Get to know 4 dramatic waterfalls. I am exploring nature in terms of the classic elements of nature. This is a combined water and earth element. There is no waterfall unless you have a mountain or cliff from which the water could fall.
This post is part of a series portraying the classic Elements of Nature: Earth, Fire, Water, Air. Waterfalls are examples of the third element, Water.
What follows is a list of not the largest in the world, rather some of the most fascinating waterfalls I have been to.
The first belongs to Norway. This is a country with a multitude of waterfalls, beckoning domestic and foreign tourists ever since tourism began to develop in the mid-1800s. Vøringsfossen is perhaps the most famous of all Norwegian waterfalls, with a vertical drop of 145 metres and a total drop of 182 metres. If you arrive in the best season (spring) the roar is tremendous and the rest of the year you will be able to appreciate the very deep and wide ravine at the bottom.
The second waterfall was caught in a glimpse of a few seconds as my train was slowly crossing the Gokteik viaduct in the Myanmar highlands. The train journey is one of the most famous and spectacular in the world and the waterfall adds to the atmosphere. The waterfall was cascading into the river almost 100 metres below. The setting was even more exciting. I had been on a train all day with the sole purpose to cross this viaduct, the fog was lifting, the river was running brown deep down below, the steel bridge from 1901 was alluring and suddenly the waterfall appeared out of nowhere.
My third of the 4 dramatic waterfalls is also from Southeast Asia, more precisely Laos. I had spent some time enjoying the temples of Luang Prabang in the north of the country, and going on a river trip up the huge Mekong River. I now joined a group of others to go see the Tak Kuang Si Waterfall. This is a three tier waterfall with the main fall being a staggering 60 metres high. The water runs into several nice terraced pools worthy of taking a dive into. But not when I was there in the rainy season. The river was running high and had become too muddy.
4. Seven Sisters, Norway
For my fourth “nomination” I’ll return to Norway for the famous Seven Sisters waterfall in the Geiranger Fjord. This fjord is even a World Heritage Site. My picture below may not be photographically the best, but you will notice the little farm to the right of the falls? This contrast indicates a very high waterfall. It actually has a 250 metres free fall and consists of seven separate columns or streams. Why Seven Sisters? Well, across the fjord there is a single waterfall named the Friar.
That was 4 dramatic waterfalls. Well now, what’s this? Where are the falls of Iguacu, Niagara and Victoria? The fact is I haven’t been there, not even close to them. It just means that my promise to include only places I’ve been to in this series of natural phenomena, implies some limitations: Not all the world’s ultimate highlights are included. The implication is also that I have several more places to go, and to scribble on my “bucket list”.
For sure, I’ve had to skip some of my images related to this subject and refrained from mentioning some of my visits. Feel free to search this blog for more interesting stuff.
After publishing this article in 2014 I’ve had the fortune of visiting the Victoria Falls. This is one of the world’s most famous waterfalls, and also a World Heritage Site. Read about it.
All articles in this series
(2-7) Element: Earth
(8) Element: Fire
(9-14) Element: Water
Here are images tagged “waterfall” on this website. Click to enlarge and browse.