Ice, ice, baby, too cold.

Today was a good day. IMG_1641.JPG

Today was one of those days that you always remember and think, that was one of the best days of my life. The first time I really felt this way was Fountain Day ’98. Fountain Day is when all the graduating seniors at Ithaca College congregate at Textor Ball on the last day of classes. At some point, when everyone has gathered and sufficently liquored up, one senior sends a signal and all march to the fountains and dive, well, awkwardly hop, into the fountains. Surrounded by my friends and basking in the glory of college graduation, that was a good day.IMG_1905.JPG

Today was on par with Fountain Day. We boarded a bus in Djúpivogur harbor and headed off to explore a glacier. The drive along the area fjords was amazing in itself, but the main event was Vatnajöklull.IMG_1778.JPG

Vatnajöklull is the largest glacier on Iceland located in the south east and takes up 8% of the total country area. It’s the largest glacier in Iceland and the third largest in the world. We first visited the glacial lagoon teeming with icebergs. Walking around was fun but the duck boat tour was amazing (I realize duck boats are likely not really called duck boats, just go with it). We cruised along the ice. Blue, bright gorgeous blue. Ones that had flipped over glistened like glass. The black stripes of ash pulled across some of the ice. Although I didn’t see any wildlife, this lagoon is loaded with seals and salmon and birds.IMG_1725.JPG

After lunch we boarded a small van and traveled up 800 meters to the glacier itself. This dirt road up into the mountains was an adventure as we snaked upward and bounced along the ledges and gorges left by the glacier. Once we reached the staging area, we got all decked out in snow suits, boots, and helmets. The wind was vicious and there was a sleeting rain, but I felt nothing and was all bundled up. Cholehna and I boarded our snowmobile and took off. Pure joy, nothing but ice and snow ahead, short mountains of black rock poking out. Every once in a while you’d see a break in the ice, with a wrinkle of bright blue deepening into the earth.

We parked our snowmobile for a photo op and enjoyed walking around. The glacier is 400 meters deep. That was scary, below my feet was just ice. There was no sound and no wildlife, just us humans. When it was my turn to drive the snowmobile, I loved it. Now I want one.Pretty good day. Now I sit up in the library and watch the sunset. It’s the first sunset I’ve stayed up to watch. Figure it was good day to stay up late. Not sure I want this day to end.

(The ship wifi is super slow, please check back for more photos when I get home, I promise they are worth a second look!!)

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