THE BEST DAY! Today was a See, Speak, Write in CAPITAL LETTERS kind of day. Honestly today is the stuff of travel dreams and unicorns shooting rainbows out of their butts. Get ready for photo overload because this day will be one for the Kelly History Books my friends. Buckle up….
Today is Day 2 of our whirlwind “see as much as you can because this place is bloody expensive” bus tour. To read about Day 1’s awesomeness click HERE.
After what was quite a good sleep considering the less than lavish hotel accom, we gobbled down breakfast and drove to the pick up point for our tour to the glacier and ice cave tour.
Vatnajokull is Europe’s largest glacier and it covers 8% of Iceland. We were pretty excited to get to experience it.
We met our guides Ingo & Tom. Ahhhhh Ingo, finally I am meeting a crazy viking. He is everything you kind of imagine Icelandic locals to be. He was incredibly insane, tall, strong and with a very kooky sense of humour. I liked him immediately.
His sidekick Tom was great too but a little less crazy
This was our ride for the morning, what a big beast of a thing.
The big rig was a bumpy ride because the track out towards the glacier was rugged. It was extremely sad to hear how global warming has affected the glacier and to see how much the glacier has melted and receded. The areas below used to be covered by the glacier.
You had to walk for a while to get to the glacier and the ice cave. It felt like 6 hours but I’m assured it was only 45 mins minutes. It was a bit of a slog because of all the rocks and there was alot of ice around which made things slippery.
The landscape is so strange. You honestly feel like you are walking on another planet. I’ve never seen anything like it.
On the way, Cute Tour Guide Tom stopped to tell us some things and as I’m there batting my fake lashes at him trying to get him to fall madly in love, I literally slip completely onto my back out of nowhere. I mean…..really? I wasn’t even moving. All of a sudden I’m like a turtle on my back. I’d like to tell you I fell with style and grace but I think I probably looked like this picture, but less hot
For the love of Jesus of fat people, please beam me up now and let this horror be over. Everyone was staring at me wondering how could this have happened (including my soon to be ex husband). Someone, anyone, throw Harry Potters invisibility cloak over me and leave me to drink my emotional support champagne and forget the shame of this moment. Ughhhhh.
Finally we were nearing the glacier and the opening to the ice cave. It honestly is so massive, I just know the photos don’t give you any idea of the sheer size and how small you feel as you approach.
Below is the opening to the cave, it doesn’t look so impressive from this angle but just you wait. Although when I saw this I was a teensy bit scared that we were going to be inside that cave soon with all of that massive ice above us.
Once we arrived at the glacier, it was time to get our “crampon” on. No fellas I didn’t say tampon, don’t start plugging your ears saying “nah nah nah nah”…..I said crampon. They are these sexy spiky things you attach to your hiking boots so you can walk on ice. It’s not a hot look but it gets the job done, kind of! We had to climb up on top of the glacier first and then walk down some slippery ass stairs with the flimsiest rope. Don’t let the photo fool you, it was hard AF. I literally just slipped down it like it was a slide. I’d already left my bom-dignity back when I was a flailing turtle so I decided to really let my freak flag fly.
Okay it’s time to address the Helmet “elephant in the ice cave”. You have to wear a helmet in the ice cave which is kind of ironic because if that glacier is coming down on your head, I don’t think the little plastic helmet is doing much. But hey, I was damn glad I was wearing it when I slipped over earlier because otherwise I would’ve hit my head quite badly. Stupidly I let husband select my helmet without really thinking things through. The man isn’t bright, not even a little bit savvy when it comes to helmet style. This is the end result – is the helmet small or is my head big? Be careful how you answer that or I’ll cut you. Of course the beanie underneath the helmet isn’t helping the fit or the look.
It’s called Farshon darling, look it up!!!
Once we got down the stairs we entered like an outer chamber that was all ice walls but no ceiling and you started to get an idea of the sheer volume of ice and magnificence.
From there we walked under a little overhang of ice into the actual cave.
