience Nature's therapy? Read on to find out how and why... [read article]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-12 07:28 - New Zealand Waterfalls Make Splash in New York

Story Nature Press' inaugural travel guide, A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls, has brought home ForeWord Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year Bronze Award in the Travel Guide category. The announcement took place in June at a ceremony on the ground floor of Book... [read article]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-12 08:03 - A Very Hectic Day Ahead

Tonight is the night that we're finally leaving for our New York/Iceland Trip. It seems like forever since I've been on my last trip, but I guess that's what a corporate job can do to you. Anyhow, I envision this blog won't be updated daily like I normally do it since we'll have sporadic internet access (especially the wireless kinds). In any case, we'll keep you posted on the latest developments either through this blog, or on the "What's New?" NavBar on the left side of this web page. I'll do my best to keep a daily running journal summarizing what has occurred throughout the trip. Formal travel blogs with photos will be on the main part of this website once I get enough time to put it together along with expanded waterfall coverage of Iceland and New York. Stay tuned...

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-13 21:49 - Niagara Falls At Last!

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Today was the very first day of our Iceland/New York trip. We began the day in the air as we caught a red-eye flight from LAX to JFK. Julie managed to upgrade us with our frequent flyer miles to Business Class. It was nice and roomy and made it rather easy to sleep on the plane. However, being the Business Class rookies that we were, we didn't know about the footrests and so we weren't totally comfortable throughout the night. Julie's foot got swollen and my knees were sore. Oh well, we live and learn for the next time...

The connecting flight to Buffalo went without any problems. We got over our anxiety about lost luggage when we did pick up our stuff at the very clean Buffalo airport. We then drove over to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls to stay in the very expensive Falls View Hotel. The rest of the afternoon was spent strolling along the walkways getting all sorts of views of all the components of Niagara Falls - the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. Needless to say, the falls are impressive! In the evening, the falls were floodlit so we took that opportunity to force our tired bodies to stroll some more. Unfortunately, the floodlights were turned off at midnight and most of the time, the floodlights were ugly white.

All in all, it was quite an impressive photo day. I know I took 357 photos on my camera. Who knows how many Julie took on hers? Anyhow, tomorrow's going to be a busy day for us. We'll spend the morning on the American side before returning to the Canadian side in the afternoon. It'll certainly be a more interactive (and wet) experience than today as we expect to get even closer to the mighty Niagara Falls...

[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-14 19:53 - Bombs Away!

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Julie and I spent this full day doing most interactive (i.e. touristy) activities around Niagara Falls. We began the morning getting through a rigorous border patrol on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge before parking on the American side of the Niagara River and doing the attractions on this side. It included Terrapin Point, Cave of the Winds, and Maid of the Mist along with other viewpoints of the falls. During the Maid of the Mist tour, I got hit in the face by bird crap by one of the many birds flying around the American side of the falls. It was gross!

Good thing the mist from Horseshoe Falls helped to clean that up. Being surrounded on three sides of thunderous water was quite an experience. Later in the afternoon, we returned to the Canadian side where we did the Journey Behind the Falls. By the end of the day, Julie and I were exhausted. In fact, we overslept dinner and just let our bodies rest until tomorrow...


Good thing the mist from Horseshoe Falls helped to clean that up. Being surrounded on three sides of thunderous water was quite an experience. Later in the afternoon, we returned to the Canadian side where we did the Journey Behind the Falls. By the end of the day, Julie and I were exhausted. In fact, we overslept dinner and just let our bodies rest until tomorrow... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-15 21:07 - Erie Canal to the Finger Lakes

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Today, we left Niagara Falls (by this time we were pretty Niagara Fall'ed out) and made our way east towards the Finger Lakes area. I think the waterfalls we were to see on this day had the unenviable position of coming after the mighty Niagara Falls. And well, the disparity was made even greater in that we took the time (and money on the toll roads) to see the Genesee Falls in Rochester. All of these falls were urban waterfalls. Perhaps the High Falls and Lower Falls of the Genesee River were the best of this bunch, but they were duds coming after Niagara Falls.

The Middle Falls weren't impressive and we didn't bother with the Upper Falls. We must've looked weird going through the urban jungle of Rochester dressed in hiking clothes while I was carrying around a tripod. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see these falls (which would otherwise have been great attractions if not for the urban setting).

The rest of the day was spent getting lost but ultimately finding Pratt's Falls, Chittenango Falls, and Carpenters Falls. Pratt's Falls was a little disappointing due to its low flow and all the overgrowth limiting the viewing experience. Chittenango Falls was quite nice. Carpenters Falls had an upper and lower falls. You could go behind the upper waterfall. The lower one required a rather treacherous and steep scramble (beyond the warning sign discouraging you to go further). This is not for everyone, and it seemed that a trail used to exist before erosion ultimately took it away. Interestingly enough, there was a carpenter who was preparing to leave the car park when we arrived...

After the falls, we headed for Ithaca as it was getting late. The drive through the Finger Lakes region really seemed like a mix of quiet rural idyllic settings mixed with colonial architecture and mansions. It was something we're not used to seeing in the West, but it was quite interesting to see nonetheless. Eventually, we got to Ithaca just before 10pm. It was a long day of driving and waterfalling, but it was nice to get a little change of pace...
[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-16 20:19 - Idyllic Waterfalls in Idyllic Ithaca

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Who'd have thunk that Ithaca, a Cornell University Town right off Cayuga Lake, would have its share of beautiful waterfalls? Yet they're easily the best waterfalls we've seen since Niagara Falls on this trip and yet they're having a rather dry year rainfall-wise (gee, seems like this is happening everywhere we go). We especially liked Taughannock Falls (if we can get the pronunciation correct on this one) and Ithaca Falls. We also saw Buttermilk Falls and some cascades set amidst an interesting glen.

