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2 December 2017 / leggypeggy

Enjoying Iceland’s glacier lagoon

Jökulsárlón lagoon

On the shores of Jökulsárlón lagoon

Icebergs in Jökulsárlón lagoon

Icebergs in Jökulsárlón lagoon

This post is for Francesca, with many thanks for her delightful comment on my post about seeing the Northern Lights last month in Iceland. She said she thought my pics of the lights looked similar to hers and realised that we were on the same bus tour. (I have no idea where you’re from Francesca, but your comment made my day).

Our joint jaunt—all 14 hours of it—took us to the picturesque Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the southeastern part of Iceland and on the edge of the Vatnajökull National Park.

The lagoon (or lake as it is sometimes called) began to be created in the 1930s when the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier started to recede from the Atlantic Ocean.

Cruise on Jökulsárlón lagoon

The cruise boat heads out onto the lagoon

We arrived at the lagoon not too long after lunch. There were two options—take a 45-minute boat cruise around the lagoon, or walk along the shore and the shallow channel that connects the lagoon to the ocean.

Complaint (whinge) alert. As we boarded the bus in Reykjavik, passengers were told whether or not they had paid for the boat cruise. If you wanted to take the cruise, it was an extra A$63.50 per person (or A$127 for the two of us).

We booked our tour online and there was nothing on the website that said anything about a cruise being available and at what cost. I’ve rechecked the website and there’s still no mention of a cruise option. I think that’s a sneaky way to deliver a travel offering.

Not surprisingly, we decided that a last-minute charge of $127 was not value for money, so we opted to walk along the shore and admire the icebergs floating in the lagoon.

Channel from Jökulsárlón lagoon

Icebergs heading to sea

There were plenty more bergs in the channel. Some were bobbing along on their way to the Atlantic and other, larger, ones were stranded in the shallow water. Still others had drifted onto the black sand.

I reckon the stranded ones won’t be moving this year. The lagoon freezes over in winter.

The guide on the bus said the bridge over the channel was often washed out. I’ve since read that the bridge’s pillars have been reinforced to protect them from icebergs, so I guess it’s only spring floods that cause damage.

on the shore at Jökulsárlón lagoon

Walking the shores

on the shore at Jökulsárlón lagoon

On the edge of the lagoon

A bit more about the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
At 248 metres (or 814 feet), this is Iceland’s deepest lake. Today the glacier is 1.5 kilometres from the ocean and the lagoon covers 18-square kilometres. Apparently it’s quadrupled in size since the 1970s.

The setting is popular. Jökulsárlón has been featured in two James Bond movies—A View to a Kill and Die Another Day—as well as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Batman Begins. It’s also been a destination for the reality TV series, The Amazing Race.

Icebergs from Jökulsárlón lagoon

Icebergs from Jökulsárlón lagoon

A side comment on the bus trip
We enjoyed the bus trip, but a quick comment about the lunch stop. Several other buses arrived about the same time as ours. We were allowed 40 minutes or so for lunch and many of our passengers waited for ages in a huge line for the hot meal.

Poor John and I stood in that line for quite some time until we inched past the refrigerator cases and realised we could buy sandwiches. So we did.

That option didn’t dawn on everyone and quite a few people were shuffling along the line and then late returning to the bus.

The guide told them it wasn’t their fault that they were late. He said he’d called ahead to say we were arriving and was told everything was okay.

I reckon that if I’d been the guide and noticed three extra buses arriving about the same time as us that I would have suggested that everyone buy sandwiches from the fridge.

As an aside, we were in line with people from other buses (we had some nice chats) and their meal was included in their price, so no way they were getting out of line. Our meal was at our own expense.

Jökulsárlón lagoon

A musician performs at Jökulsárlón lagoon

Shore at Jökulsárlón lagoon

Icebergs on the sand at Jökulsárlón lagoon

 

126 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. chape / Dec 2 2017 11:14 pm

    Just WOW!! I couldn´t say anything else, even in Spanish 😀
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MichaelStephenWills / Dec 2 2017 11:15 pm

    You received excellent value for your walk. I enjoyed this set.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. IreneDesign2011 / Dec 2 2017 11:15 pm

    Iceland looks very inviting at your photos, Peggy 🙂
    Good that got something to eat, no matter it only was sandwich.

