Iceland: Journey to Another Planet

After a full morning of foss (aka waterfalls) and basalt columns, we headed to Vik, the southern most city in Iceland, for a super truck tour through black sand landscapes to visit a glacier.

Our tour guide didn’t tell us much about the tour beforehand because she wanted us to be completely surprised about what would happen. After lunch we arrived at the Super Truck for our journey to another planet. We boarded the bus and started traveling through what was becoming a familiar landscape, expansive fields dotted with black lava rocks, covered with a mosaic of mosses in myriad shades of greens, yellows, browns, and whites.

It wasn’t long before the landscape started to transform to a black sand desert, splashed with chartreuse-colored moss patches. The longer we drove, the thicker the fog became, enveloping us in a soft, shroud of white mist.

The black sand desert landscape on Iceland

We finally arrived and stepped out of the jeep onto a landscape I felt certain wasn’t on Earth any longer. Black sand stretched out in every direction. The fog largely obscured my view, but I could dimly make out some shapes like hills or mountains in the distance. After suiting up in safety gear (mostly just a helmet) and a short demonstration on the different kinds of rocks we would see, we descended into the terrain.

The black desert landscape, covered with fog.

It wasn’t entirely clear where we were headed, but after some time our guide led us to what appeared to be a smallish mountain with caves we could enter. Much to our surprise, we weren’t in a mountain at all, but the famed Katla Glacier so covered with black sand that it looked like rock instead of ice.

Entering the glacier.

My eyes adjusted and I started to see the ice formations beneath the black sand. I still didn’t really believe everything around me was a glacier until the guide started to chip at the ice to show us. He kept chopping up the ice until he had enough clean pieces for us all to enjoy a cold, refreshing shot of vodka named after the glacier.

Chilled shots of Katla vodka.

Our eventful day concluded in Selfoss. I captured this picturesque scene of the town the day before in the morning before we headed out.

The scene of Selfoss town

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