iceland part II - glaciers

I downloaded the trip notes for my Iceland holiday before I left Australia but I had a really punishing schedule so didn't bother reading them before my arrival. With great surprise and delight I discovered there are many glaciers in Iceland and we were going to visit a few of them during our round trip of the island. I suppose the name 'Iceland' should have clued me in but I was on holidays and my brain not quite switched on so please don't judge me too harshly. 

There are no glaciers in Australia so my first sighting was on a family trip to New Zealand when I was nine. I remember visiting Fox Glacier and climbing Franz Josef Glacier with my sister. She fell over heading towards a deep crevasse but we managed to stop her from falling into the abyss. Fast forward to my time living in Alberta Canada where glaciers were aplenty. They filled and continue to fill me with awe.

So on our first day when we walked to the Sólheimajökull glacier and there it was in all it's dark glory, I was blown away. Apparently the glacier is covered in ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 hence it's colour. I looked on a little enviously at the groups who were going to climb the glacier. Apparently our time schedule didn't allow time for a glacier walk so instead we took photos to mark the occasion.

The next day we headed to the Skaftafell National Park to walk to Svartifoss, a black basalt waterfall but first we stopped at Laki, the site of a major volcanic event more than 200 years ago.

It's a black, black, black lunar like landscape with the only thing growing, a particular kind of moss.

Once we arrived at Skaftafell National Park, we found it a hive of activity. Again this was a really popular place with loads of tour buses, campers, walkers and climbers and best of all, free public loos in the information centre.

Once we arrived at 
Svartifoss we found people picnicking at the base of the falls and wading in the water at the base of the falls. Are they supposed to be doing so? No, I don't think so.

Instead of continuing on with the walk back to the information centre, I headed towards a glacier I could see in the distance. I realised I was running out of time and wouldn't be able to reach the glacier in time so I had to sprint back the remaining 2.5 kms to reach the rest of the gang. I didn't want to incur a time penalty or the wrath of our tour guide.

The next stop was Svinafellsjokull, another glacier. This one we couldn't get up to quite as close and personal as Sólheimajökull glacier but it was still an impressive sight.

There was a memorial to climbers lost on the glacier just to remind us that Mother Nature can be a ferocious beast at times.

Our final stop for the day was Jökulsárlón, also known as the Glacier Lagoon, a fact I would have known if I'd read the trip notes. Apparently we were going on a boat ride across the lake as well.

As we drove by we had out first glimpse of the lake and it's floating icebergs. The sight was just magical and yes, I took far too many photos. While were waiting for our boat ride we wandered over to the nearby black sand beach to see the icebergs that had washed onto the sand. 

Then it was time to board the amphibious boat for our ride across the lake. 

Once I saw the craft, I instantly renamed it the 'rubber duckie'. I hummed 'rubber duckie you're the one' the whole time we were on the boat.

The boat ride was loads of fun but we all decided we'd have preferred to have been in the zodiac to get up close and personal with the icebergs. This whole portion of the trip was an absolute highlight for me for not only did we float amongst icebergs, we spotted a seal frolicking in the lagoon.

As you can see glaciers are my thing.

See you all again soon,

Jillian aka, the glacier hunter!

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