“Sveitarfélagið Hornafjörður – Glacial Pool” – East Iceland
“ If one looks at the glacier for long enough, words cease to have any meaning on God’s earth.”
Today was a day of volcanoes, mountains, and ice (and rough roads), as I continue my journey around Iceland’s Ring Road.
We entered the south-east of Iceland, having departed from Vik this morning, travelling along Highway 1. Shortly after Vik, the landscape changed dramatically into a jagged landscape of tortured rock and cinder. Just north of us, loomed the massive ice fields which cover the now dormant Katla volcano. There is a real problem when a volcano erupts under a glacier; it has nowhere to go but out, through the base of the glacier, creating catastrophic flooding and ash falls. The most recent eruption of Katla, was in 1918, but the area to the south-east of the volcano looks like it erupted a few days ago, with twisted shards of black stone and ash as far as the eye can see.
As we continued east, the landscape changed again, into a surreal world of mounds of rounded stone covered in thick green moss. This continued for quite some time until we entered yet another vast field of black sand and gravel, the runoff of the Vatnajökull glacier fields. The black sand is crisscrossed by an endless network of glacial rivers.
Beyond this black plain rise the sheer cliffs, mountains, and glaciers which dominated my day. The best of all is pictured above. At the base of one of the many Svínafellsjökull glacial ‘tongues’ below Hvannadalshnúkur, the highest glaciated mountain in Iceland. We hiked along the edge of the glacier but were most fascinated by the small glacial pool at the base, filled with icebergs of many sizes, some a spectacular blue. Some smaller pieces lay by the shore, crystal clear and beckoning me to have a taste, which I did. Oh, so cool and fresh! I’ve now eaten a piece of glacier.
We spend quite a bit of time on the shores of this pond, away from the crowds who did not seem to be able to find the trail that led us here, making photos and enjoying the vast glacier which stood before us.
iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/556 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20
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