Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, and the Road There
Now sometimes you have to go to great lengths and distances to be able to find what you are looking for, be it solitude, beauty, immensity, challenge, adventure, etc… Sometimes, it’s right under your nose, right off the road and you knew it, or you didn’t. These places, these things, sometimes they are crowded by throngs of tourists, but sometimes, sometimes they are yours and yours alone for that moment.
Iceland is gaining ground in the tourism industry, just about every person we ran into before and after was going, had been, or knew someone who was going or had been; this doesn’t detract from an adventure. Folks say that if it’s crowded, it isn’t worth it or at the very least imply this, we ourselves have done so and it is a constant struggle to not be negative in this way. Yes, Iceland is busy, there are loads of people around most corners, but it doesn’t take away from the validity of beauty, immensity, challenge, adventure of these sights; they are popular for good reason.
Many things we saw on our trip were right off the ring road, Iceland’s main drag that loops around the island, and they were all gorgeous. Waterfalls more powerful than you can dream, so strong and rushing down so fast that you can feel their immensity in the blast of mist that hits your face as you approach. They are surrounded by lush green whose contrast illuminates just how impressive and otherworldly they are.
To every gorgeous waterfall though, there are everyday sites right off the road where, if you pull over, get out, and take a look; you can find the same impressive beauty, the same history, the same country. So yes, in the end, some places are busy and some places are unknown and under-appreciated, a huge amount right off the road, but they’re all worth your time even if you need to say “excuse me” to get through (or “pardon me” for trespassing).