Growth Chart for My Little Ones

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

27 May 2017 - Iceland Day 2: Into the Glacier, Langjökull

Our highlight of the day was to join the "Into the Glacier" tour.  Yes, not walking on the glacier but into it.  At this time of the year, the meeting point for the tour is at Húsafell.  As I did not make a booking online, I had to purchase it at the hotel reception next to the information center.  It costs us ISK 19,500 (SGD260) per adult but free for children under the age of 12.
The start of the tour was actually not at Húsafell.  We had to take a shuttle service to Klaki base camp where the tour starts.  Driving directly to Klaki base camp was not recommended as it is mainly rough gravel road.
The scenery was amazing where there were snow mountains all around us.
There was even a twin waterfall at one of the mountains.
Once we reached Klaki base camp, we can choose to wear their boots and overall for the tour at no charge.  Jerlene and Javier wore their overall.  Jerlene also wore their boots but there was no suitable size for Javier.
Before the tour started, we quickly took some photos of the surrounding which was spectacular.
To get to the glacier, Langjökull, we had to board one of the below specially modified glacier vehicles.  According to the tour guide, these were decommissioned vehicles from NASA.
Driving on the glacier was amazing and we got to experience the awesome ice cap glacial environment all around us. Langjökull or The Long Glacier (1355m) is the second largest in Iceland. It has an area of about 950 km² and most of it rises between 1200 and 1300 m above sea level.
The "NASA" vehicles brought us right to the entrance of the ice tunnel.  This is our first time landing our feet on the glacier.  :-)
"Into the Glacier" project took over 4 years of preparation and the excavation took about 14 months from Mar 2014 to May 2015.  4 to 8 people were working in the tunnel during the excavation every day of the week.  5,500 cubic metres of ice were excavated from the tunnel during the construction.  It makes up 0.00275% of the entire Langjökull glacier.  This tunnel is 500 meters long and the largest of its kind in the world.  In the tunnel, we were standing 25 meters below the surface of the glacier, with 200 meters of solid ice still beneath us.
Before we moved deeper into the glacier, we got to wear some form of "chains" over our shoes or boots.  These "chains" come in 3 different sizes.
With the "chains" worn securely over our shoes, we were ready to venture into the glacier.
Our tour guide gave us an introduction of this ice tunnel at the below briefing area.
To our surprise, it was not as cold as we expected in the ice tunnel.  In fact, it felt colder outside due to the winds.
The tunnel system here was quite extensive.
There is even a chapel built within the ice tunnel.  The entire tour group tried to hum and it's amazing to hear all the echoes around us.
As this was going to be the kind of "once in a lifetime" tour, we took tons of photos at every corner of the tunnel.
The tour guide left a surprise for us right at the end.  It was a crevasse (below) which is 40 meters deep and a few hundred meters long.
We spent about an hour in the tunnel and what an experience it was.
Once again, we traveled over the beautiful glacier on the "NASA" vehicle back to Klaki base camp to return the overalls and boots.
The entire tour took about 4 hours and by the time we reached Húsafell, it was already about 4:30pm.

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