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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

30 May 2017 - Iceland Day 5: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach

It started to rain quite heavily when we reached Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.  However, the moment we drove into the car park, we could see icebergs near the edge of the lake.
Despite the rain, these icebergs still look amazingly beautiful.
As it was very windy and cold, we quickly took a few photos and rushed into the visitor centre to catch some warmth.  When I browsed their website last night, it states that the glacier lagoon boat tours operate half hourly and were fully booked for the day.  However, when I checked at the ticket counter next to the visitor centre, there were still seats available for the next boat ride at 4pm.  I quickly purchased the tickets and got ourselves ready for the boat ride into the Glacier Lagoon.  Apparently based on demand, they will operate extra boat tours.
There are 2 types of boat tours, namely Amphibian Boat Tour (below) and Zodiac Tour.  Due to the minimum age requirement which Javier does not meet for the Zodiac Tour, we went for the Amphibian one.
When the boat ride started at 4pm, it started to rain more heavily. We got drenched despite having ponchos on and were all freezing during the journey.
We got to see more icebergs during the boat tours.  Whatever we saw above the water was only 10% of the entire iceberg.
Jökulsárlón Glacier lagoon is told to be one of the greatest wonders of nature in Iceland. This lagoon is a recent one, the result of a warming climate. The surface is at sea level and sea water flows into the lagoon at high tide. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off from the glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, and large icebergs float on the lagoon. The lagoon is not very wide but it is up to 250 meters deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. Breiðamerkurjökull is an outlet of the Vatnajökull glacier.
By the way, Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies: A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Batman Begins.
In the middle of the tour, the tour guide took out a piece of 1000 year old ice and passed around us.  He later broke it into smaller pieces so that we can have a taste of it.
Throughout the tour, there was a speed boat following us for safety reason.
After the boat ride, we rushed to the car to warm ourselves up. Once ready, we drove off to the nearby Diamond Beach.  Due to the cold and wet weather, Jerlene and Javier preferred to stay in the car.
On the seashore, we saw lots of ice-chunks which have been polished by the ocean and stranded on the black sand beach. Some of them really look like diamonds!
As we were shivering from the cold and wetness, we hurriedly took some pictures and went back to the car.

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