A series of images from Iceland that I liked from our guided tour of the golden circle and the south coast. (click on images to enlarge): This is Gulfoss the "Golden Waterfall" and one of my most anticipated photographic stops. Online I found that the waterfall gets its name from the fact that the glacial water that flows down the falls is full of very fine sediment that the glacier collected as it carved through the land. When the sun shines on the falls it has a "golden" glow to it as the sediment reflects the light back. My guide however offered another story (I have yet to confirm it) but back in the days of the vikings. One of the viking rulers didn't want his children to have his gold, so prior to dying he took all his gold and loaded it in a chest, he then cast the chest into the falls where his children could not find it. The falls were amazing in their beauty and raw power. From this perspective you can only see the lower section falling into the canyon. This was a very difficult location to photograph. It was about -2°C my batteries were dying left and right. It was snowing, raining, and mist was rising off of the falls making it difficult to shoot without precipitation coveing my lens, and my poor wife was freezing cold, though extremely patient with me (thanks for being such a good sport love!). I had planned to shoot an image down below the falls in the section gated off but due to the conditions it just wasn't possible. :-( Casey and I in front of Gulffoss. I loved how these Mountains just seemed to pop up out of the blue and not so subtly, as the edges of the cliffs were quite steep in spots. Our guide said it was a volcano during the last ice age that rose up under the ice and the ice kept it contained in a small area making it rise up suddenly like it does. As the ice melted the steep cliffs eroded more softly to blend a bit more with the countryside. Nature is pretty amazing. Again I was just in awe at how stark and empty the country side was. There were no plants that grew more than a foot or two tall mostly small weeds and moss. The emptiness was quite beautiful in its own way. We passed over this river on our trip out to Gulfoss. I was amazed at how dark and clear it was. Our guide told us it was formed from runoff from a glacier. The deep color just exuded the iciness of its temperature. This is a quarry that our guide took us too. It was cut in the heart of an ancient volcanic site. The deep red comes from the iron in the rocks. It was quite a beautiful site. This is a good example how suddenly these mountains cut out of the flat low lying land and rise up. You see them scattered throughout the area from a distance but only until you come close do you really get a sense of how big they really are. Down by the south coast you really had a sense of being in a place that was unique and empty. For miles and miles there was nothing but opens stretches of black lava rocks that had flowed down over the hills thousands of years ago. The rocks now lay covered in a thick moss giving the countryside near the ocean a green glow. It was really an interesting place to be. This was at the tail end of our journey. We pulled over to photograph the sunset (4:30pm). The clouds were a bit thick and subdued the sunset quite a bit but this stretch of road caught my eye. I loved how it snaked through the countryside.
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