Julie and I also noticed that there were numerous young people here probably attending summer sessions at Cornell. The day was quite hot and sunny, which made for a rather lazy summer day. Still, it was busy at each waterfall we went to on this day. We eventually ended the day eating at the Boatyard Grill. Considering all the cheap yet unhealthy fast foods and overpriced foods we tried to avoid on the trip thus far, the Boatyard Grill was easily the best place we had eaten at so far so we allowed ourselves to splurge a bit.

Still unused to East Coast time, we uneventfully ended our day looking forward to more waterfalling in the area tomorrow...
[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-17 13:08 - Short Waterfalling Day

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Today, we did a little bit of some more sightseeing for waterfalls near the Ithaca area. Amongst the sights we saw were Lower Falls and Lucifer Falls in Robert H. Treman State Park as well as She Qua Ga (or Montour Falls) and Aunt Sarah's Falls. We thought the Gorge Trail at Robert H. Treman State Park was a treat because it was an easy walking trail inside a narrow gorge that reminded us of the type of scenery you could only canyoneer to in slot canyons in the desert southwest. Of course the gorge walls were shale instead of sandstone, but nonetheless, it was cool to walk through and Lucifer Falls was the ultimate icing on the cake. There was also a wedding party going on at the park so it was interesting to see well-dressed people actually doing the trail to at least Lucifer Falls (some of the women were in heels).

Later on, we drove to the village of Montour Falls. She Qua Ga was a nice waterfall set right in between two old-style homes in a very quiet town. There was a bridge above the top of the falls to give it a little more of a classic look to it. Aunt Sarah's Falls was struggling to flow, but it was at least flowing and photographable.

After this bit of waterfalling, we returned to Ithaca and decided to call it day. The 91 degrees Fahrenheit heat along with the humidity and threatening thunderstorms were enough for us. And so here I am back at our motel at 4pm blogging away about our waterfalling adventures. Tomorrow, will be the last full day of waterfalling in Western New York before we finally get to Iceland. The Finger Lakes area was nice and quiet, but both of us can't wait for an even greater change of scenery and cultures...

Before the day finally ended, we did have dinner at Moosewoods Restaurant, which was a vegetarian restaurant. We figured after all the crap we've eaten on this trip up to this point, we mind as well have a relatively guilt-free meal tonight. Except for a live bug in our salad, the food was pretty good and the dessert of brownie with Dennis' vanilla ice cream (as opposed to the ubiquitous Purity Ice Cream, which we had yesterday) was a pleasant surprise.
[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-18 12:54 - The Grand Canyon of the East

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Today was our last day of waterfalling in New York. The day was dominated by driving from Ithaca to Buffalo while managing to avoid the toll roads this time around. However, towards the middle of the day, we did visit Letchworth State Park, which was dubbed the Grand Canyon of the East as the Genessee River has carved a deep and wide gorge full of shale-stepped gorge walls and picturesque wide waterfalls. Within the park were the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls of the Genessee River (as opposed to the urban-spoiled ones on the same river in Rochester). We had a good time photographing the falls and showing how miniscule we were compared to these falls. However, the 90-degree heat ensured that we wouldn't do too much extensive exploring and hiking in the park so we passed on nearby waterfalls such as the 350ft Inspiration Falls.

All in all, we had a wonderful time seeing Western New York, but now it's time to get ready for the main course of this trip - Iceland! We hope our fears of lost luggage won't come true (they're always on the back of our minds), but we'll have to find out late tomorrow evening at the airport in Keflavik, Iceland. [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-19 08:11 - Transit Day at JFK

Right now, we're nearly four hours early for our IcelandAir flight to Keflavik. After waking up early to ensure we wouldn't be late for our flight from Buffalo to JFK, we were immediately greeted with a flat tire on our rental car. It was a good thing we stayed right across the street from the airport at the Hilton Garden Inn, but I'm not sure if we're responsible for paying for their tire repairs or new tire since we didn't take out insurance against loss or damage from Budget (though we did take out liability insurance, which came in handy at the Canadian Border when they wanted to see proof of insurance).

But then at JFK, we realized we had forgotten our network cable when we wanted to hook up to the wired internet. We bought a replacement one, but I guess this was just yet another unexpected expense (on top of the anticipated tire expense for the rental car). These things happen I guess...

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-20 13:25 - The Green Lagoon?

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Having finally arrived at the Metropolitan Hotel in Midbaer (Center) Reykjavik at 2:30am, Julie and I had trouble waking up for the 7am breakfast. All night long, there was enough light to make you think it was still around sunset so falling asleep was a challenge to begin with. The room was cramped and really reminded me of our stay at the Vossestolen in Norway. The breakfast was similar to the koldtbord breakfasts in Norway as well except there weren't any cold herrings offered. After the breakfast, we spent the next couple of hours at R. Sigmundsson Garmin Dealer, who helped us get our GPS navigation scheme working.

