December 21, 2012
Wasn't this the day when the world was supposed to end? Well it hasn't happened yet, and I managed to get another first ticked off the bucket list before it does; a clacier hike on the forth largest glacier in Iceland, guided by a lovely young lady by the name of Margaret.
I got picked up at the hotel at 8:30 and after ~3 hours of driving through some pretty barren countryside, with only one interruption; when an Icelandic horse decided to run out in front of the bus, we arrived at the toungue of the glacier. We got geared up with hiking boots and cramp-ons and ice-axes. The cramp-ons are essential, the ice-axe is just a prop for photo ops, or so Margaret told us.
Hiking on slick blue ice is something else. Caves, molins (holes), and vertical walls are plentiful and since the glacier is always changing, there's always something new. The weather wasn't exactly perfect. It was raining pretty hard. Unfortunate, I did not have proper rain gear. My fancy designer jacket turned out not to be waterproof, and I got soaked. Fortunately, it wasn't that cold, probably just around freezing, so I survived.
On the bus tour we got a little history lesson about Iceland. It is a very new country. Formed in 1944. Prior to that it had been under Danish rule for hundreds of years (I did not know that). Also, she told us that 90% of Iceland's energy consumption comes from thermal power (steam from the ground drives turbines).
On the way back we stopped at a couple of waterfalls. It was getting dark, so we couldn't see all that much. However, one was lit with powerful lights, so it was pretty, but the lighting prevented good pictures from being taken.