12 November 2017

My Scandinavian Adventure: Iceland—The Ring Road

Day 9: Höfn to Vik— 271 km

There's nothing I can say—NOTHING !!—that can prepare you for Jökulsárlón, the glacial iceberg lagoon on the Southeast coast of Iceland. It's about halfway between Höfn to Vik (372 km from Reykjavik, totally doable as a day trip). It's the spot where the giant glacier comes almost down to the sea and calves icebergs which float through the lagoon and out to sea.

This was a day for the ages. One I never will forget as long as I live. Its beauty drained something from me and left me humbled and limp.

The one thing I will say: if you ever go to Iceland, this is an absolute imperative. Full stop.

You'll have to indulge me here. The next post will have more narrative about the rest of the day—which was impressive in itself. But I'm just going to post a ton of pictures here from the glaciers here. Enjoy, and remember: click pics to embiggen a slide show.

Not Jökulsárlón, but this is as close as we got to an actual finger of the glacier
The glacier's edge
Glacial moraine
Jökulsárlón with Arctic Tern and Seal
Lagoon with icebergs, glacial mountain

People, icebergs, lagoon, glacier, mountain, rays
Lagoon with Arctic Tern. But wait! Why are some of the bergs black? That's where the icebergs have flipped. Those are the tracks from the glacier tracking across the earth for thousands of years.
Yes. The bergs were constantly circulating, cracking, crashing into one another, flipping, dripping.
Good picture of glacial tracks.
In the back, you can see the mouth of the glacier.

Close up of bergs

Hiking around the lagoon. It's about five miles from the parking area to the mouth of the glacier. We made it about 3/5ths of the way.
Moraine beach

So placid. So lovely.
And there's that silly Icelandic troll again.


davidly said...

These photos do give me chills.

Jim H. said...

Cute. Love it! The pictures do not do this place justice. (Just-ice! Hey, I can do it too!). There was a quality to the colors that felt almost other worldly. The circulation, the shapes. So much! I do not know if there's another place quite like in the whole world.

davidly said...

Thanks. Justice or not, they convey the breathtaking nature of it all. Seriously. And as so often is the case in such things, I wrote 'chills' before the pun had occurred to me... consciously. I couldn't bring myself to change it. Islands at the top of the world. Probably your pics 'll be the closest I get:-) Until they're melted and flood my backyard:-(

Jim H. said...

Thanks, davidly. Honestly, it was chilling in ways I haven't yet been able to put into words. Sublime colors. The scale, the sense of time. The ideal weather.

(PS. If you had comments at your blog, there've been times I would've piped up.)