Then, we went to the much-anticipated Blue Lagoon. Once we got to the lagoon, it really felt like we were partaking in something taken out of a Glen Ivy spa in Temecula. Of course, the difference here is that geothermally heated water from a neighboring geothermal power plant sends its runoff into these pools surrounded by volcanic rock with a very modern and efficient visitor center with locker rooms. However, the color of the bathing pools themselves were more green than blue, which was misleading considering all the literature out there showing photos of people bathing in water that was as blue as the name suggests.

"False advertising," Julie complained.

We wouldn't see any blue lagoon until we left the spa area and walked on a track that went through a calm area where the water was indeed blue (but no one could bathe in it as the water was cold).

We spent the remainder of the day walking around downtown Reykjavik. We did manage to photograph perhaps Iceland's most striking building known as the Hallgrimskirkja. We also struggled to find a place to dine as every place offering what we thought would be good gourmet Icelandic dishes would cost us over $70 USD just for a main dish. We eventually settled on this place near our Hotel called Saegreifinn. Their lobster soup was delicious and we also liked the fish kebabs of scallops and trout.

And with our stomachs finally somewhat satisfied, we settled back into our hotel to get some much-needed rest in anticipation of our first waterfalling of the trip tomorrow doing either the Golden Circle or Glymur depending on the weather when we first wake up... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-21 13:39 - Glymur of Hope

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Today, we had a change of plans. We had originally planned to do the Golden Circle of Thingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss, but the rainy morning changed those plans. Instead, we opted to drive north to the end of Hvalfjordur where Iceland's highest waterfall, Glymur, awaited. The hike was a strenuous four-hour affair complete with very steep ascents and descents, a crossing over the rapidly moving stream over a log, and a handful of false paths and cairns that led us astray for a half hour. Still, we were able to see an interesting natural arch and the elusive Glymur waterfall.

Having accomplished the major excursion of the day, we took Road 48 along the Laxa River and saw Thjorufoss along the way. It was a pretty river-type waterfall and I'd bet only locals, anglers, or those with a GPS knew where it was since it was unsigned and not directly visible from the partially gravel road.

The last waterfall of the day was Trollafoss. This was challenging to find because it required a 4wd to get to. We had hired a gas-guzzling 4wd for our trip of this country (against our guilty conscience) but I knew the roads would be rough and this was a classic example. Anyhow, the falls was difficult to find despite the GPS telling us we had arrived at our destination. Turned out that we had to stop the SUV in an unsigned flat area as I dared not take the car any further. Then, I had to walk the rest of the way towards the hidden waterfall. Once I found it, I had to settle for unsatisfactory top-down views of it since the scramble to the base of the falls was treacherously steep. Not worth it, I reckoned. So I got back to the 4wd where Julie awaited me, and we headed back to Reykjavik.

The rest of the evening was spent walking around Laugarveggur in Midbaer Reykjavik where there were numerous cafes and shops. We also found a Bonus Supermarket and bought some munchies there at a relatively reasonable price. Forsaking the $30-$50 mains in the cafes, we opted to eat hot dogs (pylsur) at a stand near our hotel. It was good but hardly filling. We topped off our dining by having soft serve frozen yogurt in one of the stands nearby.

Tired from a pretty successful day of waterfalling (except for Trollafoss), Julie and I crashed back at the hotel. Tomorrow, we'll be doing the Golden Circle - rain or shine... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-22 15:11 - Golden Circle

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Today was the day we did the long awaited Golden Circle of Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir. We had hoped our plan of flip-flopping with the Glymur excursion yesterday would yield good weather on this day. Well, initially we thought we were spot on when we awoke to blue skies in Reykjavik. However, as we drove towards Gullfoss, the skies were dominantly overcast. I vowed to return to Gullfoss thinking the weather might improve for rainbows. Julie was ecstatic that she could get wi-fi internet from the parking lot at Gullfoss.

We next went to Geysir. Actually, it was Strokkur that was putting on a show. Geysir doesn't really erupt regularly and we could tell it wasn't going to perform when we were there since no one was gathering around it.

It was mid afternoon when we returned to Gullfoss. The skies were still overcast, but there were patches of blue skies between the clouds. When the sun peeked through the clouds, Gullfoss' mist did indeed put on a rainbow. Of course, I took advantage of this and spent the next hour re-shooting the waterfall from all sorts of angles.

When this bit of waterfalling ended, we went to the Faxi waterfall, which I'd like to think of as Gullfoss, Jr. The base of this wide waterfall was misty and it was a challenge to take photos without water getting on the lens.

Finally as the day was winding down, we went to Pingvellir (pronounced like "thing vetlir"). This was the historic place where assemblies took place and laws were written down. It was also where Oxararfoss was located, which was mainly why we went here. The rift valley here was interesting to see as we were right where the North American and European plates drifted apart.

The day finally ended with a dinner at the Icelandic Fish and Chips near our hotel in Reykjavik. Despite seeing somewhat reasonable seafood prices compared to other cafes and restaurants, we still ended up paying around $50US for battered haddock and cod along with a mango salad, potato, skyr (an icelandic yogurt dessert), and a mango chutney mayonnaise.

It was a long but eventful day, but now we have to pack and get ready for some serious driving towards Iceland's West and Westfjords. [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-23 13:11 - Not A Cloud in the Sky!

