It was 8 June today.
We were too tired to take any photographs last night. This morning we woke up to see two giant glaciers through the windows of our room. It was a billion-dollar view even under the cloudy sky.
Breakfast was nice. It was the second breakfast so far in this trip served with hot food, probably due to a group of tourists from Netherlands staying in this hotel. After filling up our stomach, we headed for today’s adventure. The highlight of today was, of course, the Jukulsarlon, a glacier lagoon, one of Iceland most visited places.
The drive to Jukulsarlon was easy. We simply followed route 1. We were looking for road signs pointing to Jukulsarlon, but there was none and all of a sudden we saw icebergs, to be exact, we only saw the tips of them from route 1. Who would have imagined that such an amazing scene is just off the main road, so very accessible! Then there was a large car park with many tourist buses already parked there. The car park also has a café and toilet facilities.
We each paid ISK3700 for the boat trip to sail among the icebergs. It was a safe 30 mins voyage and worth the money. The lagoon is formed due to a warming climate. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off from the glacier Breidamerkurjokull, which is an outlet of the Vatnajokull glacier. It is a narrow lagoon and yet the deepest lake in Iceland with 250 meters deep. While the glacier sets the northern boundary of the lagoon, there are black sand beaches on the sides of it. During our visit, we were lucky enough to see some seals playing around the icebergs. The water was so clear and calm that we could see a perfect reflection of each icebergs. The beauty of it is beyond imagination.
The Summicron-M 50 mm lens was just capable of capturing everything in details. The large aperture made sure every image crystal clear and sharp. At the beginning we have thought of using the Elmarit-M 28 mm which might capture things in a wider perspective. But the quick decision of not changing lens was right, we did not get very close to the icebergs. The 50 mm is still a magical lens, suitable for all situations.
When we were back on land, we saw the flux of tourists from more tour buses. The boats now had to accommodate more people. We heard the last service was 3pm. As more tourists were waiting, we were sure the service would be extended. We were lucky that we arrived early enough so that we had ample space to move around on the boat to take nice shots.
For people on a tight budget, the boat tour is not an absolute must. Walking on the black sandy beaches will also give you plenty of opportunities for photograph. A standard focal length lens can serves this purpose well, letting you capture the icebergs with fine details.
We spent over 2 hours enjoying these master pieces of sculptures crafted by the power of nature. Even so, it was not enough. We decided to leave only because the sky was getting darker and darker. Even for people with limited time in Iceland, we would recommend the drive to Jukulsarlon, but check the weather first because the fog could be too thick for any icebergs to be visible.
The weather prevented us from going anywhere so we checked in the hotel at 5pm at Skaftafell and had dinner at 6:30pm at the hotel. The area was still foggy and we were hoping after lunch it could get better then we would take a short hike to the foot of a nearby glacier. Our hope was quickly ‘evaporated’, or may be more accurate to say ‘dissolved’ under the rain!
There was only paid WiFi so we decided to give ourselves a break not to go online today.
That ended the eleventh day of our travel in Iceland.