On Wednesday I finally went on the Glacier Lagoon tour, I had already heard quite some positive things about this tour, which made me really excited to go. Ian would be the driver/guide again for today, so I knew that today’s tour would be fun. After Ian picked me up, at 8 AM, we could immediately leave Reykjavik, because I was the last to be picked up. The group for this tour was again a bit larger, with 18 persons including myself, and they turned out to be enjoyable company.
We had a rather long drive ahead of us since the tour does not offer sightseeing stops until Vik, this is because all the possible stops on the way to Vik are featured in the South Coast Tour (read: Amazed by the South Coast). Though we did stop along the way a few times for coffee breaks, and by the way, Ian was filling the tour bus with stories, the time simply flew by. Ian told stories about the Icelandic culture, and also briefly explained some geological attractions we could see from the coach. Whenever someone asked a question about anything related to the Icelandic culture or the sights we could see along the way, Ian would take his time to answer these questions the best way he could.
When we arrived in Vik we had another coffee break, and we were allowed some time to walk around and see the beach we also visited on the South Coast Tour (read: Amazed by the South Coast). After our stop in Vik, we continued to the first official tour stop, the Fjadrargljufur canyon. At f,irst Ian told us he was not sure if we could get there, because we would need to turn back if the road that led there was too icy. Though to us the road conditions seemed rather bad, it was barely a challenge for Ian. When we arrived at the site Ian told us to walk down to the bridge, and to look to our right side for a view of the canyon. It was a wonderful view, and a great way to start the tour.
After we had spent a small amount of time admiring the canyon, we headed back down the road, to the highway, on our way to our next stop, the Kirkjugólf, or the Church’s floor. Here we could see a natural phenomena of basalt pillars, which were most likely eroded by the sea over time, and now look like a man-made tile (church) floor, to which it owes its name.
From here we left for a small restaurant further along the way, where we were given an hour to eat lunch. After this we continued the journey to the Glacier Lagoon. Again this took quite some time, yet Ian kept us entertained, and the view was becoming more and more stunning as we drove on over the lava fields of the Laki eruption in 1783. About half an hour before arriving at our destination we could already see other Glacier tongues of the Vatnajökull.
Before arriving at the Jðkulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, we needed to cross a bridge over the opening between the Lagoon and the Ocean, and Ian told us that we wouldn’t be able to see the lagoon until we had reached the bridge. Once we started crossing the bridge, we had a stunning view of the Glacier lagoon, and several Icebergs attempting to ‘escape’ towards the ocean, and everyone became anxious to step out of the tour bus, and explore this beautiful site.
We would have half an hour to walk along the shore of the Lagoon, and then Ian would take us to the other side, to the beach where some of the icebergs that had succeeded in escaping to open waters were washed ashore. There was a very sharp Icy wind blowing, and the raindrops felt like ice when I walked by the Lagoon, but the view was so spectacular I hardly noticed how cold it had been until I returned to the coach.
When everyone who wanted to see the beach had returned to the tour bus, Ian drove us across the road, to the shore. Here we were granted a beautiful view of the Icebergs laying on the shore, with the waves crashing into them, as the sun started to come out. i walked back and forth along the shoreline for a while and then I decided to walk to the opening between the lagoon and the Ocean, where I could look just beyond the bridge, and see the sunlight hit the Glacier Tongue, which was only barely visible when we were at the lagoon because of the cloudy weather. It a was beautiful sight, yet very difficult to capture on camera.
After spending another half hour at the beach, Ian drove us back to the lagoon, to pick up the other people, who had stayed there. When everyone was back on board, we drove back towards Reykjavik. In a few minutes after leaving the Glacier Lagoon, one of the other Glacier Tongues could be seen again, while the sunlight hit it this time. Noticing that people had started to photograph this sight, Ian made a turn towards this Glacier Tongue, where we had a view of another stunning Glacier Lagoon, though smaller, and not connected to the Ocean, like the Jökulsárlón.
Then we turned back to the Highway and continued our way back, where we would have one more stop before it would be too dark to see anything. Ian drove us to the church of Hof in Öræfi, where he told us that this was the last turf Church to be built in Iceland.
Leaving this final sight, it was time to return to Reykjavik, where we would arrive just after 10 PM, only stopping to get dinner and some rest stops on the way. Though while driving back, just before it got dark, Ian pointed out one last point of interest, the face of a troll, turned to stone by the sunlight, right in front of us. I truly loved this tour, though it was a long day it was certainly worth it. I cannot wait until I can do this tour again in the summer, when there will be a chance to take a boat ride across the Lagoon as well.