Before calling it quits in the southern region, there was one more thing we had to see- GLACIERS!! We took an ENTIRE day to explore the glacier lagoons and could have spent more. The varying colors of these glaciers, to the enormity and massiveness of their sizes, to the unique ice textures make you feel like you could stare at these beautiful formations forever. We even caught a glimpse of a piece of glacier that broke off! I can still hear that ear-splitting crack as an ice chunk the size of a Beetle car broke off into the water. 11% of the total land area in Iceland are covered by ice caps making Iceland a glacier paradise!
Svinafellsjokull, or Pig Hill Glacier, is approximately 1,000 years old and is known as one of the bluest glaciers in Iceland. It sits surrounded by a gorgeous landscape while showcasing its many impressive crevasses. We veered off of the main road to follow a dirt road across a rickety wooden bridge that leads to a lagoon to view this glacier. This road felt like it went on for miles, only because we literally had to drive at turtle’s pace. It felt like driving over the longest piece of swiss cheese! Holes were plentiful and gigantic. We were bouncing all over!
On our drive towards Hof we saw, what I believe, was Falljokull or Falling Glacier. (Whatever glacier it was, it was astounding)! It sits next to Svinafellsjokull and makes for some very impressive views as you’re driving along the southeastern coast. The snow tops were so white they blended right into the cloudy sky before dropping down the mountains towards the ocean.
While obviously not a glacier, this beautiful turf-covered church is nestled in the tiniest town of Hof, in-between our glacier drives, and it was not to be missed. This church was built in 1884 and was the last turf church built in the old style. It is one of 6 churches still standing, which are preserved as historical monuments.
Jokulsar Lagoon and Diamond Beach are chalk full of tourists. Luckily on our way to these infamous sites, we came across some small roadside stops where we had a piece of the lagoon all to ourselves! The white cap of Breidamerkurjokull glacier dominates Jokulsar Lagoon and its icebergs. The icebergs break free from the glacier edge and are carried by the current towards the river mouth, or land on a beach down river known as Diamond Beach. Only one tenth of the iceberg’s mass is visible above the water surface! Tidal currents move the icebergs back and forth causing them to scrape the bottom of the river. Winds and tides erode the icebergs until they are small enough to float out to the sea. Most icebergs are milky white but some have a bright blue color caused by the interplay of light and ice crystals. Seals are often seen swimming in the lagoon too and we actually spotted a few!
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!