"Ásbyrgi - Botnstjörn pond." Jökulsárgljųfur Things to Do Tip by Regina1965
Jökulsárgljųfur Things to Do: 20 reviews and 98 photos
There are several hiking trails in Ásbyrgi, one leading to the breathtaking Botnstjörn pond. It is 3,6 km one way, but a very lovely easy walk by the cliff face, where you can see various formations, some of them looking like faces. The walk also takes you through a small forest. Indeed a very lovely walk.
I can tell you that in my eyes this pond and the surrounding cliffs are like out of this world and I could stay there for hours, which I have done many times. If you want to drive there then you drive to the inner parking lot and the easy walk to and from the pond is 0,8 km. This pond is what is left of a big waterfall which once fell from the cliffs and it is unbelievably peaceful there. It is very well marked and the first sign says: "Útsũnisstađur - Botnstjörn" útsũnisstađur is the Icelandic word for "view-spot". You walk down a few steps to get to the pond and then up to the view-spot which gives you an excellent view of the pond and Ásbyrgi. You can even go up more steps and to a higher point, but that is more risky - but the view from there is breathtaking.
Did I mention that Ásbyrgi is believed to be the capital city of the elves (álfar) ;) There are many stories about encounters with "The hidden people" in Ásbyrgi and by Botnstjörn pond, so you never know what might happen during your walks there. Just enjoy what ever might happen.
There are quite a few birds in Ásbyrgi and while at the pond you can hear and see the fulmar high up in the cliffs and flying over the pond. To my surprise I only saw 3-4 fulmars this year (2010), in 2008 there were myriads of fulmars there. That is caused by them lacking food in the ocean. The same is happening to the Arctic tern.
On the pond there are some types of ducks, the most common being the vigeon. Let's not feed it as Ásbyrgi is a national park and the ducks need to be able to survive in nature by itself. I can understand people wanting to feed them though as then you can see them up close. While staying at the pond I have seen quite a few people feed the ducks as when group-leaders lead groups to the pond sometimes they have their lunch here while sitting on the benches.
I know people want to try out the echo here, but to me this is kind of a holy place and I prefer the sound of nature echoing in the cliffs - I get the same feeling as when inside a church, so man-made sounds bother me here.
Address: Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, IS 671 Kķpasker
Directions: See my directions on how to get to Ásbyrgi in my previous tip. To get to the pond drive for a few kilometers until you reach a parking lot at the end of Ásbyrgi. There is a short walk to Botnstjörn, the ring being 800 m.
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