Saturday, 13 February 2016

Iceland 2.31: Litla Hof, Kviarjökull and Fjallsárlón

After our exertions at Ingólfshöfði we were in desperate need of a pit-stop, and remembered that Litla Hof had a very convenient convenience.  It also had a lovely turf-rooved church, which looked rather different in the sunshine compared to our previous visit.

With full stomachs and empty bladders, we then planned what we'd do for the rest of the day.  Our bed for the night was at the Skaftafell Hotel which really wasn't very far away, so we decided to spend the afternoon visiting glaciers and ice lagoons in the area.  First stop was Kviarjökull, a glacier which descends from the Öræfi ice cap and discharges into a small lake.  It was very crisp and clear, and we had the place virtually to ourselves.

There was plenty of plant life around the glacier, including gentians which we hadn't seen elsewhere.

Next stop was Fjallsárlón (aka The Other "Sárlón", to avoid confusion with its larger and more prestigious neighbour).  It was nothing like as busy as Jökulsárlón, possibly because of the required walk up hill and down dale in order to get there.  Some people had clearly decided that the exercise was too much for them, and so were having a picnic alongside their chartered helicopter.  How the other half lives...

When we turned round we spotted a coach party standing on the ridge which had obviously got no further than the car park!

In many ways, Fjallsárlón is just as impressive as its more famous neighbour; but, because the bergs are discharged into a lake rather than a river, it did feel rather more static.

The heli-picnic being over, the individuals concerned packed up and disappeared off to pastures new.  Since it was nearby, and the weather was so warm and sunny, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at Jökulsárlón, bracing ourselves for the inevitable crowds.