This trip was my first chance to sail amongst icebergs, in the Jokulsarlon lagoon. As the salty sea water reaches Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier, hundred of icebergs break off where they slowly melt as they progress towards the ocean. It is a really beautiful and surreal place. With the glacier and snow-capped mountains in the background, most of the shapes are carved out in shades of blue – from the pale turquise of the ice to the vibrant azure of the sky. Streaks of black from centuries of volcanic eruptions cut through the vista to emphasise the age of this place.
We took a cruise through the lagoon and our guide carved off a sliver from one of the icebergs, so that we could eat ice that was over 1000 years old. Our guide was a native Icelander who spends all her winters in Australia – she even went to college in my hometown of Canberra. She spoke like a perfect Australian native, which made it all the more shocking to hear her correctly pronounce towns like Þorlákshöfn when talking about the region.
Occasionally, seals would poke their heads out of the water. Our guide told us that there were two types of seals in Iceland, and that these are the cuter ones, as they are smaller and have fewer whiskers. We were later told that the locals call the seals that give birth on land Land Seals, and the ones that give birth out at sea Out There Seals. The Icelanders are big fans of literal names for creatures and places.