Glaciers And A Glacier Bay

What’s going on here?! The answer comes at the end of the day.


Leaving Guesthouse Carina (it was like a super-clean and well attended hostel in Vik) I did the backtrack to see Reynisfjara, the black sand beach, and all its natural wonders.

Dyrhólaey Arch
Watch out for the Deadly Sneaker Waves!

Above and below, from guidetoiceland “with its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves, and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches.”

Dyrhólaey Arch again from a different angle. Not so much of the roaring Atlantic waves, but it was still wet from yesterday so I had to be careful not to ruin my new shoes…

I really like Vik, the most town-like place I’ve seen since I left Reykjavik. Maybe the place with the little kids might be bigger but I didn’t get around there. I got the below picture off the internet. There are several guesthouses, a small market, five or so restaurants, three gas stations, a picturesque church, and it’s clean and welcoming.

This is mostly what I saw on my way to Hali Country Hotel, an actual hotel, with the first private bathroom of the trip.
And then, in a black and white world (that I did not photoshop!), the sun would power through…
More and more glaciers would reveal themselves.
Occasionally the sky would clear, the rain would become just a drizzle, and if there was a spot to pull over I would, to admire the ever present waterfalls…
…all of them so gorgeous.

If you remember from the The Reykjanes Peninsula two days ago we passed through miles of lava covered in a moss-like growth. You can see the same thing here. On the Peninsula it was a grey-ish color and here it is definitely green.

From regarding Icelandic Moss: “For the sake of transparency, it only fits to clarify that Icelandic moss is not a moss at all but rather a lichen. At one time or another, its leafy, cushioned, and upright appearance led to this misnomer, and it has stuck ever since. However, do not be fooled; Cetraria islandica is still officially part of the fungi kingdom, formally recorded by Swedish botanist Erik Acharius in 1802.”


From the tour company: “The Glacier lagoon (Jökulsárlón) … is told to be one of the greatest wonders of nature in Iceland. This lagoon is a recent one, the result of a warming climate. ((The guide told us the glacier has retreated to create this lagoon in only 7 years. The guide told us a lot more which I hope I’ll remember!)) The surface is at sea level and sea water flows into the lagoon at high tide.

“Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, and large icebergs float on the lagoon. The lagoon is not very wide but it is up to 250 meters deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. Breiðamerkurjökull is an outlet of the Vatnajökull glacier.”

Those suits were amazing. We were roaring across the lagoon in a zodiac all toasty warm.
The face of the glacier.
When the ice breaks off from deep down in the glacier it looks like this when it hits the surface.

Oh goodie, SEALS!

Whooo, this is something!
It was so awesome the (totally cute and delightful and entertaining) guide had to take a picture of it himself. He’s thinking the arch will collapse in even just a few days.
Here we are back at the landing. Yes, a most recommendable experience.
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