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

We got up early and got an early breakfast at the Metropolitan Hotel in Reykjavik. We had anticipated a very long day of touring and driving to Olafsvik on the north side of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. After checking out and paying for the hotel, we engaged in a brief but friendly conversation with the receptionist, who gave us pointers on where to find fiskibollur (fish cakes) as well as some talk about the runtur (the unadulterated pub crawl in Reykjavik) as well as eating rotten shark with brennevin.

We promptly left for Hraunfossar and Barnafoss and were greeted with nearly cloudless skies when we got there. Given the variable weather we had seen up to this point, we couldn't believe that we were getting this type of weather. Why couldn't this have happened yesterday when we wanted blue skies for photographing Geysir and rainbows for Gullfoss?

Anyhow, we continued onwards and saw waterfalls such as Glanni and Bjarnafoss near Budir along the way to Olafsvik. After checking in, we continued a circuit around the Snaefellsjokull Glacier, which sits atop an active volcano. During this tour, we saw numerous natural arches as well as a few more waterfalls such as Kerlingarfoss, Svodufoss, Klukkufoss, and various smaller unnamed ones. The arch and black gravel sand at Djupalonssandur as well as the plethora of sea arches at Arnastapi were really cool to see and helped to break up the waterfall fatigue. Stangest of all was that the entire day was cloudless and the temperature got up to 18 degrees Celsius!

By 8pm, we made it back to Olafsvik. We decided to shower first before eating so we could do so at the shared facilities while most everyone else was eating... Tomorrow, we have another long day getting to Isafjordur and we'll have to catch our 9am ferry from Stykkisholmur, which is an hour from Olafsvik... Fun times indeed... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-24 12:56 - From Ferry to Fjords

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

This morning, Julie and I got up and had an early breakfast at Hotel Olafsvik before heading to Stykkisholmur to catch our 9am ferry. The brekkie at the hotel was surprisingly pretty good (at least compared to the ones we'd been having in Reykjavik). The room fare was also nearly half the price per night as that of Reykjavik. Nonetheless, before we could savor our brekkie, we had left Olafsvik shortly after 7:15am. That meant that we had just a little over an hour to catch our 8:30am checkin for the 9am ferry.

The drive on the north side of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula was more dramatic that the southern side. There were also numerous waterfalls that caught our attention. We tried to capture as many of the major ones that we could while with the approaching deadline looming over us. After seeing such waterfalls as Kirkjufellsfoss and Grundarfoss, we made it to the ferry check-in just in time.

The ferry took off on time and we spent the next three hours pretty much sleeping in their TV salon. The sleep did us well as we drive off into the heart of the Westfjords wide awake and refreshed. The rest of the day was spent driving on a mix of gravel roads. We saw a nice waterfall at a settlement appropriately named Foss while trying to find the Fossdalur trailhead, which we're still unsure where exactly it was as it was not signposted from the road. We then saw the awesome Dynjandi Waterfall which you can't miss as you drive the unsealed route 60.

After prying ourselves from the waterfall, we continued heading towards Isafjordur, where we were to stay this night. Initially the road remained unpaved, but once we got to Thingeyri, the roads were sealed all the way to Isafjordur capped off with a long tunnel. Isafjordur was a surprisingly big town (almost city-like) which was really strange to see considering all the remoteness we had passed through to get here. It was this place that really reminded Julie and I of Norway where development meets steep-walled fjord scenery. The difference between the two is that Norway is mostly granite fjords while here in Iceland, we saw mostly softer volcanic fjords so the walls sloped more than they did in Norway.

The Hotel Edda in town was converted from a middle school during summer, which seems to be a creative way to make use of the facilities when school is out. We were surprised at how big and clean the rooms were and you wouldn't know you were in a school if no one told you.

Tomorrow, we're anticipating a very long day of driving through the rugged West Fjords towards the so-called loneliest town in Europe - Djupavik. [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-25 10:32 - The Loneliest Hotel in Europe

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Since there was no complementary breakfast at the Hotel Edda Isafjordur, we decided to get an early start on our drive out to Djupavik. We had left around 6:15am but there was enough light to make it seem like it was 9am. Prior to leaving while Julie was busy packing, I was busy taking photos right in front of the hotel of the calm fjord and the reflections they caused.

The next three hours or so was spent weaving in and out of several fjords and mountain passes with scenic moors very reminiscent of what we had seen in Norway. Many of the fjords had big cascades with seemingly no name and we had stopped for many of these. Even then, it was difficult to tell which ones were legitimate waterfalls and which ones were merely thinner seasonal ones. Some of the major ones seemed to require trespassing on private property to get decent views.

It was during the drive that my right knee started hurting. I guess the strain of stick-shift driving on mountain roads for several hours while hiking in between put a toll on my knee. I had a similar condition in Norway, and at least Julie surmised it was the stick shift. Anyways, it hurt initially to walk or straighten my leg. When we arrived in Holmavik, we filled up on petrol and had more reasonably-priced Icelandic pylsur (hot dogs). Still, walking at the time was very painful. After the short brunch, we went across the road to the visitor center where they had a free internet terminal. There, we checked email and paid bills.

We left Holmavik at around 11:30am and headed north to Djupavik. The road became unpaved again once we got near Drangsnes. The arctic winds were blowing hard and there was a serious wind-chill factor even though the sun was shining. However, there were dark clouds moving fast out at sea and bumping against the ocean-facing mountains on which the road hugged to avoid the white-capped seas. It was also at this time that I realized that I couldn't find my light jacket as I stopped to take a photo. It was only in hindsight that I realized that I left it at Fernando's in Isafjordur. Well, it's a bit too far to go back so we considered it lost.

