On our way, we stopped at Glymur waterfall (the 2nd highest waterfall in Iceland) for a leisurely walk up a death-defying mountain with two perilous river crossings and death at every turn! It was totally up our alley. The first little bit was pretty easy, but then we had to go through a cave, and down the slope to the river where there was a really sketchy log river crossing. Of course, the water was super high, so there was some bonus traversing to be done. Abby screamed the most, and Madeline held on for dear life. Fortunately, no one fell in.
After the river crossing, we headed up, up and up the steep slopes toward the waterfall. Madeline was a trooper and held onto the ropes on the steep parts, and our hands during the other really steep parts. It was kind of like Angels’ landing in Zion’s National Park except wet and slippery and a lot more Russian tourists.
The hike up was staggering and the beauty immersive. The waterfall did not disappoint, and the canyon was breathtaking. It’s hard to capture places like this with photos or videos because the feeling of the damp air on your face, the wind in your hair, and the exhilaration of standing on the edge of a cliff combine into a truly intense experience.
Once we gained the top of the falls, we crossed the river in our water shoes (yippee for planning!). The water was cold, and we saw another person slip and lose their backpack down the river and over the falls. I imagine that canyon is a veritable treasure trove of stuff that people lose in the river. We hiked back down the other side and made it back to our car with only some dirty butts and sore feet. Our little 4-year-old Madeline hiked the entire 4.7 miles with 1250 ft of climbing all by herself, with the exception of being carried through the river crossings and a few dangerous rocky scrambles. Once back in our Peugeot box, we made PB&J sandwiches and headed north.
The drive north to Akureyri was very pastoral and the ring road is a marvel of narrowness. Driving that in bad weather is not to be underestimated, but we had good weather and made it to our rental apartment without too much drama. Then Mike headed out to get groceries and hot dogs for dinner (so that we could be at least a little American on the 4th). The amazing thing is that since the sun stays up until about 12:45am, you really can get a heck of a lot done in the evening.