Ice


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The name Iceland comes from one of the first Viking who wanted to live there, Flóki Vilgerdarson, in 865. He arrived in summer, had a great time fishing and enjoying the long days and forgot that winter might be different. He didn't make much supplies for the winter and almost starved to death. Next spring, he left the country very disappointed, which he called Iceland.

Ice

Although large parts of Iceland are green, especially in summer (contrary to its large neighbour Greenland, which is mainly ice), you can find ice in Iceland all year round.
Breišarmerkursjökull

There are 4 large glaciers in Iceland, Langjökull, Hofsjökull, Mżrdalsjökull and of course the biggest: Vatnajökull. This last one is not only bigger than the other three together, it is even bigger than all other European glaciers together and indeed the biggest glacier of Europe.

You can see it from quite a distance, not only because of its size, but as well of its height: the highest peak of Iceland is found here, the Hvannadalshnśkur (2.119 m).

Snow scooters

Hvannadalshnśkur

Glacier

With snow scooters or a caterpillar you can make a trip on the glaciers, with a guide of course. Driving in this vast, white world, which was for a long time the only way from the coast here to other parts of Iceland, is great. 

During the trip, the guide will tell you all the important data about the glacier (cubic kilometres of snow, etcetera). And, you have a look in one of the crevasses, no more than 40 meters deep (they are pressed together by the weight of the ice). But 40 meters is a long way down.

Jökulsįrlón is a fjord, which was covered with the ice up until the 1940's. Then the sea started to enter the fjord again, melting the ice and creating a lagoon. The glacier breaks in big icebergs into the lake, floating until it gets stuck at the bottom and resting there. The air melts the top of the iceberg faster than the sea melts the part below water. After some time, the top is too light, and it comes higher in the water, floating to a new place to stuck at the bottom. The ridges at the icebergs are made by the water: this iceberg has found a new equilibrium several times.

Iceberg

These orange tourists are probably from Holland

With an amphibian you can make a trip over the lake. Everybody is dressed is nice swimming suits (which won't help you very long when you manage to fall in the ice-cold water), and the guide tells everything about the lake, the glacier and the icebergs.

For example, they tell you the ice in the icebergs is 5 times more compact than regular ice. If that would be the case, the ice would also be 5 times heavier, and sink down like lead.


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