How Not To Approach A Waterfall - The Reykjavik Grapevine

How Not To Approach A Waterfall

Published September 11, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Nora McMahon

There are numerous sites of natural beauty and wonder all around Iceland, and while there is no one right way to visit them, there are a few wrong ones. This one especially.

Nora McMahon posted the above photo to the Facebook group Iceland Q&A on Monday, showing an unknown person wearing only a pair of shorts wading perilously close to the very edge of the Skógafoss waterfall, which is just over 60 metres high.

“Whatever you do, when you visit Iceland—don’t be this idiot,” she wrote in part with the post, as Vísir reports. “I thought I was going to witness this narcissist fall to his death just to get Instagram likes.”

The photos made their way to Bakland Ferðaþjónustunnar, a Facebook group for tourism industry workers in Iceland. There, numerous tour guides and other workers expressed shock and dismay at the depicted behaviour, with some suggesting that people who pull such stunts ought to be arrested, fined, deported, or all of the above.

Örlygur Örlygsson, who runs the tour company Travice, was on the scene when this incident happened. He witnessed the fall-botherer arrive with several other tourists, whom Örlygur speculates were all Americans. Örlygur told reporters he was stunned speechless by this reckless behaviour.

“He said it didn’t matter because life itself is dangerous,” Örlygur recounted. “I didn’t know what to say, I was just really surprised by this.”

For the record, we at The Grapevine recommend observing any of Iceland’s many beautiful waterfalls from a safe distance. The last thing rescue workers want to do is risk their own lives to fish your body out of the rocks beneath a waterfall.

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