Lauren: Inspired by Iceland

November 10, 2011

Inspired by Iceland is a campaign that was recently set up in hopes of increasing tourism. I am not sure how well that is going but I do know that those of us that are here studying abroad are definitely reaping the benefits! This website is a place where Icelanders (including the mayor and even the president) can go and post an invitation for anything from having pancakes to walking an Icelandic sheepdog around Reykjavik to even a birthday party in a barn. My dormmates and I have been following the page for the past month or so and we always get really excited about the new invitations. Recently I got to participate in my very first Inspired by Iceland experience, I went glacier climbing and hiking! Arctic Adventures (a tour company here in Iceland) posted an invitation to go on their Blue Ice tour and my friend Emily Anderson and I were selected! After our first trip was cancelled due to stormy weather, we finally go to experience it yesterday! And it was worth the wait!

We were picked up at 8:30am and after collecting 4 other groupmates we set off to Sólheimajökull Glacier. Sólheimajökull Glacier is about 2.5 hours away from Reykjavik and in those 2.5 hours we drove through sun, wind, rain, snow, and ice. Looking at the beautiful mountains, volcanoes, and lava fields on our way there really got us psyched to start out hike!  If you look at the map to the left you can see where we began our journey and you can also see Selfoss (where I went last weekend) and the further down the road is where we went glacier hiking and climbing!

We had to wear lots of warm clothes and waterproof pants as well as hiking shoes (I wore tennis shoes and they weren’t waterproof so I was a bit chilly) and cramp-ons. Cramp-ons are spiky things you attach to your shoes so that you can get a good grip on the ice. They told us to walk like cowboys so we all looked pretty silly stomping around but it was a good way to avoid falling! We hiked and climbed for 3-4 hours and then once we were all hungry and tired we headed back to the van for a sandwich and some juice. We then drove back down the road to Skógafoss waterfall. The waterfall was really beautiful but we had to climb 380 stairs to get to the top! My legs are SORE today! Yikes! When my parents come visit in the spring, when not if, I think they will have to do a tour like this. It was an experience of a lifetime!

Here are some pictures from the trip:

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