Pulling back the curtains in my hotel room after a restful night’s sleep, I was rewarded with a beautiful blue sky and a shining sun. Taking my seat again in the dining area for breakfast, a generous offering of cereals, fruit, yoghurt, eggs, breads and cheese, the view beyond the window was inspiring. The ocean was a dark blue, set against a light blue sky, that met pure white snow.
We were soon on our way, first stop at the black beach at Jokulsarlon. Set against the backdrop of glacial mountains, icebergs drifted peacefully past before being thrown by the ocean’s waves. But scattered all over the beach were more icebergs of various sizes and shapes. Sculpted by Mother Nature, each iceberg was a unique work of art. I was in photography paradise, carrying my tripod and SLR along the beach in an attempt to capture the beauty. We spent forty five minutes here, long enough for most, but as an amateur photographer, frankly I could have been left here for another forty five minutes.
A short journey of a few minutes across the bridge, we arrived at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. The actual size of the lagoon felt deceptively hidden by all the icebergs and snow covering its surface. However, a walk along its edge, with ice that looked like glass cracking underfoot certainly gave me a good idea of just how large the lagoon is. With too much ice on the surface, and a boat ride not possible, I hiked up the mound which gave me a fantastic aerial view of the lagoon.
As we journeyed on towards our glacier hike, the landscape of Iceland’s south east coast finally revealed herself under a clear blue, sunny sky. The mountains looked formidable, towering around us in the mini bus. We passed the mountain of Lonagnupur which had an 800 metre vertical drop.
The landscape of Iceland sometimes felt like another planet. The earth was a pure white as a result of the snow. It looked like it could have been soft, white sand. When the wind started to blow, the snow drifted across the land like moving fog.
Our last stop before the journey back to Reykjavik was our glacier hike. Equipped with a helmet, ice-pick and crampons (just make sure you watch the demonstration of how to fit these before actually trying it), we set off on our glacier hike. It was a shame it had been snowing the last few days, as the glacier was covered in snow. Had it not, I imagine we would have been walking on glistening ice. Nonetheless, it was another great experience, with undulating type columns of ice covered in snow, and a hike down and through an exposed part of the glacier, that looked like glass.
As our mini bus took us back towards Reykjavik, with the ocean on our left, and glacial mountains on our right, the sun started to set, casting the sky in a soft pink colour. Feeling full of gratitude, this was a fantastic two day tour showcasing some of Iceland’s best landscape.
I highly recommend this trip with Extreme Iceland. The small group experience that is part and parcel of a mini bus tour resulted in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere where I got to know my fellow travellers over the two days. I know some companies offer this trip in one day, but frankly, two days is a definite minimum for the south east coast.
Thanks Ingo and Extreme Iceland. This will be one travel experience I’ll always remember fondly.