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 2 2017 11:18 pm

      Iceland was great. And the sandwiches were fine and much better than waiting for ages.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The Cooking spoon / Dec 3 2017 12:08 am

    What an impressive landscape! Thank you for sharing, we want to go to Iceland some day (soon) so it’s great to read about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. pvcann / Dec 3 2017 12:15 am

    breathtaking landscape, what an experience to have.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. beetleypete / Dec 3 2017 12:26 am

    Looks wonderful. Peggy. I especially liked the blue tinge on some areas of the ice.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Andrew Petcher / Dec 3 2017 12:50 am

    Looks lovely but that a long bus trip! Would you go back to Iceland? I know I would!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Almost Iowa / Dec 3 2017 1:11 am

    Thanks for the pics. Iceland is definitely on our bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Monica Graff / Dec 3 2017 1:40 am

    These shots are great, so moody and ominous. I like the last one with the humans, which provide perspective and remind me how small we are on this planet! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 7:55 am

      The clouds certainly add to the mood. And I agree that having people in a pic provide perspective. We are pretty small! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. jerseydreaming / Dec 3 2017 2:28 am

    Wow, that looks spectacular.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. chattykerry / Dec 3 2017 3:56 am

    What an amazing place. I love your photographs and regret that we didn’t visit Iceland when it was so close to Scotland. When we flew from San Francisco to Glasgow in 1962, we had a stopover in Iceland. My photograph was used in the local travel magazine to show that even exotic babies visit Iceland.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Laurie / Dec 3 2017 4:33 am

    Iceland is on my bucket list. Your pictures make me want to go even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Superduque777 / Dec 3 2017 5:34 am

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Paula / Dec 3 2017 5:51 am

    Gorgeous!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. forwardtogloryquartet / Dec 3 2017 6:43 am

    Incredible. We didn’t get there because we didn’t know about it! Titanics, beware! (The wry joke going around was that Iceland is the only place that welcomes global warming…! 😏)

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 7:50 am

      Actually we were surprised by how warm Iceland was. Must be the ocean currents.

      Like

  16. Oh, the Places We See / Dec 3 2017 8:31 am

    Fabulous landscapes. A place we may never see in person. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. BoomingOn / Dec 3 2017 9:22 am

    looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Miriam / Dec 3 2017 10:55 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland. Looks amazing, even with tour operators that perhaps aren’t all they could be. That walk and your pics are stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 10:59 am

      Except for the boat extra and the disorganised lunch stop, the tour was excellent. Really top notch and not bad spread over 14 hours. And all credit to them for stopping on the way home to let us see the Northern Lights. That was a free added extra. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Brian Lageose / Dec 3 2017 11:00 am

    Great photos! And they look especially festive with the “WordPress” snow trickling down the page… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 11:06 am

      Oh my, is the snow falling again? I don’t see it, so maybe it just shows in America where it is winter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian Lageose / Dec 3 2017 3:54 pm

        It saddens me that you can’t see the snow. I might have to write a poem about this insufferable tragedy… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 5:26 pm

        Call it Ode to a Snowflake.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Chris Riley / Dec 3 2017 12:47 pm

    Read your comment on why the ice gets its blue colour – so it’s sooo beautiful there that even the ice holds its breath, or is it that it’s soooo cold that even the ice turns blue!
    Lovely read again Peggy, and if I should ever be contemplating a tour to Iceland, I’ll be checking out who your tour operator was (to beware).

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 5:29 pm

      We stayed with friends who know travel agents and providers in Iceland. We were with the best and, in all fairness, it was an excellent tour except for the fellow not thinking through what to do at lunch. As for the boat, apparently it’s a separate provider, but it would still make sense to include the info on the bus website.