At around 1pm, we arrived in Djupavik and checked in to the hotel. This place has got to be one of the most charming hotels we'd ever stayed in. It's really more of a bed and breakfast, but they maintained the old architecture inside and it felt real warm and cosy in the upstairs guest area. The stairs were a bit steep and narrow though so we only brought up what we needed from our luggage instead of bringing the whole thing.

The waterfall in the abandoned herring-factory town was Djupavikurfoss, which tumbled right above the town. You could hear its cascading waters roaring as you're standing outside in the chilly arctic air. After getting settled, we spent the next four hours touring the abandoned town while trying to get the best views of Djupavikurfoss that we could. We were accompanied by Tina, the hotel owner's dog, who managed to find time chasing sheep while keeping us company. There was also another big waterfall further up the Reykjarfjordur though it wasn't nearly as photogenic as Djupavikurfoss. Even further up the fjord, there was yet a third big waterfall, but this was even less photogenic than the first two.

Julie and I opted not to drive the additional 40km to a geo-thermally heated pool right next to the ocean. I'm sure this would've been a big draw for people who choose to stay in this lonely spot. Instead, we've just decided to chill out at the Hotel Djupavik. In the mean time, I was enjoying myself trying to talk to the German receptionist (named Claus) in Icelandic. Both of us were struggling to learn the language but at least we had enough of a vocabulary to get some Icelandic phrases exchanged before we went back to English.

Dinner was a very at-home affair with both of us having the local fish for dinner. We were joined by a Dutch couple who had sailed towards this fjord. Along with Claus, we would eventually talk about various things such as travel, politics, art, and Iceland. Before we knew it, it was already 10:30pm and it was time to go to bed and pass on the Dutch couple's offer to see their sailing boat over a few drinks. It was fun learning some pearls of wisdom from a former politician and an artist who's exhibiting in New York. Their stories along with Claus' reason for coming to Djupavik were really inspirational and further strengthened our conviction that traveling really is the way to enrich one's life...
[read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-26 13:35 - Skinandi A No-Go

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Even though Julie and I got up after 7am, which was rather late for our trip, we still felt like we really didn't want to wake up. However, we knew a long drive was ahead of us to Hof i Vatnsdalur, which was a guest house and site of our next accomodation. But one look out the window and we saw a cloudless sky! So after briefly getting our stuff together, we loaded up the car and walked around the area to take a few last photos of Djupavik under the perfect sky. What a contrast to the variable weather from yesterday!

We opted to skip the breakfast this time around but we did talk to Claus the German Hotel Helper. We continued our attempt at talking to each other in Icelandic while also signing the guest book, paying the bill, and taking some photos in front of the hotel. I'd have to say that this was truly one of the more unforgettable places we've ever been at and we thoroughly enjoyed the company from Klaus and the Dutch couple who joined us over dinner. We will also not forget Tina the local dog accompanying us on our walks around the area yesterday.

By 9am, we bid a fond farewell and headed south towards the Ring Road. We did stop to take some more photographs of the Strandir Coast under the cloudless skies.

Some time after 1pm, we took a fairly length detour over unsealed road towards Hvitserkur, which was a small double arch sitting on a black sand beach. It seemed to be a favorite spot for the birds in the area. We walked to the overlook which provided a rather unsatisfactory view of the arch, but there was a steep path that led to the black sand beach where we could at least shoot the sky through the arches for more meaningful photos.

The steep descent wasn't good for my already ailing right knee, but I managed. I was actually more concerned about the stiffness I felt after driving for such a long time.

After our excursion to Hvitserkur, we headed back to the Ring Road then took another lengthy unsealed road towards our guesthouse - Hof i Vatnsdalur. At first, it looked like we were about to live in a farm, but then we saw the guest house which looked amazingly modern and right on par with some of the hotel accommodations we had been staying at so far (it was way better than our hotel in Reykjavik like many of the other places we stayed at).

I tried to talk to Jon (one of the owners) in Icelandic inquiring about the Skinandi Waterfall. He drew me some directions on how to get there on a piece of paper and that was what we had to go on for tomorrow morning's hike.

It was too bad the owners were busy sending their sheep to the highlands for the summer so that meant there would be no home-cooked dinner. No worries though. We drove the half-hour towards Blonduos to fill up on petrol and have dinner at Pots and Pans (or Potturinn og Pannan). Julie loved her trout, which was the fish of the day. I tried to manage the cost a bit by having a burger, which was pretty ordinary.

After the dinner, we decided to drive to Forsaeludalur to scout out the trail to at least the first waterfall - Dalsfoss. As we drive towards the trailhead following Jon's directions, it immediately seemed sketchy that we had to drive on a grassy 4wd road to get to an unsigned brown patch of grass. From there, we followed the rest of the 4wd trail past a gate and towards a waterfall with a fish ladder. It had a signpost which gave us hope that perhaps we were on the right track (at least to Dalfoss). Moreover, on the way, we saw a glimpse of a big waterfall within the canyon which heightened our hopes even further.

