Iceland Day 5 – Icebergs
Day 5 is less strenuous. In the morning I leave Vik camping site for a 2 1/2 hour drive to another glacier. On the way I snag an Icelandic style hot dog for breakfast. It’s a little bigger than the New York equivalent, but otherwise similar in size and shape. The meat is Icelandic lamb, free range and roaming the countryside directly in front of my fender; beef; and pork. But the secret is the onions, served on the warmed bun underneath the hot dog. Two kinds, fresh finely chopped; and crispy dried. The variety of mouth feel as you munch from comforting bun through the crunchy onions to the solid and heartwarming meat is an experience not to be matched.
I have booked my spot on a zodiac rigid inflatable boat the night before. Being a tourist in Iceland is so easy, quick Google, on-line booking, all you need is a cell phone and a credit card. No calling around, I have unlimited international data on my plan. This was Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Boat Tours, they also offer tours on an amphibious for a more staid experience, but the zodiac will get as close as is safe to the icebergs.
And it’s not safe to get too close. Water wicks away heat faster than air, so you can actually see ledges jutting out on these icebergs as the ice below them has melted away faster than on top. They eventually capsize, showing a deeper blue, and can spill a boat and contents.
All the way across the lagoon is the actual glacier, and we are treated to see two actually breaking off, in a shower of ice and snow.
Then it’s of to Höfn for the evening. I spend a while in the hot tub at the town swimming pool, then wander the town in search of Icelandic lobster. or langoustine. That’s Nephrops norvegicus for you Jeapordy watchers, not in fact a true lobster, and much smaller than the American version. I eat in Pakkhús Restaurant, food locally sourced (the red and white Sigurdur Olafsson is docked alongside), and enjoy the feast.
My meal is not spoiled by the American couple at the next table, who are unimpressed with Iceland in comparison to Alaska. I mentally reshuffle my travel documents to put my EU passport on top. I still have a little while before it makes me a Little Englander again.
Back at the campsite, a lesser known fact about Iceland is how good the wine is here. My Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 lasted me until the puffins in Vestmannaeyjar. A pleasant Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile kept me company until it was time to get on the zodiac for the iceberg lagoon; supplemented by Brennevin (Icelandic aqvavit) and salted fish when we celebrated completing the glacier hike.
The 2016 Couvent Des Jacobins I just uncorked seems robust enough to carry me as far as the store in Reyðarfjörður.