Thirdeyemom

Entranced in Iceland: A visit to the remote Skaftafell National Park: Part II The Hike

Enrapture me dear God

Captivate my soul

For thy am not worthy

For not believing in you so.

Enrapture me nature

Captivate my soul

For your beauty is eternal

And I will always love you so.

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We woke up to the sun casting her glorious light through the thin wool shades draping over the windows.   My heart smiled.  It was sunny!  Although I was tired from the long drive and late night meal, I could hardly wait to get up and put on my dirty hiking shoes and clothes.  It was going to be a grand day.  I could tell.

I jumped out of bed, walked over to the shade and pulled it gently aside.  It was picture perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was beaming brilliantly across the verdant green hills.  I knew that this was going to be a day to remember.   One of those quintessential postcard-perfect days of hiking in Iceland.

Rise and Shine…what a perfect morning for a hike!  Picture below of the view outside our hotel window.

Setting off…

There are two options for lodging:  Either staying at the Hotel Skaftafell or camping (unless of course you want to sleep in your car!)

The vast sand deltas called sandars off in the distance remind you how remote you truly are.

The vast tongue of the ice cap appears to jet out from the sky.

It is barren, vast, remote yet so alive.  It feels like life and death are dancing together in perfect harmony.

The start of the hike is easy.  In fact, there is not much elevation gain.  Just walking and making sure you keep your eyes on the trail which is hard to do when you are completely awestruck by such incredible beauty.

The clouds roll in yet it doesn’t seem to dampen the beauty of this place.  In fact, perhaps the clouds even make it more magical and surreal.

The green rolling hills are lush and alive.

As we get higher you can see the meandering rivers created by the melting glaciers.

We keep hiking up through the fields of joy, having no idea what an incredible view is awaiting on top.

As we climb higher, we realize how truly out there this place is.  We are officially Lost in Iceland.  There is nothing but dead sandors for miles and serpentine rivers making their mark across the land as they have done for thousands of years.

As we approach the top of the overlook, we are anxious about what is to come.  Below we see the earth-colored remains from the terminus of the glacier.

We reach our destination and are completely in awe and disbelief.  The beauty of this place is breathtaking.  It is like no place on earth.

We spend a few moments here, awestruck and euphoric.  This is why we hike.  To  go down that road less traveled.  To see the things that make everything that is bad in the world seem good.  To see God’s creation in all its glory.

We wish we could stay here all day but unfortunately it is time to go.  Despite my desire to sit here and embrace this vast landscape until it is forever engrained in my mind, we must leave and finish our hike.

The hike continues in a loop around the monstrous terminus of the ice cap.  We walk up another brilliant, green landscape wondering what awesome view we will find next.

When we round the corner, we can tell we are in for a wonderful surprise.  The rolling hills stop as did the other hikers.  And, there it was, a massive, frozen mass of a glacier that shone in the sunlight like a gleaming, sparkling diamond of ice.

Next to the late summer greenery, it was absolutely stunning.

The remains of powder-puff flowers blow gently in the wind, reminding me of the wildness of this place.

It is hard to fathom that this is just one of many glacial tongues flowing off the mighty Vatnajokull ice cap.

The last view of a hike of a lifetime….from a trip that I will never forget!

Stay tuned…next post will be about my last day in Iceland and a visit to the Blue Lagoon!

16 comments

  1. Pingback: My Lucky Seven | thirdeyemom

    • Thanks! I loved Iceland. It was so magical and really not a far flight for me as we have a non-stop flight from Minneapolis and it is less than six hours! I dearly hope to go back some day but then again, I want to go to so many places, the list is endless.

  2. Iceland is up there high on my list of places I loved. You don’t need to hike to see incredible stuff either. you can rent a car and drive forever and see amazing countryside and glaciers everywhere. What is the name of Richard’s blog as I’d love to read it?

  3. Pingback: Travel theme: Parks | thirdeyemom

  4. This is going to sound like a dumb question, and I don’t even know if you’re still checking this blog, but what kind of footwear did you bring? I read somewhere, maybe Lonely Planet, that you need special footwear that won’t get cut by volcanic rock. I thought I’d ask about your footwear since you did a lot of the same hikes we want to do. I found this blog via google. It is beautifully written anf informative, thanks so much for it!

    • Hi! Yes I am still here and quite present on my blog! 🙂 I didn’t hike anything that was so volcanic it would tear through my good old regular hiking shoes. However, if you are concerned maybe you can ask a good outdoor store like REI and see what their advice is. I am envious as I sure do love Iceland! Good luck!

  5. Pingback: A Sea of Ice: Iceland’s Myrdalsjökull Glacier | Thirdeyemom

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