Unfortunately, after nearly half an hour of rough hiking along the river, we finally hit an obstacle of deep water inundating what would've been the continuation of the path to at least the base of Dalsfoss. We couldn't find the path up to the top of the canyon, which was what Jon told us was the way to Kerafoss and Skinandi. Having already had a bad feeling about the vagueness of the trail and the fact that it seemed like we were trespassing on someone's farm, we ended the day deciding we weren't going to do the 6-8 hours of hiking to Skinandi and back tomorrow.

I guess sometimes, you have to know when to saw when, and this was certainly "when."

Given this sudden free-up of time, we now looked forward to having a lot more time at Akureyri tomorrow and ultimately more time in Myvatn a few days later... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-27 13:41 - The Theme of this Trip

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

After deciding not to do the Skinandi Waterfall hike based on yesterday's observations, we slept in and awoke to bitterly cold weather and threatening skies. As we were packing up and getting ready for breakfast, I looked out the window and noticed that the rear tire facing me was flat. Seemed like the theme of this trip would be flat tires, especially since we had one on the very last day in Western New York.

So without further adieu, I bugged the owners of the guest house and they gladly helped out. Jon used his tractor as the car lift and changed in the full-sized spare in no time.

Upon looking at the flattened tire, he said, "That tire looks worn out."

When comparing the full-sized spare with the existing tires still on the Suzuki Vitara, it was like apples and oranges. The spare tire still had its deep treads while the remaining three tires looked like they could go at any time as well.

Anyways, I thanked the hosts for their help and then proceeded to have brekkie with Julie after packing up and loading up the car. When brekkie was over, it was time to leave. I gave the hostess one last goodbye in Icelandic and exchanged pleasantries (still in Icelandic) as she was thrilled that a foreigner was trying to learn the language.

And with that, we headed to Akureyri with a detour to Ketubjorg. It took a while to get to Ketubjorg, but we eventually got there about an hour and a half later. By now, we were standing atop seaside cliffs looking down at a cliff-diving waterfall going right into the ocean. It was a picturesque sight and the birds flocking and flying about the area really added to the already wild atmosphere. Of course the frigid arctic winds (5 degrees Celsius not counting the wind chill factor) also kept our noses running and our bodies shivering.

Next, we drove back towards the Ring Road but not before making an unexpected stop at some turf farm exhibition. Unlike the Norwegian turf farms, these really looked like the ones you might expect hobbits to live in.

Onwards we drove as we finally got back to the Ring Road and followed it to Akureyri. Along the way, the highway weaved within valleys alongside glacial rivers and a few minor mountains. As we were zooming by at 90km/h, there were several waterfalls that were visible from the road, but most of them lacked signposts or pullouts so we didn't stop form them. A particularly striking part of the drive got us into a wide idyllic sweeping U-shaped valley flanked by jagged mountains. One of the peaks looked like it ended in a sharp point with a pair of smaller points on either side.

We finally got to Akureyri late in the afternoon, checked into another Hotel Edda (aka a school turned into summer hotel), then got in touch with an auto repair shop affiliated to Budget to try to rectify our tire situation.

When we arrived at the auto shop, the workers there couldn't believe we were given a vehicle with four worn tires. At first, I was worried I would have to pay for all four tires to be changed, but the young lady at the shop got in touch with the Budget in Reykjavik and eventually told us that we're not responsible for the tire changes.

As the tire changing took place, we chatted with the young lady and one of the mechanics about various topics such as Icelanders having multiple jobs, the guy's car collection, Hrisey, and Akyreyri restaurants. Eventually, the car was ready by their closing time of 5pm and we could see right away that the tires were new and had treads on them (as they were supposed to in the first place).

And with that, we headed back into town to have dinner at Greifinn and a soft serve at Brynja's despite the chilly weather. It seems now that things were getting back to "normal." Let's keep our fingers crossed... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-28 15:56 - Where's the Akureyri Sun?

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Even though it was cloudy and bitterly cold yesterday afternoon, I figured the Akureyri Sun would show up tomorrow given the changeable weather in the country. Well, when we awoke and looked out the window, we were disappointed to see continued cloudy skies. But no matter. I figured this would be good for waterfalling since cloudy weather usually means even lighting for long exposure photographs. So today, we set out to see as many waterfalls as we could before returning to Akureyri in the evening.

We started out by going directly to Godafoss. But on the way just before the turnoff to the desired waterfall, we saw a sign indicating the Sprengisandur Road (F26) and the way to Aldeyarfoss some 41km away. Since this was also one of the falls we intended to bag, we figured we mind as well do this one now.

So we headed down the relatively smooth gravel road before getting to a fence that I had to get out of the car and open and then close after pulling the car through (just like at McLean Falls in New Zealand). Anyways, that signalled the start of the actual F26 section where we were greeted by a scary sign showing a car going into water with a 4x4 text next to it. Needless to say, we had no intentions of crossing any rivers in our rental SUV.

Within a few minutes of bumpy driving, we ultimately made it to a car park amongst the barren black expanse. It was very cold the moment we got out of the car, but in this 5 degrees Celsius drizzling weather, we walked for a few minutes downhill towards a precarious overlook of the thundering Aldeyarfoss. The falls was probably about some 20m or so tall but the basalt columns surrounding it made it rather interesting.

We didn't linger too long here due to the cold, and also because we knew it was getting late in the morning and there were many more falls to bag today. Just as we were about to pull out, a big caravan of Suzuki SUVs were also pulling into the car park. Seemingly inconsiderately, they parked in a way that trapped us in and we couldn't get out. Julie took the initiative and honked the horn and finally someone moved his SUV.

