Ice Cave, Off We Go!


We were in Iceland. The season was winter. Of course, this means we planned on visiting one of the amazing natural wonders in the world – Ice Caves! After seeing thousands of beautifully captured ice cave photographs, we wanted to see the real thing ourselves. Wanting to explore one became almost an obsession. So, of course, we centered our Iceland trip around an ice cave excursion!

The ice cave was located in the Vatnajökull Glacier near the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Since the season only just started, the unsecure big caves were off limit for us wilderness rookies. We visited a small and safe ice cave instead. Regardless of the size, a simple ice cave with nothing too dramatic was already spectacular for our first time experience.

IMG_0670-Edit-1The view of the glacier on the way to the ice cave tour meeting point.
A 20-minute bumpy off-road driving brought us this much closer to the Vatnajökull Glacier.
Time for some hiking! Our guide carefully surveying the snow covered ground and safely led us to the ice cave entrance.
After a short hike, glacier ice was now within our reach. It felt a bit unrealistic to come this close to a glacier as it only existed in a textbook before and it looked nothing like those nicely drawn diagrams or aerial views!
Our guide said sometime it could be difficult to access an ice cave due to the danger of a collapse or a very small cave entrance. The cave we visited gave us no such hard time.
Ashainclusion and air bubbles can be observed inside the ice. They were locked inside the glacier ice through the formation process: Different layers of ice were condensed by compressing snow which took hundreds of years to form.
At the time of our visit, a small crack not larger than 30cm in diameter was forming near the ice cave entrance. This hole will continue to grow until this part of ice cave eventually collapses.
Our ice cave experience was breathtaking! Seeing the glacier ice in front of our own eyes made us respect the beauty of the Mother Nature and realise how small we humans were.

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