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Cycling Around Iceland!

Black beaches & glistening glaciers, all in the spectacular south!!!

all seasons in one day

Black beaches & glistening glaciers, all in the spectacular south!!!

As we moved into the apparent 'wettest' area of Iceland, we were in for an immediate surprise. Not rays of sunshine and temperatures of the Savannah, rather one of the most attractive natural wanders of the world - Jökulsárlón (the floating glacier). The views of the amazing Vatnajökul had been teasing us for days. Amazing views in sometimes a hostile environment. We hadn't received a battering by the elements like we had on the west coast, but still it was sometimes hard to plunk up the courage and the mental strength to carry on. So you can imagine our delight when finally arriving late at night at the floating glacier that is Jökulsárlón. Instead of heading straight to bed after a long days cycle we got the tent ready, had some food, and then stayed up until about 2am exploring the edges of the floating glacier. Other 'must see' sights around Iceland had taught us wisely that during the summer you can see anything at anytime. Meaning you can go to a waterfall at 2pm and maybe not see anything for people everywhere, and really feel down spirited that you didn't get the right connection with the location. However if alternatively you are like us, and can stay up between 9pm and 2am you can be alone with some of Iceland's and the world's greatest natural locations. I believe it's one of the best ways to experience the haunting beauty some of the treats of Iceland really have to offer.
Located in the south of Iceland. Smack, bang on route 1 Jökulsárlón is an amazing place. Easy and rewarding to find. Apparently 18km² and 200m deep, making it the biggest glacial lake in Iceland, and apparently the second deepest lake behind Öskjuvatn. Due to heavy melting of the surrounding glaciers, Jökulsárlón is not separated from the sea by a huge distance. There is however a tributary which has many happy marine wildlife playing around on its way to the big blue ocean. Jökulsárlón is definitely one of my top destinations in Iceland. It is just stunningly beautiful. The kind of the jaw dropping, while trying to smile beauty. My face didn't really know what it wanted to do. I was genuinely slightly emotional. There was only myself and my two best friends alone, with the creaking noises, the marine life and the shear beauty which lay before us. We sat in silence and partial disbelief of what lay before us. Maybe because it was summer, or meant to be, and lying before us was a mass expanse of floating Ice. Maybe it was because we were sharing something of this magnitude for the first time, maybe it was just a lot to take in at that time in the morning. After maybe 5-10 minutes of sitting on the rocky surroundings of the glacier, we finally found our voices again. Pictures were taken and it was time to retire back to the tent for a much needed rest.
When we had finally risen from the land of sleep, we thought a little more exploring might be on the cards. However, the glacier was pretty full with the day tourists, the bus tourists, the camper van tourist and a couple more campers. We had camped by the black sands, over the road from the glacier, looking out of our tent with insane ocean views. There was to be nothing strenuous done. Relaxing, reading and gazing out into these surreal surroundings. We enjoyed the weather until it turned sour in the afternoon, and drove us back into our tent. This was disappointing, but typically Iceland, and by now we were totally used to the changing of all the seasons in 10 minutes, let alone a whole day. When you usually associate summer with warm sunny days or even going on holiday to places just because of the heat or their amazing white beaches, we were totally contradicting this image, sat in our tent, in the wind and rain on a weirdly beautiful black beach. Were/are we mad.... I'm still not totally sure.
The next day we didn't make it that far. The weather aloud us a brief slot to get our tent down around 10am. We then plodded on another 10km or so, and on to some more amazing views of the glacier. We decided it would be great to once again camp by the ice, in the middle of summer, and had also heard via word of mouth, that the sun was on its way tomorrow. A change of scenery away from all of the camper vans was just what we needed. The mist was soon onto us however and we were once again driven into the belly of our tent. Cards, stories and soup were in abundance, and tent life prevailed for another thrilling day of Icelandic weather.
Sure enough the next day brought us delight. The sun was out to play and the wind and rain were nowhere to be seen. Sun cream on and time to hit the road. Next major destination over the horizon was selected to be Skaftafell National Park. The Alps of Iceland........

Icelandic lesson..... around the house....(hús)

Kitchen - eldhús
Living room - dagstofa, stofa or in old houses - baðstofa
Bedroom - svefnherbergi
Bathroom - baðherbergi
Office - skrifstofa
Garden - garður
Garage - bílskúr
Pantry - búr

Posted by tchgate 15:50 Archived in Iceland Tagged ecotourism

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