On Day two of our trip to Iceland, before we continued our way eastward, we back-tracked and visited Gullfoss waterfall ("gull" means golden and "foss" means waterfall, as in Gullfoss, Skogafoss, Selfoss etc), on the Hvítá river.
To reach Gullfoss you leave highway 1 just west the town of Selfoss and turn left onto road 35 which will take you all the way there, and will pass Geysir on the way, so you could combine the two sights in one day as they are just a few kilometres from each other.
The falls were breath-taking, not only the view but the wind that day was so strong it actually took your breath away!
The folks at the car rental office had warned us to be careful as it can be very windy in Iceland, and to hold on to our car doors when we open them - they were not kidding!
Viewing Gullfoss is free and there are two parking lots, one at the upper viewing area where the gift shop and cafe are, and another, more sheltered area, lower down.
After we had seen Gullfoss, been blown about by the wind, and rummaged around the gift shop (purchasing some lovely Icelandic yarn and a beautiful woolen blanket), we also visited a small place by the name of Keldur which had a typical white church with red roof and several "turf houses" which are ancient Icelandic farms and homes.
The buildings were built and covered in dirt and grass, which insulated them against the harsh, cold winters.
The ones here at Keldur are thought to be the oldest houses of their type in Iceland, and we were able to wander around at our leisure.
This is part of the National Museum Historic Buildings Collection.
To visit Keldur you must take road 264 off highway 1, which is to your left if you are travelling from Reykjavik.
This road is paved for some of the way, but it becomes a gravel road and parts are quite rough, so drive carefully.
After a few kilometres you will see signs for Keldur.
You are also required to park a little way from the turf houses and walk to the farm.
Keldur - Church and Turf Houses
One of the interesting parts of visiting Keldur was the stream shown above. You'd think that was just a regular stream, but in fact all that water was from an underground spring, and was just bubbling up to the surface and flowing away.
The water bubbling up out of the ground at Keldur
This source of ground water is likely the reason that the settlers built their farm there, so they would have water for themselves and their animals year-round.
We spent the second night of our visit to Iceland further east along highway 1, at the Edinborg Guesthouse in Eyvindarhólar which was at the base of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
For tonight, I had booked our accommodation through Expedia.com which was a quick and easy process and there was self-check in on arrival and lots of free parking.
You may remember this volcano as it is the one which erupted in 2010 causing delays and cancellations of air travel in Europe and around the world.
Fortunately, the volcano was resting during our visit!
Edinborg Guesthouse, Eyvindarhólar
The view from the back window at the Edinborg Guesthouse
The Edinborg Guesthouse was easy to find, and it was close to the waterfall, Skógafoss.
The accommodation was pretty basic, which is what we wanted, it was more like a hostel than a Bed & Breakfast, and the only fault I could find was that there was nowhere to cook or even re-heat food, however, the rooms were clean and functional, we had our own private bathroom, and the view was lovely.
The Edinborg also has several chalet-type cabins, which you can see above, which are also available for rent.
If breakfast is required it is an additional $15 Canadian, and is available at Anna's Hotel and Restaurant nearby.
In the morning I lay in bed and watched seagulls wheeling and swooping up the side of a volcano ... what a wonderful way to start the day!
My daughter, Becky, climbed the path to the top of the cliff where the water cascades over the edge, but I preferred to find a nice place to sit and enjoy the view of the falls, and wait for her to come down!
Skógafoss from the top
During our visit to Iceland we saw lots of the sturdy Icelandic horses in the fields beside the road.
The horses are used for riding and you can go Pony Trekking, but they are also a source of meat on the island, which I initially found strange, but one of the great things about travel is that you realize that not everyone lives the way you do, and for the Icelanders, horses are a good animal which can survive their winters and thrive on poor rations.
Tenderloin (from horse)
"I'll have salad please."
Several of the photographs on this page are reproduced courtesy of Becky E van Harn
Scenes from yesterday, Day One of our Visit to Iceland ...
Fly Icelandair to Reykjavik
Europcar - we got a Peugeot
Kalfholt Guesthouse our accommodation on our first night in Iceland
$40 Fish & Chips - food can be expensive in Iceland
Previews of Our Visit to Iceland Day 3
The Black Sand beach at Vik
Fabulous view in South Iceland
The rugged south coast
Rocky Atlantic shoreline