Iceland, for being as remote as it is, is remarkably tourist-friendly. Tourism is now a major part of this nation’s economy, and the Nordic countries in general are known for their efficiency, so it is no surprise that getting around this island is (relatively) convenient. That’s not to say that it’s always easy.
And so it was that a gravel road took us off the main road to a rough cul-de-sac from which a short hike afforded a great view of this glacier. I decided, with the myopia of a city kid used to measuring distances in blocks, that quick jaunt could get me right up to tongue of the glacier. After all, as seen in the first shot, the glacier is right there, just past the ice floe that looks like a dead panda.
So, intrepid (read: foolish) traveler that I am, I leave my companion to attempt the hike to the glacier. It soon becomes clear I’ve gotten into more than I bargained for. The only way there is along the edge of the lagoon, along banks of steep, loose gravel which gives with every step. The black hills directly in front of the glacier? Oh, those are 50-foot-tall blocks of pure ice with a thin veneer of dirt on them. I found that out when I attempted to scale one, and promptly fell on my face, scraping off a man-sized window of glassy black ice I could see my reflection in.
I did indeed finally get to the glacier itself. The landscape becomes other-worldly here, as the flows of ice get pushed and twisted into shapes resembling cooled lava, or perhaps monkeybread.
The irony of this little expedition was that I left my travel companion behind, and she took what ultimately might be the Shot Of The Trip just from where she was. You can check out her blog (she has yet to post that shot, but her other Iceland shots, as well as those from her recent trip to Utah, are pretty spectacular) here.