On Top of the World at Langjökull Ice Cap
The thought of exploring the inside of a glacier may sound downright daunting. Other words come to mind as well: challenging, intimidating and maybe even a little bit crazy!
But the irresistible invitation to go where few others have ever gone is hard to pass up. And so, on a gloriously sunny Thursday afternoon in late June, our small coach set off from Gray Line Iceland’s main bus terminal in Reykjavik to the man-made ice cave inside Iceland’s 2nd largest glacier, the formidable Langjökull glacier.
Drop Dead Gorgeous Landscapes
The passing scenery on the journey north is a treat in and of itself – lush green pastureland flecked with freely roaming sheep and horses; the placid blue waters of Hvalfjörður fjord. One could linger all day in a spot like this, just basking in the utterly peaceful landscape.
A Rendezvous with Our Guide
After stopping briefly at the boiling Deildartunguhver hot spring, Europe’s most powerful, we carry on towards our rendezvous with our guide and a specially converted 8-wheeled military vehicle known as a ‘monster truck’ that will shuttle us to the entrance of the ice cave.
Arrival at the Top
The meeting with our guide, a tall, athletic Icelander with decades of guiding and rescue work under his belt, immediately put any lingering doubts to rest. Leading us forth into the cave, back-lit with the soft glow of LED lights, we enter a decidedly solid structure that is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Layer upon layer of ice and snow forms any glacier and the striated walls before us have their own story to tell. A thin grey line running along the whole length of the cave serves as a reminder of the ash fall from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, 200 km away. As the path slopes imperceptibly downward, our guide stops every now and then to point out this feature and that fissure, with explanations of how the ice cave was created.
Moment of Truth
At last we reach the ice cave’s moment of truth and most important feature: an 8-metre wide/30-metre high fissure that was discovered quite by accident during excavations. The spectacular fissure, its shimmering icicles sparkling in the softly lit atmosphere will be forever engraved on my mind as the unforgettable experience that Gray Line Iceland’s Inside the Glacier Tour truly is.
Gray Line Iceland