      Like

  21. Forestwoodfolk / Dec 3 2017 2:24 pm

    I follow a photographer on facebook that has incredible photos from this lagoon. https://www.facebook.com/belegurschi – and your photos reinforce my view that this is a very special place. You say that this is the deepest lake in iceland and perhaps it is yet I was told Thingvallavatn was…. so I will checked it, just in case my memory is deteriorating. Apparently the glaciers mean that Jökulsárlón ‘s depth and size is increasing all lthe time…. so interesting. Great post, Peggy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 5:30 pm

      Yes, what I read said that Jökulsárlón had become Iceland’s deepest lake. There’s a view that over time (a very long time) the glacier will carve out a fjord. Thanks for the link.

      Like

  22. gerard oosterman / Dec 3 2017 3:33 pm

    The walk along the shore was a good choice. What can you do on a boat? I hope the musician got some money. He looked a bit lost. Did he play hauntingly beautiful music?

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 5:32 pm

      The boat cruises quite close to the face of the glacier, but we were lucky enough to do that in South America. As for the musician, there were lots of people performing. I think it’s ‘a thing’ to sing or play there and get your picture taken.

      Like

  23. amindfultravellerblog / Dec 3 2017 5:40 pm

    I’m speechless Peggy, I’ve never seen anything like this. Hey I bet that musician would get quite chilly standing there playing fr hours!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 10:24 pm

      Lots of musicians played during the time we were there. I think it’s a bit of ‘a thing’ to play and be photographed there. Don’t think anyone got any colder than we did. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Carol / Dec 3 2017 7:05 pm

    Wow so very beautiful your walk produced dividends as regards photo opportunities it looks amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 10:07 pm

      I’m sure the boat provided plenty of photo ops, but we got close to a glacier in South America, so didn’t feel the need in Iceland.

      Like

  25. Vicki / Dec 3 2017 7:16 pm

    What fabulous photos. I’m so glad you opted for the walk along the shore. I (almost) felt like I was there watching those ‘bergs’ with you.

    I guess some tour guides do only what they’ve been trained to do…..and that doesn’t include using their ‘common sense’ with regard to buying some sandwiches instead of waiting in the long queue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 10:08 pm

      Ah yes, we just needed to have someone’s common sense kick in. Otherwise the tour was fantastic.

      Like

  26. J.D. Riso / Dec 3 2017 7:34 pm

    Yet another synchronicity with one of your posts. I’m doing a stopover in Iceland in January and the glacier lagoon is what I really want to see. Your tour company sounds a bit dodgy…can I ask which one it is? I get the feeling that Iceland is one of those places where tour companies are a bit indifferent…so many tourists, they don’t care about good service. I was looking at Reykjavik Excursions, because they do a tour on the day I’ll be there. Anyway, your photos have really got me excited for my little trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • J.D. Riso / Dec 3 2017 7:35 pm

      P.s. I’ve already read about lunch stop disappointments, so I’m planning to bring food along with me.

      Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 10:16 pm

      I’m feeling super bad about commenting on the lunch mix-up. We travelled with Reykjavik Excursions (at the recommendation of friends who live in Iceland). The company was excellent and that hiccup at lunch is no reason not to use them.

      We travelled with them twice in Iceland and, except for the lunch goofiness, we were very happy. I can’t really blame them for the boat excursion being an extra because that option is provided by another company. That said, Reykjavik Excursions would be smart to mention it on their website.

      Our friends in Iceland have friends in the travel industry and Reykjavik Excursions seems to be everyone’s preferred choice. I won’t argue.

      Like

  27. toutparmoi / Dec 3 2017 9:08 pm

    As others have commented, the greeny-blue lights in the ice are lovely. Are the icebergs the result of the glacier calving?