Within another hour, we finally made it to Godafoss. There were numerous people on the other side of the river and we knew that was the tour bus crowd. We were on the east side of the river and decided to walk down a path that ultimately yielded us full views of the horseshoe-shaped falls from both the top and the bottom. From looking at the way the gorge was carved out, we doubted the tour bus crowd got as good a view as we had.

Then, we drove past the scenic Myvatn Lake but didn't make any stops considering the poor colors thanks to the dreary cloudy day. A few minutes more of driving east of Reykjalid and then we turned onto a mountain road that would ultimately take us to the west side of Dettifoss in Jokulsa a Fjollum National Park. This was a 4wd-only road (really more of a high-clearance road, but we saw a few 2wd vehicles along the way) mostly due to big stray rocks conspiring to pop tires and a few potholes. The washboardy road made sure we couldn't go faster than 40km/h unless we wished to get the jarring of our lives on this road.

Eventually we'd get to the car park for the west end of Dettifoss, but the cloudiness seemed to have descended upon the area and really fogged things up. I was hoping the canyon was below the clouds so we could see Europe's most powerful waterfall, but after braving the near-freezing weather (2 degrees C), we were faced with fog even at the overlooks of Dettifoss. To make matters worse, the mist from the waterfall made things even colder.

There were many photographers there trying to make the most of the situation, but it was a pretty crummy day to be photographing Dettifoss. Trying to salvage something from this stop, we also walked a little further to Selfoss, which could only be seen from a distance on this side of the gorge.

Next, we decided to skip the Hafragilsfoss car park and head right for Holmatungur. By this time, it was 2pm and Julie was already sick of the cold dreary weather so she decided not to do the hike. With that, I headed off into the cold and did the 3.5km loop hike.

On this hike, I saw a series of waterfalls at an area called Katlar (one of the falls was Urridafoss, which was probably one of the cascades on the side streams going into Jokulsa a Fjollum) and Holmarfossar, which was also a cascade further downstream not on the Jokulsa a Fjollum watercourse. As I was back at the car park area, I decided to go up the hill on a separate path in search of Rettarfoss. I wasn't sure if this was another cascading waterfall or if it was on the main glacial river. But when I got to the top of the hill with the fog and drizzle conspiring to ruin the situation once again, I manage to see and photograph what I could of the impressive horseshoe-shaped Rettarfoss on the Jokulsa a Fjollum. Boy was I glad I did the extra detour.

Finally, I returned to the car and we headed back south on the 4wd road to the Ring Road. Moments later, we headed to Kverir, which included numerous boiling mud pots and hissing steam vents along with some colorful hills. It was still bitterly cold and the steam from the mud pools and steam vents did little to relieve us from the cold.

We would eventually get back to Akureyri by around 9pm. We had dinner at a popular local dive called Bautinn, where I finally tried some Icelandic Lamb while Julie had her Guilemot. The waitress was extremely surprised when I told her, "Takk fyrir mig" after paying the bill. I wanted to try to engage her in more talk in Icelandic, but I knew we had to pack up and leave Akureyri tomorrow with lots to do.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate tomorrow, but given our luck, I'm not so sure the famed good weather in Akureyri that Icelanders have been talking about will show up as long as we're here... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-29 14:56 - What A Difference A Day Makes

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

Waking up in Akureyri today, I noticed that the clouds were still overcast but they seemed to be a bit higher than yesterday so I could at least see the peaks of some neighboring mountains and that they got some fresh snow. At least this was encouraging for today as we planned to essentially revisit the Jokulsa a Fjollum river canyon and see all the waterfalls again.

So Julie and I got right to it and wasted no time getting out of Akureyri and headed right for Godafoss. It was barely an hour later that we got to see the falls from the west side of the river. It was also clear why tour buses come to this side of the falls - because the car park is much closer to the falls. But even with that said, the views were not quite on par with those we earned from the other side yesterday.

We then continued on eastwards around the southern and eastern banks of Myvatn and then up the wider unpaved road on the east side of Jokulsa a Fjollum. In one stretch of road at Myvatn, we heard things hitting the windshield as if there was a gravel rain or something. It turned out that we had driven through a cloud of midges! Good thing we weren't standing outside under such a swarm! Anyways, on the road to Dettifoss, I had expected a smoother road and faster driving, but this road remained washboarded and bumpy. The only difference is that it was wide enough to accommodate two cars side by side easily whereas the other road on the west bank was more single lane with bigger rocks and pebbles.

By the time we made it Dettifoss' eastern car park, the skies had cleared considerably and it was actually 12 degrees Celsius already. What a difference a day makes! After all, we were experiencing 2 degrees C yesterday under miserably drizzling conditions, fog, and arctic wind chills from the north. However, with the good comes the bad, and that was the presence of swarms of midges that wouldn't leave us alone. Still, I'd take midges over fog blanketing the canyon anyday. Anyways, Julie and I took photos of Dettifoss from a more comprehensive perspective though getting it with a rainbow was difficult as it was too far downstream.

We continued over to Selfoss, which was a considerably longer walk than from the other side, but at least we got to get right up to the brink of the horseshoe-shaped falls, which also produced a rainbow this morning.

