After breakfast, we drove two and a half hours to Glacier Lagoon (or Jökulsárlón, which I don’t know how to say). I’ve always wanted to see glaciers and icebergs (Antarctica has been on my bucket list forever), and this destination did not disappoint.
We took the amphibian boat tour to get a closer look at some of the icebergs in the lake, including this black zebra one (named for its black stripes where volcanic ash had layered into the ice). We learned that the glacier these icebergs came from – Breiðamerkurjökull – has been receding 200 meters a year for the last 20 years. Last year it receded 600 meters. This is due to a variety of factors including sun, acid rain, increased salinity of the water, and higher temperatures. It’s hard to imagine them disappearing altogether.
At the end of the lake, the smaller chunks of ice that had broken off were headed out to the sea. The water wasn’t very deep though, so pieces got stuck along the way. The water was moving very fast and it was fun to watch things bob along and crash into other ice. (See my IG for a video of a round iceberg in action.)
We grabbed a little lunch and then hiked out behind the restaurant to see the Svínafellsjökull Glacier. I know it might just seem like we’ve been chasing ice around all day, but we have and it’s amazing!! All the white framed between the two mountains is thousand year old ice.
Svartifoss was well worth the 5 mile round trip hike. Located in Europe’s third largest National Park – Vatnajökull National Park. The park covers 13% of Iceland, this waterfall was super impressive, surrounded by hexagonal basalt columns, which were created when lava cooled very slowly and the molten rock could crystallize.
Our last stop of the day, okay third to last, was Fjaðrárgljúfur, a canyon with a river/stream running through it. It was absolutely beautiful but the time of day and the position of the sun made it a little challenging to capture – this was my best attempt. (Due to a rise in tourism, this site is now closed for conservation purposes.)
This church is right behind the place we’re staying. If you’ve ever seen Frommer’s Iceland guide, you’ve seen it on the cover. We barely made it back in time before the sun went behind a mountain.
We finished off our day with dinner at Smiðjan Brugghús. It was so good – the Google reviews did not lie! I had their amazing vegan burger – complete with vegan cheese – it was gone in minutes. I also had a yummy gose beer. We even met up with Brian’s cousins who happened to be in Iceland at the same time as us. It’s a very small world! Thanks for stopping by – more adventures await tomorrow!