Iceland Day 3: Svartifoss, Skaftafell, and Jökulsárlón (Glacier Lagoon)

July 31, 2019


We woke up bright and early and embarked on an ice cave adventure (you can read about that here) before leaving Vík. From South to East, we began our journey to Höfn and stopping at Svartifoss, Skaftafell, and Jökulsárlón along the way. First stop,  Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park! When Vatnajökull National Park was founded in the summer of 2008, the former Skaftafell National Park became part of it. There are many hiking trails but since we were on a time crunch, we only did the hike to Svartifoss. The hike (in and out) took about an hour and a half to do and please note that there are many inclines. The trail crosses through rivers and you will come across other waterfalls in the gorge. It was raining softly the entire hike but it just made everything 100 times more mystical. This is one of the most beautiful hike I have ever done and after half an hour or so, you will spot Svartifoss from away and it will slowly get closer and closer. You can get right up to it! Svartifoss, "the Black Waterfall" is one of the most incredible and glorious waterfalls in Iceland. The narrow cascade drops 20m (65 ft) from a cliff composed of surreal hexagonal black basalt columns. I have never seen a waterfall like it!


We hiked out of Skaftafell and continued our journey east to Jökulsárlón. Also known as the Glacier Lagoon, this "tourist attraction" might be visually beautiful and magical but the story of how it came into existence is rather depressing. The lagoon didn't really exist until the 1940s when the climate started to get warmer and the lagoon has been increasing in size pretty fast since then. Roughly 11 billion tons of glacial ice melts every year due to the effects of global warming in Iceland. It breaks my heart to see this beautiful Earth slowly fading away. I feel like climate change is a topic that everyone is aware of, but not everyone is making changes in their lifestyle to lessen the problem. CLIMATE CHANGE IS SERIOUS! In about 30 years, the human civilization can crumble if we don't stop it NOW! Let's do something today to make a change!


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