2:00 pm

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The Gullfoss waterfall is one of the largest in Iceland, consisting of two separate shelves that combine to make it a whopping 30m high. No Victoria Falls, but an impressive place to be able to visit on a "city break". As we descended to get a closer look, a mist of vapour rose up rather like the steam from the hot springs, and left me raw and red in the face. The water pounds down so hard that it rises out of the narrow gorge in clouds, and roars thunderously until your ears ring with the torrents. It's very spectacular, and quite hard to believe that the waterfall has had to survive several attempts at its destruction. A century ago an Englishman (ugh, obviously) wanting to harness its epic power was foiled by a simple farmer, and then decades later his daughter threatened the Icelandic government with hurling herself into the waves if they did not stop contractors from constructing a hydroelectric dam. Another local myth tells of a shepherd and a maiden living on opposite sides of the mighty river before he finally braved the flow to wade across and produce "many well-thought of descendants". It's an awesome sight, nature at work etc etc; apparently on sunny days a rainbow arches through the spray. Curse the weather.

As well as the magnificent waterfall, Gullfoss boasts a view out towards the glacier from whence it flows, packed in by black mountains streaked with snow. I do wish that the day had been sunnier, as the whole view was wreathed in the mists of cloud and rain - which sounds romantic but was in fact just irritating.

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