A short walk from its more famous waterfall cousin Seljalandsfoss is a hidden waterfall that I found overwhelmingly beautiful. Gljúfrafoss is hidden in a gorge, which you can reach by wading into ankle-deep water. This leads you into a cathedral of falling water and mossy boulders. Gljúfrafoss also goes by another Icelandic name, Gljúfrabúi, which I’m told means “Dweller in the Gorge”, which describes it perfectly.
Iceland is bearing a massive surge in popularity, and you really see that at the popular tourist spots like Seljalandsfoss, which are overwhelmed with buses and small group vans. I’m one of those visitors too, so who am I to judge? But hidden waterfalls, even the most magical ones, become overrun by the masses. I have mixed feelings about it, while being drawn to these places myself.
I wanted to shout for the rest of my friends to join me in this misty cathedral, but there were no takers. The thing is, when you meet a place as magical as this head-on, you want the world to experience it as you have. Yet you want to be protective of it too. For a few minutes of relative quiet, as one of the few to wade into the cold waters flowing out of the gorge, I paused in reverence in the cold mist before heading back to join the masses.