Jokulsarlon is a glacial lake created by the Breidamerkurjokull Glacier that flowis down from Vatnajukull ice fielnd, at 8100 square kilometr Europe's largest glacier outside of the Arctic. The lake started forming 70 years ago as the glacier retreated. The retreat continues to this day and the lake is now 5 miles long. Icebergs calve into it and accumulate at the lake outlet before they melt enough to float out through a shallow outlet, under the Route 1 bridge, into the ocean, Pieces of varying size often litter the shoreline of the lake and many also wash up on the nearby black beaches. It is a surreal sight the likes of which are rare to find.
I arrived in Iceland on a red-eye flight, hardly slept the first three nights because of my road trip to the Westfjords, and finally got the the first restful night after relaxing in the Blue Lagoon. So it was time for another sleepless night. I got up at 2am to catch the sunrise. It was more cloudy than I would have liked, windy and very cold, but I had the lagoon practically to myself and that alone was worth it.
|Fragment in BW||Ice at dawn||Jukulsarlon lizard||Whale||Icy dawn||My piece of ice|
|So icy||... and cold||Pebbles and bubbles|
|Icy littering||Mini iceberg||Cold landscape||Iceberg and clouds||Southern shore|
|Jokulsarlon and Breidamerkurjokull||Jokulsarlon|
It was a grey morning. Clouds thickened even more during periods of light showers as we explored the beach covered with small icebergs. Before embarking on a ride on Jokulsarlon, we drove to a lookout over Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon, just west and a bit smaller but hardly any less impressive than Jokulsarlon.
|Jokulsarlon outlet||Ice turtle||Ice turtle||On the rocks||Icy ear|
|Bridge||Icy beach||Irina on an iceberg||Jokulsarlon outlet||Photographing photographers|
|Cyclist above Fjallsarlon Lagoon||Cyclists above Fjallsarlon Lagoon|
The Zodiac tour takes visitors on a small boat across Jokulsarlon, almost all the way to the head of the glacier, or at least as close as is safe. We were given floatation suits making everyone look twice as big. As we walked to the boat, we looked a bit like astronauts in space suits. The otherwordly arctic landscape was there to match. It was a cold rainy day and the proximity of icebergs around us and the icefield above made it seem even colder than it was. Even if one did not intend to jump overboard, One positive about the suits was that they kept us warm. As we made our way across the lagoon, the guide fished a piece of ice out of the lake for us to handle. It was thousands of years ago when the water frozen in it fell as snow onto the ice cap. I could not discern any stone age microbes in it, but the feeling of time scale was there anyway.
The weather remained miserable after the ride. Our attempt to try to drive up to the icefield was rejected by a road closure. It was too early in the season...
|March of the icenauts||Boarding||Iceberg||Returning tour||Amphibian boat||Blue and grey|
|Sister boat||Blue iceberg||Blue iceberg||Blue iceberg||Engine view|
|Glacial ice||Irina and glacial ice||Race from the glacier||Amphibious boat||Geese formation in transition|
|Back on firm ground||Jokulsarlon||Looking toward Hofn|
I came out for the sunset. It was much warmer and peaceful. Most of the icebergs on the shores have melted, and the sun was shining through an opening in the clouds above Vatnajukull, reflecting og the remaining icebergs. As the sun set, low clouds rolled in, putting an end to the glimmering spectacle.
|Horse||Profile||Langostini||Lamb for dinner||View from Hali||Find your own seal|
|Layer of dirt and ice||Bridge across Jokulsarlon outlet||Bridge|
After the last sun rays disappeared over the lagoon, I took a few more twilight shots and moved across the road to the beach. Some icebergs washed up by the waves remained. Some have melted into bizzare shapes and I played with long exposure shots for anoher hour or so before being overcome by the lack of sleep and heading back.
|Racing ice||Alone against the ice||Couple on an iceberg|
|Romance on ice||Slip into my arms||Keyhole||Trio|
|Melting beauty||Stemming the tide|
|Window to the soul||Eye on the sea|
The sun was shining in the morning and we made a brief stop by the lake and on the beach one last time before turning back toward Reykjavik.
|Racing the sheep||Reflection of me||Romance on the beach|
|Chunk||Chunk in BW||Ice handle|
|Suspended||Bus above the icebergs||Jokulsarlon outlet|