Chasing the light in Iceland – Jökulsárlón

Chasing the light in Iceland – Jökulsárlón

This post was updated on May 17th, 2019

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Aurora forecast for tonight was not in our favor, so instead of the usual early morning,​ we are all sleeping a little longer and allowing us to have a real breakfast. Michelle prepares the bacon and scrambled eggs as well as the beans for us. For some reason, we are even a little late on leaving the house. We planned to start our one hour drive to Jökulsárlón (engl.: Glacier’s years’ reservoir), the ice lagoon on the southern end of Breiðamerkurjökul (Engl: Wide forest glacier), over which we are going to photograph the sunrise.

Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón was formed in the 1940s when the glacier Breiðamerkurjökul started its retreat. The lagoon is five kilometers long and covers an area of about 20 square kilometers. It is, with 600m, Iceland’s deepest lake. The river Jökullsá (Engl: Glacier’s river), which connects the lagoon with the ocean, is Iceland’s shortest. Jökulsárlón is known for its beautiful icebergs from the nearby glacier. The icebergs start melting and breaking down until the tides are able to lead them out into the ocean and onto the as well known black sand beach of Jökulsárlón, which we will photograph for the sunset.

Jökulsárlón
Jökulsárlón

Photographing the icebergs and looking at their different shapes and colors I forget about my slightly cold feet. Time is passing by faster than I can blink. Only too soon my fellow travel mates are ready to depart to the nearby cafe for some food and warm drinks. There will be more opportunities to photograph this beautiful area later, I hope.

Jökulsárlón
Sunrise through Ice

Fjallsjökul

After lunch Mark takes us to the nearby Fjallsjökul (Engl: Mountain glacier) and the Breiðarlón (Engl: Wide years reservoir). Unfortunately, it suddenly becomes windy, which means we feel the cold even more. Still equipped with cleats and our photo gear we make the way from the parking lot up to the reservoir, where I am once again able to capture some beautiful images.

Fjallsjökull and Fjallsárlón
Fjallsjökull and Fjallsárlón

Mark ensures that we are not blown away or forget about the time and gives us a new departure time so that we will be able to warm up a little before capturing the sunset over the black sand beach with some of the glacier’s ice. We are all trying our best to not walk into each other’s photos as footsteps are not what we want in these shots. That is unless one of us is brave (or idiot) enough to take the boots and socks off and walk bare feet through the sand…no one wants to make that sacrifice though. Only this morning I spotted three men having a bath in the Jökulsárlón, not dressed in wetsuits…sure enough, I have heard of ice bathing before, but I thought there should at least be a sauna to warm up in involved. I am not going to try this here and now. I don’t need foot-ice!

Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach

Aurora over Jökulsárlón

Our day still hasn’t ended. For dinner, we are going to a hotel’s restaurant in Vik. One of the more expensive dinners we’ve had so far, but their lamb beef patties which I have, are delicious. Though Mark recommended the lamb steak, which is on Hali’s evening menu, as well as their asparagus soup which he and Michelle ordered, I can see them being a little envy about my lamb beef patties. I guess I have to protect my food from being stolen…

Right after dinner, we are starting our next chase for the Aurora. Returning to Jökulsárlón we are hoping to spot it over the North-West side of the lagoon so that we can use the icebergs and the glacier as a nice foreground subject, and maybe we will even be able to capture the reflection of the Aurora in Jökulsárlón.

Aurora Borealis over Jökulsárlón
Aurora Borealis over Jökulsárlón

Time to go back to the apartment in Höfn and take a nap comes when the Aurora loses its power around 10:30p.m. Of course, we all have to have a cup of tea to plan out what to do tomorrow, or rather when to get up. A short night is ahead of us all.

If you liked this post, you might also like the other stories from my Chasing the Light in Iceland adventure:

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