Glacial rivers - Highlands / Iceland
After more than 2 years planning my dream of going to Iceland finally came true. Like many of my journeys this one also was unusual one so it required more time for detail planning. The logistics and realization of this project was not easy at all but on the other hand that is the photographic beauty in it.
Nothing can surprise us and leave us breathless with its beauty as nature can. Very often it can deceive us, so we rub our eyes with disbelief looking at the scene in front of ourselves, wondering if it's real? Example of such scene are glacial rivers in Iceland. Strange, unreal in their beauty and dangerous... that's why they are one of the biggest, hidden and unrevealed attractions of this island.
Most of Iceland is covered with glaciers, and glacial rivers make a system of icy rivers that creates an unusual landscape on the surface. These stunning aquatic formations occur due to the flow of the river through the glaciers and dams.
Glacial rivers are mostly shallow and unusual in colors. The reason for this is that the water that flows through them along the way collects erosive soil, volcanic dust, moss and other materials that determine not only the unusual color of water, but also affect the intriguing formations that are created. This unusual colorful game of ice and water from the bird's perspective is a magnificent sight.
Looking at the photograph of the glacial river, it is difficult to understand at first glance what it is about. You will think it's an abstract image or maybe some NASA-made footage, or maybe it's artwork from some science-fiction movie. It looks unreal. But it's actually very real and earthly.
The biggest reason why there is very little knowledge about this phenomenon is their hard to reach location for ordinary people. Most of those attractive locations can not be visited by anything other than an airplane or a helicopter. Also, the distances passed by either of these aircrafts are enormous and therefore the knowledge of the island and the possibility of landing for fueling is necessary. The only mitigating circumstance is that there are lots of small sports airports in Iceland, which makes the planning a little bit easier. The other side of this kind of adventure is weather in Iceland which does not help with flying, but on the contrary totally the opposite. A number of these reasons contribute to the fact that glacial rivers are still very hidden from ordinary people and photographers. It will surely remain so because this hidden photographic paradise is still the only real wild area in Europe.
However, ice rivers often give headache to the inhabitants of Iceland. Due to global warming, and especially in the spring and summer period, glacial rivers are causing floods by the melting of glaciers. Some of them only flood certain areas, while the more powerful ones are flowing with icebergs that can damage fences and other property.
In any case, I will soon return to this place with new ideas and with some completely new photographic challenge!