Once inside the Ice Cave is when you really start to Ooh and Aah because it’s so spectacular. The different shades of blue everywhere didn’t even look real. How could there be so many variations? Apparently it’s all about how the light is hitting the top of the glacier and how it refracts down into the cave.
The Cave is actually made from water running through the glacier which is why after each winter the guides have to go out to the glacier to find where the new caves are and choose which ones are safe. So it’s an ever changing experience so if we were to return to Iceland I would definitely go to an Ice cave again.
I love these 2 images shot from inside the cave looking out to the strange landscape. The photos were taken about 10 minutes apart in almost the exact same spot. You can see how with different light the ice colour changes so much.
You were actually able to walk quite deep into the cave and under the glacier but to be honest the ceiling in that section was quite low and it got my waters all nervous that the whole thing might choose that moment to come crashing down so I waved Husband off to inspect on his own haha. (What? He’s insured lol)
The Ice Cave was truly so incredible, I’m so glad we chose to do a tour that included it. Definitely worth the effort. And now for the long trek back……
You could be excused for thinking it would be an uneventful walk back after my turtle moment on the way but you’d be wrong.
Nek minute….a “Hot Lisa” moment happened, because of course it did.
No I don’t mean hot like Phwoar Sexy Lisa is in da house, I mean I started to experience something that ladies of a certain age are so lucky to get, and no, it’s not a younger man in their life. I started to feel a hot flush (or hot flash) come over me. I felt the heat creeping up my neck and all of a sudden, even though it was “minus degrees” I had to start ripping all of my layers off before I combusted and died. Well that’s dramatic but I had to get some clothes off. Fortunately for everyone I didn’t go full nudie run but I got down to a t-shirt and finally felt like I would survive. Meanwhile Mr. Kellysontour is looking at me like I’ve gone crazy (he’s a real supportive son of a gun), hissing at me to put some clothes back on because people are staring. Honestly people judging are just asshats….because when you know, you know and if you don’t, I hate you. So that is the story of how I completed the walk from the freezing cold glacier in a tshirt. #LisaKellykeepingitclassysince1971
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Next up is the thing I was most excited to see in Iceland. Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is something I have literally been dreaming about. I saw a blog years ago and this woman had visited and taken the most magical images of this special place. I was not able to be quite so artistic with my shots because well, Husband “Lacks Patience” Kelly was with me but I did manage to snap some pretty moments. The photos DO NOT do this place justice. You have to see it for yourself to truly take in how amazing it looks. But for now just enjoy this breaktaking spot….
The blue icebergs just floating along, so divine
As I said, these photos don’t even capture a tenth of how magical this all looked. Today is a day filled with beautiful moments indeed.
We then travelled a little further up the road to what was Mr. Kelly’s favourite part of the day. Diamond Beach really is like you are on the set of a movie, like nothing you’ve ever seen before, or ever will again. A black sand beach with big and little blocks of ice scattered all over it. Everywhere! And seeing the waves washed up bigger bits of ice was fascinating too. We both just walked around in awe. I of course was channeling my own soundtrack of “Diamonds are a girls best friend” as I sashayed around.
Walking through little bits of iceberg – on the beach. Mind blown!
Skeiðará Bridge Monument
In 1996 massive icebergs weighing 2,000 tons came flooding through melted by the eruption of Vatnajökull volcano. The combination of volcanic heat and massive glacial flooding caused immense destruction and destroyed the Skeiðará Bridge. All that was left afterwards was some twisted girders which have been left as a monument to this awful event.
We began the long long long drive back to Reykjavik, very much looking forward to a good nights sleep after having so many magical travel moments.
Overall mixed feelings about the 2 day tour. People were nice, tour guide was nice but lacking in personality and interesting stories. But with all that said we got to see alot in 2 days so I guess I will rate the tour a 6.5/10. The weather was absolutely perfect the whole time, cold but beautiful blue sunny skies. We couldn’t have ordered better weather.
Temps – High 0, Low -6
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