    Liked by 1 person

  28. thewonderer86 / Dec 3 2017 10:07 pm

    WordPress is full of stunning images that make me think ‘I want to go there’, but these take the biscuit. Stupendous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 3 2017 10:16 pm

      Oh wow, not often that someone comments ‘stupendous’. Thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Deb / Dec 4 2017 1:22 am

    Wow how fascinating! I love the blue within the icebergs…so pretty. Do they pass by at a rapid pace or slowly float towards the ocean? What an amazing experience. How funny you and Francesca were on the same trip together! Love all the photos, was it cold? It looks it, I can’t imagine the musician staying out in that cold all day performing…now that’s dedication!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 4 2017 2:48 pm

      I love the blue too. Some icebergs sail by fairly quickly, but the larger ones drag or get caught on the bottom of the channel. They’ll be stuck there for winter because the channel freezes over. There were lots of different people singing or playing an instrument. I think it’s ‘a thing’ to perform there and get your picture taken. No one performed for long.

      Like

      • Deb / Dec 4 2017 10:38 pm

        So fascinating! I wouldn’t think they would perform very long. 🤤

        Liked by 1 person

  30. theunassuminghiker / Dec 4 2017 1:32 am

    Stunning photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 4 2017 2:48 pm

      Thanks so much. Glad you stopped by and commented.

      Like

  31. Mariya aka BrunetteonDemand / Dec 4 2017 1:51 am

    Lovely photos!

    x Mariya

    http://www.brunetteondemand.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 4 2017 10:29 pm

      Thanks so much. Appreciate your visit and comment.

      Like

  32. theorangutanlibrarian / Dec 4 2017 7:55 am

    Beautiful pictures!!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. mistermuse / Dec 4 2017 9:54 am

    Just out of curiosity: in Iceland, do they call taverns ICE-OBARS (not implying that you and Poor John frequent such places, of course)? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Green Global Trek / Dec 4 2017 3:16 pm

    Beautiful photos. Love the colors….
    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 4 2017 5:55 pm

      It always amazes me just how much colour there is in an iceberg.

      Like

  35. danthemiller / Dec 5 2017 2:58 am

    Great photos! I would love to visit Iceland sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 7 2017 7:59 pm

      It’s well worth a visit. Hope you manage to get there.

      Like

  36. Lynz Real Cooking / Dec 5 2017 11:55 am

    Wow stunning!!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Brenda / Dec 5 2017 11:00 pm

    That first photo is really amazing. The varying shades of glacial blue always seem a bit otherworldly to me. It seems that Iceland has become an extremely popular place to visit now–as your bus tour lunch scrum seems to indicate. Did you find other places there overrun with tourists or is it still possible to get off on your own without major expense?

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 6 2017 11:51 am

      We were lucky to be able to stay with friends, so sidestepped a lot of the expenses that others incur. That said, we found Iceland very expensive and full of tourists, but fairly easy to get around. We used the local buses a lot. And yes, otherworldly is a great way to describe icebergs and their colours.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Curt Mekemson / Dec 6 2017 4:17 am

    It’s cold here, today, Peggy, and I must say that your photographs didn’t warm me up. 🙂 They were beautiful, however. Tomb Raider, eh. Next time my wife entices me into watching it again, I’ll pay attention to the icy northern scenes. Noted in the news that Iceland’s new president vows to make Iceland a world leader in the fight against global warming. Seems appropriate as the glaciers melt. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 6 2017 11:54 am

      Not sure I’ve ever seen Tomb Raider, so might have to give it a go—maybe on a hot summer’s day! As for Iceland and global warming, we were impressed by the efficiency of how they produce energy. It’s geothermal and hydro.

