One of the highlights of my impromptu trip to Iceland was this unplanned and miraculous stop at Hraunfosser Falls. We were returning to Reykjavik for the evening, having just concluded a fun bout of 'lava-tubing' (where you climb down and into the air tunnels formed by fresh lava flow that then cool and eventually harden, leaving dark, underground caves and tunnels to explore). We were not quite sure where we were going -- we knew we were heading in approximately the right direction, but there was no way to read the plentiful roadside maps... they were completely in Icelandic!
We pulled into a small turnoff that curiously had a parking lot to look at our Lonely Planet maps, and after we cut the engine, we heard the unmistakable sound of running water -- lots of it! We couldn't see anything from the car so we jumped out and began walking, and then running towards the sound of water as it became surprisingly louder and louder. The light in the air was magical, a soft shade of violet -- this was the land of the midnight sun... and even though it was well after 10PM, the small sun hovering at the horizon in the distance, there was more than enough light to see details clearly.
Suddenly we found ourselves on an expansive, blue, wooden deck -- a wonderful viewpoint looking down and across at the marvelous rocky terrain below. It was amazing what we saw! For nearly half a mile, water was rushing out of the sloped hillside from beneath a thick layer of rock and cascading down numerous mini-falls only to dump right into a small, but rather deep river. Yet, as breathtakingly exotic as the sight was, it was the color of the deep waters that was the most stunning: All around the splash zone under the falls, the water was a bright blue hue! I quickly left the others and scrambled down the river bank, camera held high in the air with my left hand and using my right for balance as i made my way down the slope, peppered sporadically with medium to quite large boulders. I then edged my way upstream, avoiding the muddy flats, literally at water's edge until i found these beautiful, quiet 'shallows' that afforded me this spectacular eye-level pic.
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