Iceland Road Trip: Day 3

Europe's Most Powerful Waterfall meets the Yank without a Chain

Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall meets the Yank without a Chain

From Bakkagerdi I headed to the northern coast of the island and visited Dettifoss, “Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall,” and the area around Myvatn – “Midge Lake” or “Fly Lake” in English. The road up to Dettifoss was the worst I experienced and I was terrified of getting a stone in my windshield. The insurance for the car doesn’t cover any windshield damage, which didn’t seem like such a big deal until I realized that it is actually very possible to get a stone kicked up at you from another car on these gravel side roads. Fortunately, this didn’t happen to me and I made the round trip to Dettifoss with my car intact.

Anyway, upon arriving at the Dettifoss site I walked about 20 minutes to a smaller waterfall downstream – Hafragilsfoss – and got a gorgeous view of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. I then walked back to Dettifoss to see the monster for myself. I have to say I was slightly disappointed, and at this point I am absolutely certain that visiting Iguazu in Argentina last year has completely ruined all other waterfalls for me. I snapped a few photos and then made the treacherous drive back to the Ring Road, where I headed west to Lake Myvatn.

The lake and the surrounding area definitely did not disappoint. I first drove up Mt. Krafla to see Viti, its bright blue crater.  I also got an overview of the area and met a lovely Canadian girl about my age who was also doing a solo road trip. She was envious of my car-sleeping decision!

From Mt. Krafla I went to Námaskarð and saw (and smelled) the bubbling mud and sulfur pits and hiked around Namafjall for a view of the lake. I also saw the volcanic formations of Dimmuborgir and the psuedo-craters at Skútustaðir, where I really learned why the lake is called “Fly Lake”. I had a delicious, traditional dinner of lamb soup and arctic charr at Hotel Reynihild. Finally, I made my way further west and made a quick stop at Godafoss, another large waterfall, and then drove to Akureyri, the capital of the north.

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