|Viewing the North Atlantic Ocean on the eastern side of Iceland.|
About as cold as it is off of the coast of Maine.
|The closest I came to a reindeer after eating a piece for dinner while in the eastern fjords.|
The landscape changed dramatically once I neared Vatnajokull - the largest glacier in Europe. Vatnajokull reached through the fjords with what is known as glacial tongues that force their way into the open spaces between the fjords. The weather has finally warmed back up to the mid-50s and sunny. Not quite "summer" weather, but after two days of 30s and rain I'll take it!
I arrived at the glacial lake of Jokulsarlon in time to catch the last amphibious boat ride of the evening. The lake is filled with icebergs that are breaking free from Vatnajokull in this area. The greater rate of decay of the glacier at this area is due to the salt water mixing into the lake (melting the glacial tongue faster). What is left is a lake full of dense icebergs with the top 10% or so of them showing above the water. The eruption from Grimvotn almost 2 months ago sent ash all the way across the glacier (about 50 km from here) turning all of the glacier and icebergs gray with a thin coating of ash. Some of the white is returning due to the glaciers turning over, essentially washing themselves clean. The rains in the past month have helped to further clean the glacier and icebergs returning them to their normal bluish-white color.
|View from the shores of Jokulsarlon into the icebergs residing in the lake. The gray markings on the icebergs are evidence of Grimvoln's eruption 6 weeks ago, which covered the area in a thin layer of ash.|
Tomorrow, I take a walk on the glacier in Skaftafell National Park and spend the night camping in the area. Maybe I will also see the illusive puffin, which I have not seen in these areas even though their presence is mentioned regularly by the locals and the signage.