Saturday, 14 August 2010

Running out of superlatives

Day 6

This morning dawned with blue skies and fabulous crisp views. We returned to Jokulsarlon and spent the whole morning there, first of all taking a trip in an amphibious craft onto the lake.

Getting up close and personal with ice-bergs is a wonderful experience. The colours and reflections were eery, beautiful and mind-blowing. We tasted glacial ice, which is very pure, the weight of tonnes of snow and ice having compressed all air out of it. It melts more slowly than normal ice and is truly beautiful.

We walked around the lake and down to where the river meets the North Atlantic. Here the ice blocks get pulled out to sea or land on the black volcanic sand beaches, where they shine like crystals on a coal field.

We finally dragged ourselves reluctantly away but were rewarded with the views that had been denied to us by mist yesterday.

Glacier outlets peering through mountain tops, lava flows and moraine formations creating contrasting landscapes every kilometre or so.

We passed over a huge area of 'sands' most of it was the wide mouth of a river, that runs only a few metres wide at the moment but will fill with tonnes of rushing water in Spring when the winter snows melt.

Along the way we visited a tiny church, with a turf roof, dating back to the 17th century. It was situated at the start of the treacherous route across the sands, which the local farmer or priest would guide people across. The chapel would be most welcome as a place of prayer for aid beforehand or thanksgiving when the journey was complete..

We are now staying at a farm hotel at a place with a very long and unpronounceable name: Kirkjubaejarklaustur! It is a place with a long history of involvement of church, nuns and monks - including some bawdy stories of their involvement with each other! Gossip surely - particularly in regard to the Abbot's underpants...

Without a doubt the highlight of this wonderful trip has been today's visit to the ice lake but I know there are good things to come!


  1. love these photos, just stunning :-)

  2. Thanks Sally, most of the photos are Sandy's but one or two are mine. There is certainly a lot of
    material here to photograph