Another phenomenal day in Iceland!
We woke up to a small dusting of snow. Today we are looking forward to doing a glacier hike and ice cave tour.
We stopped in Vik, even though we know we will be back, because it is just that beautiful you can’t drive by and not stop. The waves had to be at least 10 feet tall. Looking forward to seeing more tomorrow – specifically the Black Sand Beach.
We also made a stop at Laki or Lakagígar (Craters of Laki) is a volcanic fissure. June 1783, Laki erupted. In February 1784 when the eruptions finished about 15km3 of lava and tephra emerged from the fissures and the lava blanketed about 600km2. The total length of the volcanic fissure and cone row constructed by the activity is 27km!! It looks like a completely different world. We were commenting that this is what think the moon or another planet would look like. While no one died directly from the eruption, it caused one of the greatest hardships in Icelandic history, called the Mist Hardship. The effects were also felt in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America.
We arrive at Skaftafell National Park (Vatnajökull) and can’t wait for our tour. Vatnajökull and its surrounding area is Iceland’s largest national park, and the second biggest national park in Europe.
The glacier hike and ice cave tour was an extraordinary experience which exceeded all of our expectations! We did the tour through Glacier Guides and I would highly recommend them. My only advice would be to check the weather, we quickly discover that we were way over dressed – we thought we were preparing for -30 and then wind however today there was no wind and it was probably about 0C. So off came the layers as we were hiking up the glacier.
We hiked on Falljökull glacier and I am at a loss for words in trying to describe this jaw dropping scenery. Our guide was very friendly and offered to help with photo ops too. He told us that scientist study the glaciers and state this glacier will not exist in 10 years. This is very disturbing to me for many reasons. We are grateful to have this experience.
Our tour concluded with ice caving – once more I have no words to describe this …. All I can say is if you go to Iceland in the winter this is must!!! The black in the ice is from volcanic ash.
Our last stop of our day was Jökulsárlón, Glacier Lagoon. Jökulsárlón is right next to Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. The lagoon is formed naturally, from melted glacial water coming from the glacier and is getting bigger each year, as big blocks of ice crumble from the ever decreasing glacier into the lagoon. The sun was setting on our day but we did see seals swimming and decided to return in the morning. I know I am repeating myself but the pictures and my words cannot do it any justice.
On our way to our Airbnb, we noticed that most of the bridges are like a game of chicken. The bridges are one lane, no traffic light, and most bridges seem to be on a hill or curve. Also the street signs and lights are all at eye level.