So after a very long, but very beautiful drive along the south coast of Iceland – I finally made it to Jökulsárlón.
In case you missed last weeks post, here is a little background information about the stunning Jökulsárlón.
Jökulsárlón is an enormous glacial lagoon situated below the Vatnajökull glacier in south-west Iceland. This lagoon is a direct result of Earths warming temperatures and subsequent glacial melt. In this lagoon, calving from the glacier results in short term icebergs. Most of the icebergs in the lagoon are melting very rapidly, which has created this incredible lagoon which in the not so distant past – did not exist.
Once arriving at the lagoon I was pretty amazed by how beautiful it was! So many shapes and colours littering the lagoon – something new and beautiful at each turn of ones head.
I loved the way the glacial water gently lapped at black sand, and how the clouds appeared to be slicing the sky in two.
On this particular day I had forgotten to bring a neutral density filter for my camera, which was a shame, as my 12-40mm lens is a very bright lens, and there was so much sun and so much light that a filter to eliminate some of the brightness would have made a big difference in the quality of the photographs produced! However, you and live and you learn, and now I never forget to bring lens filters with me everywhere!
There are several companies located at the lagoon who operate boats and will take people out on the lagoon to see more of the icebergs and they are absolutely worth doing.
Hot tip: bring sunglasses! On sunny days the reflection off the water can be quite uncomfortable for naked eyes.
Many of the icebergs seemed to have developed quite uniform lines and angles, which makes sense. The water here isn’t subject to ocean currents and as such, there would be no waves to cause inconsistent melt.
I have said it before, and I will say it again; I am obsessed with all things wintery! Ice, snow, rain and freezing cold all appeal to me in ways that summer weather doesn’t, so I was pretty enamoured by all of the different icebergs, and could’ve spent all day (and night) looking for new ones.
The view of Vatnajökull sitting above the lagoon was pretty spectacular too.
Some of the icebergs looked almost soft and powdery.
While others looked extremely jagged and sharp.
From some viewpoints, the mountains behind the ‘bergs were what stole the show.
Having people in the background of some shots really helps to show just how large these chunks of ice are too.
After my boat trip into the lagoon ended, I spent quite a while just wandering along the typical (for Iceland) black sand shoreline and admiring the lagoon, the icebergs and the sense of quiet and peace that such a beautiful place afforded me.
Then just as I was packing up my things and getting ready to start the long drive back to Reykjavik, I saw something out of the corner of my eye…
Look at the above photo – can you see something in it that is a bit out of the ordinary?
If not – try and find the small ripples on the lower left and mid quadrants of the frame.
Yep, those little ripples are seals!
Apparently there are a small amount of seals who enjoy the protected environment the lagoon provides and can occasionally be seen from the shoreline!
I couldn’t get as close as I wanted to, but to be fair, I probably wouldn’t consider anything less than donning a drysuit and jumping into the water with them as close enough! However, just seeing the two of them popping up out of the water, diving down and twirling themselves around as they played was pretty amazing, and made what had already been an amazing adventure, even more incredible.
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Jokusarlon: Drive the ring road south west from Reykjavik
Wildlife: Apparently the seals can be seen all over the lagoon so keep your eyes peeled at all times
Jökulsárlón Boat Tours: There are a few different operators, Extreme Iceland run the amphibious boat tour for 4500 ISK ($50 AUD) and Ice Lagoon Adventure Boat Tours run the more expensive but more fun Adventure Tour for 7000 ISK ($78 AUD)
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm M.Zuiko pro lens
Remember: To bring sunglasses, warm clothes and neutral density filters for your SLR!
Lastly, I have created a new page on the menu called ‘Where Next?’, where I will be keep a regularly updated list of the places I will be exploring in the coming months. Please feel free to check it out!