We woke in the predawn light, and eagerly packed our bags for what would be a long day of car travel. Despite the hours in the car, we knew Vatnajökull, located in the South of Iceland, one of the largest glacier in all of Europe (but I have read there is a glacier in Norway, also quite vast) and Jökulsarlon Lagoon, also known as, Glacier Bay, was something we had to see while visiting Iceland.
The children were tucked into their car seats, as notebooks, drawing utensils, snacks; blankets and pillows were all within reach to occupy their time during what at times, seemed to be an interminable drive. The winds hollowed and shook the car, as we watched bikers literally thrown off the road. Witnessing families hunker down on the side of the road, seeking shelter in tents, I gazed over at Robert, white knuckles now glowing on the steering wheel and wondered if this was such a good idea after all. Rain covered the windshield as we entered the most remote and desolate locations we have ever come across. Not a single sheep, or horse roamed the landscape and at times, we were the only car on the road. We have never been so isolated in all of our lives. Childhood tunes blaring in the background, we pressed on.
After several hours of intense weather, we arrived with gray cloud cover, but the rain ceased, making us all the more anxious to reach our destination. Vatnajökull Glacier, so expansive and impressive, followed us for miles as made our way closer to Glacier Bay, where fragments of ice would break free from the mother of all glaciers and float independently in the icy waters. Each with a unique story to tell.
To walk over the ridge that hides this remarkable sight, truly, and honestly took my breath away. The colors of blue seemed staged, the sizes of the glaciers were beyond comprehension and the seals popping up and down in the water were almost too much to absorb. I instantly felt as though nothing else in my life would ever compare to the beauty that stretched out before me. Speechless, with tears in my eyes, wanting to hold on to that moment for as long as I shall live, I gazed over at Robert and uttered a silent, “thank you.”
Had it not been for the two little people by my side, I could have easily stood there for hours, free of speech, simply taking in all that stood before me, but our two children were eager to explore, anxious to get close to the water and touch the floating ice.