This week I’m featuring a photo of Blue Ice Cave of Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland taken by Kris Morton from the Nomad by Trade Blog.
Kris is a travelling consultant who spends half her time on the road around the United States and the rest of it dreaming of adventures in far-off places.
Photo Story: Ice Caves of Vatnajokull Glacier
This photo was taken on what has to be my luckiest travel day ever.
When we were planning our trip to Iceland, visiting one of the stunning blue glacial ice caves in the Vatnajokull Glacier was one of the top things on my list.
My sister and I booked an ice caving tour departing from the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. After some difficulty finding the tour company’s van in the busy parking lot, we were ready to head deep into Europe’s largest glacier.
We got quite the pleasant surprise when the tour guide pulled us off to the side and let us in on a big secret. They were short-staffed, so they combined our ice caving tour with the much more expensive snowmobiling and ice caving tour that was leaving at the same time.
We began a whirlwind process of having snowsuits, helmets, and gloves tossed at us and suited up in record time. The people who knew they’d be snowmobiling had shown up earlier to get their gear, so everyone was waiting on us.
We were ready to go in record time and hopped into the back of the van for the long, very bumpy ride out to the base of the glacier.
When we arrived, the ice cave was swarmed with people, so our guide decided that we would snowmobile first and then visit the cave.
After a brief safety briefing, we hopped on our snowmobiles. My little sister insisted on driving first, so I soon found myself zipping across the snow-covered glacier holding onto her as she followed in our guide’s tracks.
I got to drive on the way down and found myself laughing with joy as we sped back down toward the parking area.
By some stroke of luck, all the other tour groups had departed the cave before we arrived so we had the massive blue cavern all to ourselves.
Even our guide stopped to take some photos of her own because she so rarely got to see it without crowds of other visitors. With the day’s fading sunlight filtering down through the blue ice, we felt like we were underwater or on a different planet.
The rippling waves of ice with black streaks of volcanic ash were unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
Vatnajokull also known as the Water Glacier in English, is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland, and one of the largest in area in Europe.
It is the second largest glacier in area after Austfonna on Svalbard in Norway but, nevertheless, larger by volume. It is located in the south-east of the island, covering more than 9% of the country.
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