The water circuit
Leaving the lake the following day, we got down to discover the northern roads of the Diamond Circle, heading first for Dettifoss falls.
As Gullfoss waterfall is to the Golden Circle, Dettifoss is to the Diamond. With a 330-foot-wide pounding curtain of water, Europe’s strongest falls sprayed the in depth gorge-side viewing platforms and walkways, icing the paths.
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Each Dettifoss and our subsequent vacation spot, Asbyrgi, 20 miles north, are a part of the northern department of Vatnajokull Nationwide Park, which incorporates far more inaccessible wilderness, together with the Vatnajokull ice cap in southeast Iceland.
The elliptical canyon was made, based on Norse mythology, by the god Odin’s eight-legged flying horse, who left a hoof print on earth. It’s an apt setting for otherworldly legends. The mossy forest surrounding a spring-fed lake on the finish of the canyon appeared a becoming house for the “huldufolk” or hidden people who many Icelanders imagine stay right here.
From the canyon, the Diamond route continues about 15 miles northwest to the Tjornes Peninsula, skirting fossilized sea cliffs and turning south at Skjalfandi Bay towards Husavik, the oldest settlement in Iceland and, extra just lately, the whale-watching capital of the nation. A picket church in-built 1907 overlooks its protected harbor, crammed with tall-masted picket ships and fishing trawlers, many now run by whale-watching corporations. Dealing with the harbor, the excellent Husavik Whale Museum displays lots of the species that sailors may even see, together with an 82-foot-long blue whale skeleton.
Tough seas cancelled boat launches that day, and we settled for scanning the horizon for the telltale blowhole sprays of humpback whales from the trendy cliff-top Geosea spa simply north of Husavik. The spa channels geothermally heated seawater into swimming pools and, like so many baths in Iceland that cater to vacationers, has a wade-up bar.
We spent our final morning within the north mountain climbing the jagged Dimmuborgir lava area close to our cabin with its castle-like volcanic rock formations — occupied by trolls, based on signage — earlier than leaving Lake Myvatn. Rejoining the Ring Highway, we closed the Diamond loop at Godafoss, one other jaw-dropping plunge loaded with legends. Right here, when the island transformed to Christianity across the 12 months 1000, Iceland’s chief is claimed to have thrown all his pagan idols into the churning pool created by the semi-circular drop of the Skjalfandafljot river. The betrayal so angered the gods that they break up the falls in two.