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Walking On The Biggest Glacier of Iceland

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Old proverb says « A rolling stone gathers no moss ». Vatnajökull Glacier in Iceland has proven it wrong.

I was travelling around Iceland in 2013 and the amount of stories and legends from this tiny country is impressive. The magical landscapes are certainly influencing the creativity around there and Iceland is so atypical that it even rewrites the classical proverb.

In the Southeast of Iceland, there’s the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest of all Icelandic glacier. I wanted to walk on it and hear the sound of ice cracking behind my crampons. I never walked on a glacier before and I thought it was a must-do during my trip to Iceland.

My fellow Canadian friends thought I was crazy to crave for ice during summer due to our harsh winters, but I totally assume my craziness.

The day started at the Skaftafell National Park, where a bus took us to the bottom of the glacier.

Exploring the roads of Iceland in a campervan

Volcanic view in Iceland

View on the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland

We signed up for a Glacier Wonders Tour with Glacier Guides, a 3 hours easy walk.

It started with a path full of rocks and mud left by the melting glacier. With global warming, the glacier won’t exist in the next century, the guide told us.

Hiking on the Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland

Walking on Vatnajokull Glacier in Iceland

Then we started to walk on ice.

Hard, thick, prehistorical ice that was there just after dinosaur. (Okay, the guide didn’t tell us any of that and I’m not really good in History. But I think it would be cool to think of it that way!)

Blue Ice on the Glacier in Iceland

Photo from Unsplash

Glacier moulin in Iceland

The first thing I noticed about the glacier wasn’t the coldness. In fact, I didn’t find that it was colder on the glacier than anywhere else in Iceland.

What I notice first was the smell or, more specifically, the absence of smell.

They say that odours create memories, but in that case, I was afraid to remember nothing about the glacier. You are surrounded by nothing but ice, and water smells nothing. On the glacier, it’s the smell equivalence of silence.

And in this white and blue desert, there’s only one living thing: glacier mice. How cute is that!

Glacier Mice in Iceland

Glacier mice are created by miniature ecosystems growing on small stones. Because the glacier move very slowly, the stone rolls down the glacier and is pushed by the wind and the moss ends up growing on all sides. Tadaaa!

We should listen to old forces of nature, they know better than old proverbs.

There are some places that make us feel magical and connected to nature, and Vatnajökull glacier is one of them.

I leave you with this beautiful quote by Glacier Guides :

« Its brittle surface erases your footsteps in one day so your path never leaves a scar… now that’s the way to travel. »  – Glacier Guide

Have you walk on a glacier yet? Is it on you bucket list?

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Ever thought of walking on a glacier? Iceland offer you to do this unique experience. #Iceland #Europe #Travel #Trek

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