Iceland – Glaciers , Green and Blue

I have seen Gaumukh Glacier in India and we had to trek 18 Kms to reach there. I do not think there is any Glacier in India where we can reach by car /scooter. Glacier means trekking some rugged terrain and reaching high upto glaciers.

Iceland has this unique feature. Here the Glaciers can be reached without trekking. Even you can roam around on the glaciers ! So I filled the tank of my CRV and started towards glacial journey. First the 2nd biggest glacier of Europe and then the Biggest one.

Our journey took us through the longest under-sea tunnel / motorway. The tunnel is about 7 Kms long and is 550 feet below sea .

Longest tunnel under the sea

We reached HraunaFoss, a miraculous water fall where there is no river but only water fall coming out of dry barren lava fields. This water fall is about 1 Km wide and looks awesome

HraunaFoss water falls

In the way we visited hot water springs where hot boiling water is gushing out of rocks @ 990 liters a minute. This hot water is used for heating the green houses around and then taken by pipes to nearby cities to supply to public.

Boiling water springs -

Click on “Play” button below to see the short film to appreciate the miracles of Mother Nature

Then we started our journey towards second biggest glacier Langjokull (covering an area of 950 Sq Kms). We drove some 16 Kms on fair weather road and the majestic glacier was before us, shining and smiling….

2ND BIGGEST GLACIER IN ICELAND

We can have a tour of the glaciers in this grand truck

Then we turned towards the biggest glacier of Europe called Vatnajokull. This glacier is 8200 Sq.Kms with ice as thick as 1 Km. This glacier is also house of 3 active volcanoes under its thick ice and 3 active volcanoes around it.

in 2010, one volcanoe near this glacier erupted and caused major air-traffic blockage all over Europe. This year also 3 months before, another volcano (grimsvotn) eruped inside the glacier and the ash reached capital.

This glacier has many snouts reaching the roadside and we can see a part of this glacier while driving on road no. 1. Some photos of snouts of this glacier.

One snout of glacier reaching near road

Another snout of glacier

Then we reached one snout of the glacier… parked our car just before it and had a little stroll on it. People can have a round of the glacier on dog-sledds, snow scooters, on monster jeeps or simply a guided walking tours.

This part of the glacier was nearest to the volcanic eruption and hence the whole glacier was covered with black volcanic ash. We had to remove the ash to see the actual color of the glacier.

Glacier blackened by volcanic ash

Many tourists, who dare venture into this glacier, die or remain untraceable for years. The Glacier is very dangerous alone and the climate is elusive on it. There is always a danger of volcanic eruption. Even a smaller one can bring a flash flood of melted glacier ice. Guided tours are quite safe…but you must appreciate the efforts they undertake to take you to the glacier tops.

Our next trip was towards ICE-LAGOON, where James Bonds A view to a kill and Die another day and also famous films Tomb raiders and “2012” were shot on Glacier Vatnajokull or around it.

Here we are going now …ICE LAGOON

Ice Lagoon

Remember the scene of James Bond’s film Die another day, where Pierce Brosnan had a car chase in a lagoon with an ice palace in background ? Voila there we are going now to the Ice-lagoon, One of the most beautiful place on earth.

The Vatnajokull glacier, the biggest glacier in Europe is surrounded by magnificent mountains, slopes… the whole route to Ice-lagoon gives a feeling as if we are in heaven. Beautiful small villages, water-falls and meadows !!!

On way to Ice-lagoon

This Glacier is home of some most dreaded still active volcanoes of Iceland, Katla being one of them. Last volcanic eruption in May,2011

Volcanic eruption of May,2011

In the way we saw a beautiful water fall called seljalandsfoss.

The beauty of this waterfall is that we can go behind it and see another magnificent view.

A scene from behind the water fall

After a few kilometers and we were before another magnificent water fall called SkogaFoss.
Skoga-Foss

We went uphill above the water fall and there was a breathtaking view of the valley and the little river from the water fall.

Finally we reached the Ice- lagoon (Jokulsarlon). The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the Icelandic glaciers. The lagoon now stands 1.5 kilometres away from the ocean’s edge and covers an area of about 18 Kms. It is the second deepest lake in Iceland at over 200 metres (660ft) depth. The size of the lagoon has increased fourfold since the 1970s.It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland.

