[Trip] Iceland- Two Jewels of Icelandic nature

Today we will be visiting the two jewels of Iceland nature, to experience the stunning nature and diverse characteristic of the Iceland landscape. The two nature landscape, which was crowned as the Jewel are Skaftafell National Park and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where large outlet glacier are crawling down to the lowland and large ice chunks laying on the black sand beach.

Skeiðarársandur

On our way to one of the largest national park in Iceland, we stopped by at a monument named Skeiðará bridge. The twisted grinder was destroyed by a house size ice berg that happened in 1996, when a volcano erupts beneath Skeiðarárjökull, which melted the glacier and caused massive flood.

Where?

What to see?

The history and what had happened here:

The lonely remains of the Skeiðará bridge. Looking close the grinder just show us how fragile things are and what the nature can do:

For scenic lovers, here would be a great spot to stop over for some stunning photos of the Svinafellsjökull and Skeiðarárjökull that are visible in the far distance.


Skaftafell National Park

One of the most breathtaking areas of Iceland,  a beautiful mountainous region which was located at the foot of Vatnajökull glacier where the largest glacier outside of the polar region.

Little to know:

-Skaftafell and Jökulsárgljúfur were merged and named Vatnajökull National Park, in 2008.

-Vatnajökull National Park covers 14% of Iceland (about 13.952 km2 as of April 2015)

-It is rank as the largest national park in Europe.

Where?

Operating Hour (Visitor center)

January: 10:00-16:00
February – April: 10:00-17:00
May – September: 9:00-19:00
October – November: 10:00-17:00
December: 11:00-17:00

Cost?

Free

What to see?

Some rules and regulations to note before you head into the national park:

Our walking trail to Skaftafellsjökull Glacier

Distance: 3.7 km (round-trip)
Walking time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Route difficulty:  Easy

On our way, to get closer to the glacier:

Along the way to the glacier and getting closer to our final destination:

After the long walk, we reached our destination and the view was stunning :

 

In the past, the mountain guides used to do glacier walk here, however, Iceland landscape is constantly changing and the glaciers slowly melting, a large lagoon is formed in front of the glacier, blocking the hikers’ access to walk on the ice. We can only stay on the land to have a view of the stunning scenery.

After an approximately 1.5 hours at the glacier, we are off the road again for our lunch at a petrol kiosk before heading off to the next glacier lagoon.

Today, we had a lamb burger set, which cost 1,490ISK:

 

Couldn’t resist the temptation of having a dessert after lunch, cost: 250ISK.


Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

The best known lagoon for its immerse beauty, where sublime icebergs float in the freezing blue waters and seals are known to visit.

Where?

Operating Hours:

24 Hours

Cost?

Free

What to see?

The blue~~ lagoon, where you can have a stroll along the path beside of it, and the view is so amazing.

The lagoon is getting larger every year due to melted glacial water coming from the glacier. Although it is impressive to see the lake increase in it’s size but it is also visibly demonstrating the effects of global warming.

From a high land view of the glacier lagoon:

Had a photo taken here because of the huge contrast of the blue iceberg and the grey iceberg laying in the middle of the lagoon:

The landscape at the bottom tongue of the glacier are constantly changing, this is due to the ever changing climate in Iceland, therefore. every visit here will look different.

Jökulsárlón Beach (Diamond Beach)

A short drive over from the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon. And here we are to see the black stretch of sand covered by translucent and compact ice that’s thousands of years old, which glisten in the sun, looking like a diamond.

Where?

What to see?

The sparkling ice chunks that are being washed over here, were fallen from the lagoon where it melt and drifted out to the sea. The Atlantic Wave washed them up to the black volcano beach.

Our tour guide told us to use our imaginations to look at the huge ice chunks. Can you guys see it too?

This looks like a whale or maybe a puffer fish?

There are lots of the ice chunk lying here, each of them were crystal clear, and when the sun shines on it, they look like diamonds shining on top of the black beach. Hence, this place was named as Diamond Beach.


Hofskirkja

A brief stop before we end our day, the very last turf church left standing that have survived from Iceland’s unpredictable weather patterns.

Where?

Operating Hours:

24 Hour

Cost?

Free

What to see?

The simple perish church, which is one of six churches in Iceland that are preserved as historical monuments. We are unable to enter into the church but you can have a view from the glass window.

The small mound covered by the turfs are the graves in the cemetery, where rare contemporary burial are practice here.

We had a wonderful day spent today, i am in love with the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, it looks so beautiful and stunning under the sunlight and we were really grateful that our trip is all about sunshine and clear skies.

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