Niceland

Today we leave a little before 9:30. Our first stop is at the beautiful lake with floating ice rocks or floes: Jökulsárlón. Combinations of blue, gray, white and black give this place something extraterrestrial. The further I walk, the cosier the floes and icebergs huddle together and the more blue they seem to get.

jokulsarlon

Close to jokulsarlon, the floating floes.

Here and there, curious heads of seals (or sea lions?) come see what’s happening around the lake, while scared birds start to fly away when they see the dog like faces.

The water field is gigantic. Just standing still and listening to the crackling ice and the icebergs who break loose from each other is impressive.

I decide to walk towards the small hills who tower over this famous spot to get the best view possible. I might even add that it’s the best view of Iceland I had so far!

More and more tourists pull over at the car park nearby and I notice a lot more black dots in my sight. So small in comparison to the giant nature that spreads out before me.

An hour long I enjoyed this beautiful nature and first I thought this might’ve been too long, but now that it’s time to leave, I dreamily bid farewell to this gorgeous place.

Once I escaped out of my loving intoxication, my eyes start to shine. Today is the day that I have been waiting for for a very long time now! Today we will head underground and see the ice caves of Iceland!

superjeeps ijsland ijsgrotten

SUPERjeeps bring us to the ice caves!

In the meantime, two GIANT trucks have arrived. Both of the jeeps have wheels that easily could’ve been stolen from a tractor.
I, of course, choose for the biggest truck and since I’m a lonely backpacker, I put myself at the passengers side, next to the (I hope) experience driver.

From Jökulsárlón we go right into a near invisible path which will lead us to the ice caves. In the beginning, I ask myself why exactly we needed a superjeep in the first place. The surface wasn’t that bad. But then, it starts to get worse. A lot worse!

The closer we get to the glacier, the more difficult the terrain gets. When we finally arrive, all of us are dizzy and dazed by the jeep who was closer related to a mixer than a car just minutes ago.

On the location that we arrived there is an ice cold wind. Chilly, but beautiful. The wind blows the snow, just like a sand storm, throughout the complete landscape. Because of this, it seems like there is a constant mist covering the underground.

The low hanging sun makes the area even more mysterious. Iceland is a beautiful place!

After we got our helmets and crampons we are ready to go down to the underground ice palace of mother earth. We plant our shoes deep in the frozen underground and try not to get blown away by the heavy winds.

toegang ijsgrotten ijsland

The small opening that leads to another world …

After maybe fifty metres, we arrive at our final destination. Nobody would’ve thought that there, left of us, there was an opening in the surface.

Since I walked, eagerly, first in line, I dove in first and honestly… My jaw dropped to the floor.

I knew this was gonna be gorgeous, but this was exceeding all of my expectations. It was out of proportion beautiful!

About ten metres above me there was a completely different world visible. Down here, there were walls of beautiful, see-through ice. The polished, slippery floors and ceilings were filled with bubbles who hadn’t escaped fast enough, just like the black sand or volcanic remnants that were still visible.

Through a small hole in the ceiling, the ferocious snow was leaded into the tunnels. That way, we had a little stair to see all of the beautiful gorgeousness of this place.

Behind me, I heard a deafening silence from my fellow adventures follow by “oh my god’s” and “wow’s” before I explored the next chamber.

On all fours I squeezed myself through the small tunnels of this giant ice palace.

A couple of metres later I came into a completely different room. Here, there was a lot less light coming through the ice. The giant chamber I was in now was even higher than the one I was just in. And lots, lots bigger!

Unbelievable what mother nature has in store for you. After I finally came out of my daze, it was time to take the necessary pictures of course.

I took my tripod with me and tried making some beautiful pictures of this piece of art while I, myself, eagerly looked around, trying to see every single detail of this amazing place.

My farewell was hard. You don’t see a place this beautiful every day! When we resurfaced, we immediately were welcomes by heavy winds and an even lower hanging sun.

This last hour had something surreal. As if I just woke our of a fantasy story.

Frozen, everyone hopped back in the superjeep. After which we checked in at our next hotel.

I couldn’t say the guide was wrong: “You always mis pronounce the country’s name. It’s not Iceland, it’s Niceland!”

It definitely is.

ijsgrotten ijsland

Ondergronds in de buitengewoon mooie ijsgrotten!

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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