Vatnajökull – A visit with a glacier.
Whilst we were in Höfn, we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Vatnajökull at Skafafell. Vatnajökull is the glacier that sits atop the volcano that erupted recently at Bárðarbunga. It was fascinating to see the shapes in the ice, freshly dusted with an icing sugar like powdering of snow. Glaciers can appear very grey and dirty looking in the summer but in winter, they look their best.
Heading out to the glacier there was a track of sorts but this quickly diminished and we were left with the task of finding our way across a gravelly delta of meltwater, streams and ditches. I’m grateful to Poppy of poppytump.wordpress.com for the pictures of Chillbrook tackling the first of many of what turned out to be a very deep ditches.
As we made our way across the delta, out of the blue, we came upon a group of jacked up pick-up trucks with outsize tyres parked around what appeared to be a large hot tub, clearly fed from hot springs below. It seemed so incongruous, in the middle of nowhere with temperatures way below zero and a gale blowing, to come upon half-naked people running around, apparently oblivious to the biting cold, getting in and out of a large wooden tub. We didn’t feel compelled to gate crash this Sunday afternoon hot tub party although it was clear that everyone was having a great time.
With one last push up a very steep incline we made it to a car park of sorts with a fabulous view of the glacier. The lake, which in summer would no doubt offer superb reflections of the mountains surrounding the glacier, was frozen of course in the depths of winter. These are the photographs I took that afternoon..