Monday, August 27, 2012

Iceland, Land of Fire and Ice - part 3

If you want to know why Iceland is named like this, you'll have to keep on reading...

Vatnajokull glacier near Skaftafell

About 400km East of the capital Rekyavik, we find the Vatnajokull, translated as "glacier of rivers". By area this glacier is the second largest in Europe and has a maximum ice thickness of 1000m! 

Iceberg birdie at Jokulsarlon

Just at the foot of the glacier, we find one of the most spectacular places in Iceland, Jokulsarlon. A glacier lagoon where one can see (and hear) the icebergs break off, before the tide takes them out to sea.

Jokulsarlon sighseeing
Boats take people out into the more than 200m deep lagoon but there is also plenty to see by strolling along the shoreline.

Blue ice at Jokulsarlon
It is especially around sunset that the place shows its real magic. The contrast of the blue/green icebergs with the very soft orange light, will be engraved in every landscape photographers mind!

Fjallsarlon glacier

About 10km West of Jokulsarlon I also stopped at Fjallsarlon. A smaller brother which is much quieter and should not be missed!

Icebergs in the making at the Fjallsarlon glacier

In total I paid three visits to the Jokulsarlon area, one in the afternoon, one around sunset till well past midnight and the last one the next morning. Having booked accommodation close by, allowed me to do this.

Icebergs drifting out to sea at Jokulsarlon
Late at night after the tourists had gone, the place really showed its best to a good number of photographers from all over the world.

It is especially the smaller pieces that can boost ones creativity and imagination.

Fighting iceblocks at Jokulsarlon

Clear ice on the black beach at Jokulsarlon

Post-sunset, I went to the nearby beach in order to shoot some ice coming back ashore. I was mainly attracted to the clear ice crystals on the black lava beach. They are washed by seawater and are given an almost transparent appearance.

Blue ice at Jokulsarlon
Once the blue light hit, it all became even better... 

Ice jet-ski at Jokulsarlon
Is it only me or is anybody else seeing a "jet-ski" in the image above? Anyway, by now it was well after midnight and time to head back to the hotel...

Iceberg beach at Jokulsarlon
The next morning, high tide had covered the beach with melting ice blocks. 

Photog at work, Sokulsarlon
Even though I had high expectations to start with, this was clearly the highlight of my Icelandic photo-adventure!

On the final episode we will have a look at  large quantities of "melted water"...

Till then remember, 
"People don't take trips, trips take people" - John Steinbeck

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