Driving around Iceland: Day 8

Fjadrargljufur canyon – Dverghamrar - Vatnajokull glacier

On the way to our first destination, Fjadrargljufur canyon, we saw lava fields.

Different size of lava stones, covered with moss, stretched for many kilometers along the road, creating truly unearthly landscape.

Fjadrargljufur canyon is a 100 meter deep and 2 km long canyon, formed about  2 million years ago. This canyon was created due to the water that flowed down from the glacier through the rocks.

Nature in Iceland is incredible. Especially in places like this, that is not as much touristic as others, where you are alone surrounded by sounds of nature, wind and flowing water.

We walked  along the canyon, absorbing this rare feeling of unity with nature, that we loose in a big cities.

Our next destination was Dverghamrar – rocks made of basalt.

Here you could witness basalt columns, that were formed by the contraction and cooling of lava.

And again some information from the board near Dverghamrar about how these basalt colums are created by nature. 

Lava fills the valey, cooles and solidifies and forms straight columns. Straight columns are usually formed by cooling from the below and grow vertically, while curved columns are formed from the above coolness of river that flows through the valley. This two types of basalt columns, straight and curved ones are usually divided by the middle layer of palagonite.

Here the columns are not as high as we expected, so we didn’t spend much time there. Later we will see better examaples of basalt columns.

Don’t know why but I like this photo… It fully depicts the nature and mood of Iceland – lonely, stern changeable, varied …
So we continued driving to our next point - Vatnajokull glacier. 

Vatnajokull glacier is the largest glacier in Europe outside the arctic. Glacial ice thickness is about 400-500 meters here. It is said that it will take 200 years to carry the amount of water this glacier could produce by the river to the sea. 

There are some hiking trails around Vatnajokull glacier, but we assume that we didn’t have enough equipment to do that (if you would like to do this on your own, keep in mind that crampons are essential - it is very slippery there).

There are also guided tours around glacier with all equipment you may need, but they seemed too expensive for us.

So we just walked a little bit “inside” the glacier by our own. It is very dirty in the beginning, with many fissures. But I liked that experience a lot! I haven’t seen something similar to this ever. It looked like a huge ice tongue among mountains.

Hardly to believe but this is black ice.

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