The Golden Fall “Gullfoss”

The Golden Fall,  is a Waterfall located in the Canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland.

Gullfoss rivals Niagara for spectacular sights, just less hype. Plenty of parking and free to visit, by a well made path suitable for elderly or disabled, harder route for the more adventurous. You can feel the spray as you enter the path. There is a charge for the loos and a very small exhibition, but the history of the place is displayed on boards in English by the falls and the main viewing point.

Gullfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. The wide Hvítá rushes southward, and about a kilometer above the falls it turns sharply to the right and flows down into a wide curved three-step “staircase” and then abruptly plunges in two stages (11 m and 21 m) into a crevice 32 m (105 ft) deep. The crevice, about 20 m (66 ft) wide, and 2.5 km in length, extends perpendicular to the flow of the river. The average amount of water running down the waterfall is 140 m³/s in the summer and 80 m³/s in the winter. The highest flood measured was 2000 m³/s.

Although the falls were a bit crowded, they are accessible to even a person in a wheelchair and they are beautiful. Well worth a visit. Its also amazing to look over at the near by mountain range an notice that there is a huge glacier behind the mountains.

Gullfoss features in the music video for the single “Heaven” by the band Live. During the video a young man and a young woman separated by the Hvítá river exchange written messages carried on rocks that they throw to each other over the river and the falls. At the end of the video the young man attempts to swim across the Hvítá river downstream from the Gulfoss. His young lady friend is so horrified from seeing him being washed down in the river that she also jumps in in order to save him. They then float down the river holding onto each other.

 

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