20 October 2010

The road to Hofn makes for a birthday celebration

Let there be no confusion the most scenic day in Iceland happened to coincide with my birthday, basically I planned it that way. When I was young my mother gave us this enormous button to wear to school which read, "It is my birthday I can do whatever I want" In keeping with this idea, I thought it only seemed appropriate to fill my day with fall foliage, hiking, glaciers and icebergs. We awoke early and made the drive via the Ring Road from Kirkjubaejarklaustur to Hofn.

Day, night, the road was ours and we LOVED it.

What would it be like to live in a hamlet of two? Would the sheep gossip about you?

We stopped at Skaftafell National Park for some glorious fall color and unparalleled hiking trails. I forgot for a moment we were in Iceland, because I did not know it would look like this. If only we had more time and a large breakfast to give us the time and energy to spend all day here, but sadly we had to move onward.

"If you like waterfalls, than you will love Iceland" should be their new slogan.

Skaftafell National Park is approximately 3,000 sq. miles and backs right up to the Vatnajokull glacier which covers 10% of Iceland.

After seeing another magical waterfall we came upon ur first close encounter with Vatnajokull glacier. The colors, the crevasses, the sheer magnitude of the glacier was breathtaking. We were in awe to be alone and surrounded by all this spectacular scenery. Pinch me, was I really there because it all seems like a dream.

Icebergs which has broken off the glacier.

One of the best things about Iceland was how much fun Cameron had taking photos. We had the dueling cameras and it was so exciting to see all the great shots he took.

The ice looked like glass against the black sand.

Jokulsarlon is the largest glacier lagoon in Iceland. It evolved into a lagoon after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The blues, the whites made for not only incredible photos, but wonderful memories.

We took a lagoon ride, but since there were not enough people to take out one of their large amphibious boats, instead all six of us went in this small boat. We had a very quiet driver and a friendly guide. I snapped photos of him because I was fascinated how he had lived here his entire life and saw these sites everyday, he seemed rugged and was a true Icelander.

Our driver was totally chill, I mean it was literally freezing cold outside and he had his shirt and jacket all undone while he snapped pictures and drove one handed. We only hit the bottom of one iceberg, but he did not seem phased.

This particular iceberg had flipped over, that is why it looked so icy blue.

Cameron took the following AMAZING sequence. My camera battery died, just a we pulled up to the seal, (that is how it goes sometime) and having an extra battery in the car is pretty much useless. One of the most magical moments of my life, seeing a seal wriggle its body off the floe and into the lagoon. They like to be alone, but then again can you blame them.

On a busy day they take approximately 1,000 people through the lagoon in a 40 passenger boat, but since we were there in the off season we experienced it with just six other people in our small little boat. Being out on the 3 sq. mile lagoon and seeing all the icebergs on their way out to sea was one of the coolest experiences. We learned on our ride, that some small part of each iceberg remains in the lagoon for six years. More often than not, the iceberg breaks apart into smaller floes and then sails out to sea.


controllingaspicyuniverse said...

Found you via Design Mom. Have always wanted to visit Iceland, and your photos have just reinforced that! I used to live in Alaska but for some reason Iceland just calls to me! Very similar to Alaska with the glaciers and volcanoes, tho.

Chels said...

AMAZING!! Your photos were so cool and it was a lot of fun matching them to the "stories" you told us Monday. I might have to consider an Icelandic trip sometime in the future...

Steve, Lynn & Brian said...

the lagoon looks incredible! Also love the hamlet for two!