Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland, Part 1

Kirkjufellsfoss in Western Iceland is just a taste of the kind of beauty you’ll find in this sparsely inhabited island country. I’d seen pictures of this particular waterfall a hundred times before, but had never really put any thought into visiting it. At some point before we left I saw a post on Reddit claiming that this waterfall was used as a backdrop in several shots in Game of Thrones. I tried to do my own research to verify, but never found anything that explicitly stated that this waterfall had been used. Nevertheless, it quickly propelled to the top of my list. It’s quite a ways off the Ring Road that most travelers find themselves on, but it’s worth a visit if you have a chance.

For a good portion of our Iceland journey I got in the habit of visiting tourist stops and turning around to shoot the opposite direction of everyone else. This image is one such example of that.

We were at the top of the waterfall waiting for a busload of tourists to clear out so I could get a decent shot of the waterfall without a bunch of brightly colored jackets in the background. What was startling is that most were quickly ambling their way up the slippery incline, snapping a few selfies, climbing as close to the edge as they dared and then heading back down again. There were a few others there who were trying to wait out the crowds so they could get to that precious spot with the waterfall in the foreground and the mountain in the back, and several others who seemed to really be enjoying the beauty surrounding them. But a lot of them didn’t turn around, or if they did they only marveled at it for a few seconds before moving on.

I felt the backdrop to Kirkjufellsfoss was maybe more stunning than the waterfall itself. I was blown away by the dramatic cliffs and mountains that featured prominently in the landscape, and the river that cut across it. I’m not sure if this picture does it justice; Iceland really is more beautiful than any picture can convey; but rarely do you see an image at Kirkjufellsfoss that isn’t of the mountain and waterfall.

This image was really taken on a whim, in a moment of impatience and irritability at having been stuffed in a car all day, but it has become one of my favorites from our Iceland journey, and I’m deeply glad that I turned around at the top of the waterfall.

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