You would be surprised. Iceland doesn’t have that much ice. The landscape is green in many places as you can see from the pictures in my previous posts. However, if you come all the way to Iceland you need to find some ice so off we went to the Vatnajökull Glacier… and look… we found ice
The Vatnajökull Glacier is the largest glacier by volume in Europe. The second largest is in Svalbard, Norway which we also visited later during our Europe trip (more on that later).
The glacier lagoon in Jökulsárlón is a great photo destination. Huge pieces of the glacier calve off into this lagoon before they float out to sea and eventually melt. You can even take a cruise out into the lagoon to get up close and personal with the icebergs. The bergs weren’t as big as what we saw in Antarctica but still impressive none the less.
Our next stop on the ice tour in Iceland was to do some ice climbing on the Vatnajökull Glacier in Skaftafell National Park with Icelandic Mountain Guides. We were booked to do ice climbing but the eruption of Grimsvotn volcano in May, 2011 rained ash down all over the glacier. The ash made the glacier very dirty and would have gunked up the climbing gear possibly ruining it or at worst making it unsafe. So, we did the Full Day Adventure Tour instead which turned out to be a great tour.
I was initially pretty disappointed that we couldn’t go ice climbing and that the glacier was dirty. I really like taking photos of the vivid blue colors glaciers have. However, the dirty glacier had an interesting look and I got some unique pictures.
While we didn’t get to go ice climbing we did get to use crampons and ice axes on our glacier hike which at least made us look cool.
We also had a brief chance to rappel down into a in moulin. This may not look dangerous but moulins are holes that go straight down to the bottom of the glacier. The depth of the glacier around here is over 400 meters. Good thing the guides at Icelandic Mountain Guides know what they are doing because that is my wife on the end of the rope.
After a hard day of seeking out ice in Iceland a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon was a welcomed treat. It’s a little pricey to get in but it’s one of things you must do if you visit iceland. Don’t forget to smear the silica mud on your face. It’s suppose to have healing powers for various skin ailments… even if you don’t have a skin problem it still feels pretty good and looks even funnier.
Lastly, need to give a shout out to our trusty little Toyota Yaris that got us around in our search for Icelandic ice in style… well… maybe not in style but at least it got us around.