Jokulsarlon and the Diamond Beach

Jokulsarlon is the glacial lagoon that borders Vatnajökull National Park. It's famous for it's amazingly calm, starkly blue waters filled with icebergs that have broken off from the nearby glacier. Occasionally, a seal will pop up and say hello! 

Our last day of driving was spent going all the way to Jokulsarlon to see the famous glacier lagoon and diamond beach. This was also one of top things on my Iceland To-Do list, and even though it ended up being an enormously long day, I was glad that Kevin and I decided to go, since it was the only thing on the agenda we were interested in and could participate in. Driving five hours and back for some pictures can sometimes be worth it, I guess. 

 

The drive and early morning turnout to be worth it. 

Blue water? Check. Gorgeous, floating icebergs? Check. Beautiful scenery and friendly seals? Double check. 

Jokulsarlon is definitely one of the most unique places that I've ever been. While most places we visited were still interesting, they often started to remind me of a few other places. But this place was different. It was a completely new experience, and that's probably why I enjoyed it. It also wasn't nearly as cold as I thought it was going to be, especially considering we were next to icebergs and a glacier. 

There is a boat that you can take that goes into the lagoon where you can see the glacier and get up close and personal to the icebergs, but we didn't end up taking it. Next time I'll make sure to try it out. 

The name "diamond beach" refers to a part of the lagoon where some of the glass-like icebergs wash up on the shore instead of going out into the ocean. The clear ice means that there is no oxygen trapped in the iceberg, and the result is a piece of pure ice that sparkles...like a diamond. 

I would have walked around more and enjoyed being able to read more about the facts and history of the area, but my group ain't like that, so we left just after I started. They had a few other stops they wanted to make, and it was going to be a long day. 

Apparently, the tongue of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier is a must-see, so I guess I'll just have to make plans to go back! Kevin and I have already talked about trying to go back in a few years - just the two of us - and drive around the whole country or break it up into three day sections like I mentioned in my last post.

 Some of the icebergs had these intense black streaks. I call them zebra-bergs. 

Some of the icebergs had these intense black streaks. I call them zebra-bergs. 


In the end, this was the only thing I was interested in and the only thing I ended up doing the whole day. While the other three went on a hike, Kevin and I walked to a glacier in Vatnajökull National Park,  but I didn't know we were going to the glacier (just started on the path to see where it led) and didn't bring a camera.  


The next day was our last day in Iceland, and we'd be spending it in Reykjavik. I had a feeling nobody else felt like doing anything, so Kevin and I made plans to leave early to see some of the sites I had on my list and hunt down these cinnamon buns I'd heard about from a few people. 


 

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