After returning to the car, we quickly drove over to the Hafragilsfoss car park, walked up towards a hill and looked down at the gushing 27m waterfall. On the other side of the hill, we got beautiful views of the canyon carved out by the glacial river that was the Jokulsa a Fjollum.

The next few hours were spent driving and visiting Asbyrgi, which was a tiny hamlet housing a gas station and a newly renovated visitor information center. Eventually by late afternoon, we returned to Holmatungur where Julie and I briefly walked the short out-and-back circuit to Katlar. I also did a quick jaunt uphill to see Rettarfoss in the improved weather and got to a see a rainbow in its mist.

Finally, we arrived at the car park for the west side of Dettifoss. Here, we hastily made our way back down to the overlook and we saw the mighty Dettifoss producing a rainbow under the warm cloudless sky. By now, it was 16 degrees C and I was sweating. No need for gloves or jackets under these conditions. So we spent quite a while trying to seize the moment and capture as many photographs of the gargantuan waterfall as possible under the blue skies.

When we finally had our fill, we drove back to Reykjalid where we checked into the Guesthouse Elda, had a BBQ Buffet at the Gamle Baerinn (including a separate order of Hverabraut - which was like underground smoked bread), and some rest and relaxation in our room without fighting the midges for once. Of course there was a little bit of drama when the drain the shower was too slow and I happened to flood the bathroom, but after spending several minutes trying to soak up the excess water, I returned to our room to wind down an otherwise busy day. Hopefully, the next person using the shower doesn't suffer a similar calamity in the shower... [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


2007-06-30 13:06 - Iceland's Sacrificial Lamb?

Note for complete blog and photos corresponding to this entry click here

When we awoke at the Guesthouse Elda in Reykjalid this morning, the skies were bright blue once again. It's funny how Akureyri was supposed to have the good weather, but that only came when we left town...

After packing up and loading up the car, we went into the busy dining room area where the included breakfast was served. It consisted of the usual assortment of bread, ham, cheese, eggs, cucumber, tomatoes, butter, jam, etc. with orange juice, apple juice, milk, coffee, and water. But this breakfast also included syld and kverabraud as well as smoked trout. The syld was something I hadn't seen since the koldtbord breakfasts in Norway. I was hesitant to try the kverabraud after our smoky-tasting experience last night at Gamle Baerinn. However, one taste today and it seemed to actually taste pretty good. This breakfast had to rank up there with the one we had at Hotel Olafsvik.

We next briefly took photos of the Myvatn area as well as the Krafla area before we bid this area farewell. The midges were out, but not quite in the annoying swarms we had experienced yesterday. At least we won't miss these little buggers, but hopefully we won't have to deal with too many of them on the rest of this trip.

Then, we did some extensive driving en route to Egilsstadir. Along the way, we took a detour to the Vopnafjordur area to see Selarfoss and Draugafoss. Selarfoss was really nothing more than rapids with a fish-ladder waterfall. Not really worth the trouble to see this one in my mind, but the area was busy with anglers and local families swimming in a nearby facility. Draugafoss was an impressive waterfall that kind of reminded me of something we would've seen in Forsaeludalur had we not have so much trouble figuring out the "trail." It was too bad with this waterfall that it was not signposted nor was there a formal pullout nor trail. We just found some makeshift pullout below the road's embankment and then I scrambled onto a grassy field following narrow sheep and human tracks to an acceptable view of the falls. I didn't bother venturing all the way to the base as it would've involved fording a small side stream.

Vopnafjordur was a very beautiful fjord and town. Across the fjord's deep blue waters were snow-capped peaks watching over the area. Wildflowers were also in bloom to futher decorate the scenery. When our detour from the Ring Road ended, we continued eastwards but not before a brief stop at Bustafell's turn farm where a waterfall attracted us but we didn't get much of a view beyond the farm.

Near where the Ring Road went from unpaved to paved again, we saw an unexpected series of waterfalls from the fast-moving road. Two of them had paved pullouts. The ones with the pullouts looked very significant, but there wasn't any other infrastructure to indicate otherwise so I reckon most people miss these.

Before making the final push to Egilsstadir, we took another detour to Lagarfoss. Unfortunately with this waterfall, it was dammed up to generate hydroelectric power. That was quite a downer but it might have explained why we saw this very turquoise green lake the way it was since the sediment continues to build behind the dam walls. Given the fact that the controversial Kahranjukar Dam is also near Egilsstadir, it made me wonder whether East Iceland is the country's sacrificial lamb to try to export power and somehow jump start the economy since their fishing industry seems to be in trouble.

Anyways, after checking into another nice Hotel Edda (Egilsstadir) under rather warm weather (22 degrees Celsius), we headed back into town to look for something affordable to eat. After gorging ourselves on the BBQ buffet last night, we tried some crepe at this local place near the Bonus Supermarket. We weren't too pleased with our crepe, and I guess it just shows that we should've stuck with what Icelanders do best - seafood, lamb, and American fast food. Oh yeah, we had another softis (soft serve ice cream) in waffle cone. You can't go wrong with that! [read more]

To reference this entry please copy the url in this link: (Permalink)

To post a comment please click on this link:


May 2007 «  » July 2007

 

 RSS
RSS Feed For This News

World of Waterfalls Blog Home | Archives | Updates and Announcements | Featured Articles | Travel Blogs | Waterfall News and Musings | Product Reviews and Announcements | | Article Index