      Like

      • Curt Mekemson / Dec 8 2017 6:02 am

        We are certainly getting closer to the point where renewable energy resources can replace or at least, greatly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
        As I recall, Tomb Raiders takes you to both the tropics and the far north. 🙂 –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 8 2017 7:22 am

        Our city, Canberra, aims to provide only renewable energy by 2020. I’ll take into account the temperature shifts in Tomb Raider before I watch it. 🙂

        Like

  39. Dave Ply / Dec 6 2017 8:18 am

    Sigh. Now there’s another place for the wish list… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Sy S. / Dec 6 2017 1:32 pm

    I have visited Iceland a long time ago and only for a few days. If I ever get the opportunity to visit Iceland again, it would be camping out. Googling, there are many websites/commentaries about this subject; Camping Iceland’s Ring Road in the spring to fall. However, I would most likely want to see the Northern Lights, so camping out in winter is my big interest; photography and snow landscapes. My big question is how expensive is it to rent a car? (since Peggy said things are expensive in Iceland). I guess for now I will dream of this great vacation… and look at the many fantastic winter photos on the Internet (and Peggy’s photos as well).

    Sy.S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 6 2017 11:37 pm

      Oh Sy, there just happens to be three 15-day truck/camping trips in Iceland coming up next year (departures in June and July). Do you want the details? Poor John and I are thinking about it. I know that doesn’t get you the Northern Lights, but you could come to Australia during our winter and see the southern ones. Just saying. 🙂
      P.S. No idea how much rental cars are (google might know), but why drive when you can be driven on the back of a truck? 🙂

      Like

      • Sy S. / Dec 7 2017 2:14 am

        PegZ, thanks for the info… and offer to come to Australia. My inquiry is more of a “Wishful Thinking” of traveling/camping in Iceland (big dreams) and I prefer not going on any organized tour.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Dec 7 2017 1:01 pm

        I knew you were wishful thinking, but it’s still nice to know trips like that are available.

        Like

  41. Marie / Dec 7 2017 8:27 am

    C’est merveilleux, de jolies images et un domaine splendide. Ii y a quelques dizaines d’années c’était encore plus beau. Mais le rechauffement climatique est passé par là!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 7 2017 7:59 pm

      Thank you so much. I can hardly imagine what it looked like years ago and the changes brought on by climate change. You were lucky to see it back then.

      Like

  42. flavours2017 / Dec 7 2017 9:57 pm

    Wow wow — spectacular❤

    Liked by 1 person

  43. jeanleesworld / Dec 8 2017 2:15 pm

    Oooooooooooooh these are so awesome. I love how the icebergs are of all sizes, how there is still color even amidst all this ice. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 8 2017 8:24 pm

      We can never know what bit of a glacier is going to break off, but the colours are always amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. kunstkitchen / Dec 10 2017 3:13 am

    Your travel spirit is amazing! What an adventure! Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. 2weekendwanderers / Dec 10 2017 3:54 am

    The photos are incredible, thank you for sharing! We’ve always dreamt of visiting Iceland but get put off by the high costs..One day!

    https://2weekendwanderers.com

    Liked by 1 person

  46. paolsoren / Dec 10 2017 9:47 am

    Let’s hope we don’t end up destroying all these amazing places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 10 2017 9:51 am

      Those who deny climate change have a lot to answer for.

      Like

  47. adventuredawgs / Dec 11 2017 12:51 pm

    That shade of glacier blue is absolutely stunning. I cannot wait to get my backside to Iceland.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Sheryl / Dec 11 2017 2:44 pm

    Wow, these photos are amazing. They make me want to visit Iceland. I had no idea how hauntingly beautiful the ice and water are there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 11 2017 8:59 pm

      Iceland is beautiful and, from what I hear, it’s equally beautiful in summer and winter.

      Like

  49. potluckycom / Dec 15 2017 4:33 pm

    Beautiful pictures, scenery, and memories. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Ankur Mithal / Dec 16 2017 11:42 pm

    Amazing places! I forget, are the snowflakes added for this post or do they even otherwise drift across your blog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Dec 17 2017 7:35 am

      People often say they see snowflakes on my blog around this time of year. I don’t know how they get there. I can’t see them. There is a place in WordPress admin that you can ‘turn on’ snowflakes, but I have it turned off. Still they come. I think it must be a Christmas thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  51. chattykerry / Dec 17 2017 3:48 am

    I keep going back to look at this blog and marveling at the shades of blue and lilac in the ice. Nature is astonishing.

    Liked by 1 person

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