Ice-Lagoon

Glacier from which the big chunks of ice break and float into lagoon.



Then we had a round of the lagoon in a special amphibian vehicle, which looks like a truck but it becomes a boat when it enters water.

Click on Play button to See the short film below taking a round of this magnificent lagoon.

After this wonderful experience, we came back to Reykjavik. Next I will take you around Reykjavik.

14 Comments

  • Kavita Bhalse says:

    Wow Silentsoul,
    It was a great post. The beautiful pictures and interesting narration. The Volcano, The Hot water springs, Ice chunks …………….. Everything was mind blowing.

    Thanks.

  • Ghuggay Bhaji says:

    Guided tours are quite safe…but you must appreciate the efforts they undertake to take you to the glacier top. We realise the education given by Guruji, undertake to take us to the safest path of ‘moksha’. Silentsoul has enable us to see the miraculous acts of mother nature. Tunnel of Hraunafoss, glacier of Langiokull, Vatnajokull, village in Katla volcanoes of Ice Land have seen through the eyes provided by the Silentsoul in the shape of nett, are very beautiful. The spray of volcanic ash spreaded by Goddess Jwala Maa is self explainatory. Seljalandsfoss is the bigger view of ‘Rajat Parpaat” in Satpura range of Puchmarhi(MP). The amphibian Vehicle {big container(truck)-cum-boat)} is an excellent mode of touriesm over there. And finally the desi-adaa of smoking of Guruji at the bank of Jakulsarlon near the bench took me to Camp Kaudiala. At last tell me one thing, what was Guruma showing before eating on the boat.

    • Silentsoul says:

      @BHAJI – she was eating the snow which was thousands of years old ! The guide picked the snow and asked us to taste… how it was thousands of years ago

  • Silentsoul says:

    tks kavita ji…

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Wow.

    That is the only word to describe Iceland. It is probably the only place on Earth where water is present in its three natural states (Ice, water and steam). Extreme cold (glaciers) and extreme heat (volcanoes) co-exist in close proximity. Truly mind-boggling.

    Now, we come to know from you that in addition to climbing mountains, once can also drive to a depth of 550 feet under the sea. Maybe it should be called Extremeland since the name Iceland conveys a monochromatic impression of a barren icy landscape, which is far from the truth.

    Iceland is a veritable ghumakkars’ paradise. Thank you, sir, for bringing it to us.

  • Nandan says:

    It is amazing to see the God Made wonders and Man Made methods to go closer to them, to feel them with in a arm’s distance. Those 8X8 trucks are simply another wonder.

    It is very windy and cold around these waterfalls ?

  • Silentsoul says:

    tks nandan.. yes it is very windy and cold becoz the water of the fall is direct from Glacier, just melting and falling down

  • Neeraj Jat says:

    ???? ???????? ???? ?? ???????? ??? ??-?? ????? ?????? ???? ?? ???????? ?? ???? ???????? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ??-??? ????? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ?? ???????? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ??????? ?????? ???? ?? ?????????? ???
    ?? ??????? ??? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ???-???? ?? ?????? ? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?? ???? ???

  • Silentsoul says:

    ??????? ????… ??? ????? ??? ???? ?? ?? ?? ?????????? ?? ??? ????? ????? ????.. ?? ??? ?????? ???-2 ??? ?? ??? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??? ???

  • dear silent

    its an amazing place and you are fortunate that you have been there………………………

    very well described also…………….

  • Silentsoul says:

    tks vishal bhai…

  • ???? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??????? ??? ?? ??? ???? ………….???? ?? ?? ?? ??? ………????? ???? …………..?? ?????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?????

  • Dear Silent Soul,

    Pratishtha Sharma of Saharanpur, a internationally acclaimed Kathak exponent, had described to me her tour of Iceland where she was part of Indian delegation headed by none other than APJ Abdul Kalam – the then President. When I asked her to show me the pics also, she felt sorry because she had pics of her cultural program only. But today, after reading your above post, I can very well understand and appreciate child-like enthusiasm and glitter in her big eyes while narrating the local sight seeing tour of Reykjavik – the Iceland’s capital.

    I hope storing these images by right clicking for personal viewing offline is not an unbailable offence. Anyway, I just committed this crime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.