Norway - Where Rembesdalsfos comes over a towering precipice
( Originally Published 1907 )
Direction—We are facing north toward part of the great glacier which we saw in the distance when we were with the reindeer over on Hardanger Vidda. Surroundings—Around us on all sides are crags and ledges like what we see.
We cannot possibly take in the awful grandeur of the falls until we have gazed at them again and again. If it were not for the presence of our guide* down there on the rocks some distance ahead, we might easily underestimate the heights and depths and cross distances, so difficult it is to believe the titanic scale on which this ravine is made. Those precipices at the right and left are as high as two lofty cathedrals piled one on top of the other ; no wonder that sturdy Lars Legreid looks like a doll in comparison with his surroundings !
The bare rocks of the gorge ahead offer such scanty footholds for would-be explorers that iron staples have been set at intervals, holding chains to which a climber may cling while he creeps or scrambles over the most dangerous places. Down here where we are now, shut in by high walls, the heat of the midsummer sun is almost stifling, especially to one wearied by the previous rough climbing. Up ahead there, where the water comes down apparently out of the sky, the wind blows a chilly gale and the water is ice-cold. Everything here is on a gigantic scale, even the contrasts of temperature!
But where does the river really come from?
Away up over that lofty rim of the precipice is a shelf or shoulder of the mountain, and on that shelf, at the foot of another irregular height, is the sky-reservoir from which this flood comes rushing. Our next position (47) will be on the margin of that reservoir.