Starting Location: Hofn
Ending Location: Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Iceland
Distance Traveled: ~250 KM
Today was a day to practice our use of prepositions. In case you slept during 5th grade English class, prepositions are the words you use to describe location in relation to an object. For example you can be above, under, in, on, near or even go through an object. Well, that describes our day.
Stop 1: Looking out from our hotel parking lot you can see three glacier tongues. All glaciers in this part of Iceland come from one large plateau, called Vatnajökull ice cap. The ice cap/glacier is the largest glacier in the world outside of the arctic circles. It covers 8 % of Iceland. At many different valleys around the plateau there are glaciers that extend down into valleys and fjords. As we drive along the southeast corner of Iceland we pass one glacier tongue after another. Some are a few hundred meters wide while others are kilometers wide.
We head for the first glacier we see. We visited yesterday to make sure we could reach it and planned to come back today to get as close as possible. When we got there it was about 4C with a 50 KM wind. However, it was wonderfully sunny. We used our 4×4 to its fullest potential got as close as we could and set out. Fortunately, for us we found an iceberg in the glacial lagoon that was close enough to jump to. From there we jumped to another, and another. We were floating ON an iceberg IN THE MIDDLE of a glacial lagoon at the foot of a glacier. It was only 10 AM!
A view from one iceberg to another, the glacier itself is behind the icebergs.
Stop 2: We felt we had been so successful on our first journey to see a glacier up close, we headed to the next valley. Here is were we used as many prepositions as possible to describe what we did with the glacier. This time, we were able to walk ON the glacier. We jumped OVER the crevasses. We walked NEAR the leading edge. We walked UP the hills of ice. We climbed UNDER ledges. We even went THROUGH ice arches.
While our time there was fantastic, it was quite a hike from the 4×4 to the glacier. We walked OVER and UP and DOWN gravel moraines that the glacier has left as it has melted over the years. It is only 1:30 PM when we head to our next location.
Tim took this picture from UNDER the glacier!
We pose ON the glacier!
Stop 3: Glacial Lagoon, Jökulsárlón
This particular glacier is so large it has created the deepest lake in Iceland at its tip. The water is so deep and abundant that as parts of the glacier fall off (calve) they become icebergs in this 20 KM square lake. We took a boat ride to be AMONGST the icebergs. A beautiful site!
We finally arrive at our hotel at 6 PM. A full day indeed.
Quote of the Day: “Do you think Lisy would approve?” My answer was “No, I am sure she would not. Whatever she doesn’t know doesn’t hurt me.”
Plans for tomorrow: We plan to backtrack a bit and go for a more authorized, safer and guided hike across a glacier with proper safety equipment (unlike today). We are also going to make an attempt to see Puffins. It is a bit early in the season, but we will give it our best shot.
Only two days left of touring, then plane ride back home to what will seem like a way too flat place after Iceland.