Dettifoss is situated on the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum which originates as melt water from the Vatnajökull glacier as well as collecting water from a large area in north-east of Iceland. Dettifoss in Europe’s most powerful waterfall in terms of the sheer volume of water that flows over the 100 metre or 330ft drop to the gorge below.
I tried to reach Dettifoss on my previous visit Iceland. You can read about that attempt here, suffice to say, Iceland’s winter weather beat us. Given that the pictures below were taken in May and we tried to visit in February, it’s not really surprising we didn’t make it. I was glad to have been able to visit this time and hope you enjoy the pictures I brought back.
In the first picture below, I transferred a figure from the cliff in the top right of the picture to the edge of the falls on the other side of the river to give an idea of scale. You can just make them out, right on the edge. The opposite side of the river is only accessible in the summer sadly. This is where you can get really close to the river bank and the falls. I’ll have to save that for another visit.
The final photograph is of Selfoss. This waterfall is just a little upstream of Dettifoss. At just 11 metres in height, Selfoss is dwarfed by Dettifoss but a nice waterfall nonetheless. You’ve probably gathered by now, from this post and others about waterfalls in Iceland, that the Icelandic word for waterfall is foss. There are hundreds of waterfalls in Iceland so when travelling around, if you see something ‘foss’ on the map, it’s probably worth investigating. If you like waterfalls that is.. :-)
..On our last day in Iceland, where better to watch the fiery colours than from atop an active volcano, billowing steam and sulphurous gases, before our descent into Reykjavik for one last night before an early flight home tomorrow. It has been an awesome journey; Poppy and her BB, C and Me on an excellent Icelandic adventure, circumnavigating the island of Iceland in the middle of a winter that, even by Icelandic standards, has seen super low temperatures and very high levels of snowfall.
We spent this afternoon battling through blizzard after blizzard in an attempt to reach Haifoss, a real highlight from my last visit here and one I wanted to share with Poppy and her husband on our final day. Waist deep snow at our final turn from route 31 made the ascent to the waterfall impossible. A foot or two of snow had been neither here nor there up to that point (well mostly neither here nor there*), but four and five feet of snow was a bit much to ask of our Jeep Cherokees..
I have a lot to share over the coming weeks and lots of blogs to catch up on. Thank you so much for your patience.. See you all back in Cornwall.. :-)
*While driving down a steep mountain road in your lowest gear, you brake and turn the wheel to make the tight turn necessary to avoid the precipitous drop down the mountainside (no barrier) that lies before you but, the car keeps going in a dead straight line (despite the ABS, sending its gravelly feedback to the brake pedal beneath your foot) and when every cell in your body is screaming to keep braking and keep turning the wheel away from the edge but that one sober brain cell sparks a synapse that sparks another and another that at lightening speed brings about an almost instintive flick of the steering wheel towards the edge whilst coming off the brakes to recover the skid before I have time to consciously come to the conclusion that this is the only way to keep the car on the road.. this is what I meant by mostly neither here nor there.. :-0