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Iceland: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

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Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon | Iceland | Europe

[Visited: November 2008]

As the first daylight was chasing away the darkness of night, I was still driving towards Jökulsárlón. Slowly, the landscape around me, which I had no clue what it looked like, was taking shape. Mighty glaciers and mountains on my left, a flat landscape reaching to the Atlantic on my right. When I crossed the bridge at Jökulsárlón, I decided to go to the beach first, for a good view of sunrise. When I got closer, I noticed strange formations on the shoreline. As I reached the sea, an otherworldly scene unfolded before my eyes. The black beach appeared to be littered with chunks of ice, small and big, all in different, unique shapes. Some looked like big diamonds, meticulously shaped, while others were still plump masses of bluish-white ice. I immediately understood: the ice calving off Breiðamerkurjökull glacier eventually floats to the sea, where it gets washed ashore. As the temperature is around or below zero, the ice does not melt. Instead, the constant working of the Atlantic waves on the ice turns them into oddly shaped, sometimes delicate works of art. I stayed at the beach to soak in and enjoy the scene of blocks of ice being battered by the sea, and the odd view of a black beach completely full of ice. The scene left me in awe.

Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Freezing Jökulsárlón under a spectacular sky

I crossed the Ring Road, and stopped as soon as I reached the shore of Jökulsárlón. This is one of the glacier lakes directly at the end of the enormous Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, part of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier of Europe. It is absolutely full of ice in all shapes and sizes. There are massive icebergs, with a lovely light blue hue, while there are others that are grey-white. There are tiny ones, floating in between the big ones as if they were their recently born offshoot. Then, I spotted a few seals swimming in between this icy surrounding, diving under the ice, coming up again, and looking at me with their startled faces, as if asking for my approval for their playfulness. I moved on, and walked along the shore of this splendid lake.

Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Blue silhouet of iceberg in the icy waters of Jökulsárlón

At the same time, the sun was casting its light on the summits of the highest mountains around the huge Vatnajökull glacier. Not an easy task, since the sky was filled with layers of powerful looking clouds. Their shape, and their reflection in the quiet waters of Jökulsárlón, made for fantastic views. The lake was starting to freeze, and I realized that until spring, not much ice would melt in this polar landscape. All the while, I could not take off my eyes from the silent landscape at my feet. The silence of my surroundings extended a deeply powerful and primal force to this showcase of nature. I stayed as long as I could, and while looking at the icy theatre in front of me, realized how it was internally refreshing my soul. I was overwhelmed.

Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Reflection of winter sky in the silent, icy waters of Jökulsárlón
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Ice formations in Jökulsárlón with Breiðamerkurjökull in the background
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): White, blue and transparent ice formations in Jökulsárlón
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Sunrise over a sea-sculpted ice rock, once part of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Beach off Jökulsárlón full of leftover chunks of ice broken off Breiðamerkurjökull
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Icy landscape of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in the early morning
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Early morning scene at Jökulsárlón
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Icebergs stuck in Jökulsárlón with glacier in the background
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Blue and white icebergs in Jökulsárlón
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Quiet winter morning scene at Jökulsárlón
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Winter morning at Jökulsárlón with icebergs and clouds
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Chunks of ice littering the shore of Jökulsárlón
Picture of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (Iceland): Seal swimming in the icy waters of Jökulsárlón

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