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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrGullfoss, also known as the ‘Golden Falls’, is located in Southwest Iceland, specifically in the Hvítá River. It attracts thousands of tourists every year and is considered as one of the most visited tourist attractions in Iceland.
The amount of water flowing in this falls has an average of 80 m³/s during the winter, and 140 m³/s during the summer. One kilometer above the falls, as you turn to the right, is a “staircase” that plunges into a crevice. The crevice is connected to a river.
HistoryThe rapids above the waterfalls have a deep history of legends and stories. People say that there were daredevils who once lingered in the river. On one side of the river lived a young man who took care of his father’s sheep. On the other side lived a woman who also took care of her family’s sheep. These two people saw each other, became good friends and shouted across the river just to talk.
The young man asked the woman to marry him one day. He then crossed the river to seal his offer of marriage. The couple then lived happily ever after. The river was twice flooded down to the brim that the bridges further down were destroyed and swept away. Those two instances happened in 1930 and 1948. During the 20th century, Brattholt, a farmer, contracted the river to an English firm for a hydroelectric power station. The farmer owned the water rights of Gullfoss at that time.
The supposed project never happened because the farmer’s daughter threatened to throw herself into the river if the farmer pushed through with the project. She bravely fought for it, so the project never happened. A lawyer then came to help the woman and together, they saved the waterfalls. The same lawyer became the first president of the country and a monument for the woman to commemorate her bravery in 1978.
How to Get ThereFrom the capital city of Iceland, Gullfoss is 117 kilometers away. Many travel agencies offer tours to the waterfalls. If you are traveling alone, you can drive to Hveragerdi or to the Thingvellir National Park, and then to Gullfoss. Driving should be easy because of the road signs but you can also ride a bus to the Gullfos. Trips to Gullfoss are available daily.
Nearby LandmarksThere are nearby landmarks that you can also visit when you visit Gullfoss. Landmannalaugar, for instance, is a campsite that has all the basic amenities for tourists and locals. The camp gives you an excellent view of the surrounding mountains.
Another landmark, Búri Cave, is located in Southwestern Iceland, and was discovered on May 7, 2005. It is considered as one of the most remarkable caves ever discovered in the world. Búri Cave can be found 45 kilometers from Reykjavík, near Þorlákshöfn. It should be easy for you to locate the cave because it is visited by tourists every day. Locals will also be more than glad to help you get to your destination.
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Author: Convergence. Last updated: Feb 20, 2015