A lot of people say they had their heart set on a wedding venue since childhood. A particular church or place which they dreamed about. I never had that and can honestly say that when we hiked along Sólheimajökull in 2014, at no point did I ever imagine we would get married there!
It was one of the most beautiful places I had ever been, but weddings were not on the agenda. I was desperate to get a glimpse of that beautiful blue ice I had seen in photos and nature documentaries.
Having not been on a glacier before, I wasn’t sure what to expect and at the time took the good weather for granted. Iceland is nearly always windy but that day was still without a cloud in the sky. Perfect conditions for a glacier hike which in bad weather could have been quite unpleasant.
Solheimajokull is an outlet glacier from the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap and is retreating currently at a rate of 100 m/yr. When Katla erupts, this could be a potential channel for the floods to run down. Turning this glacier into a giant ice surf board which will crash down to the sea. Thankfully that didn’t happen when we visited.
Hiking on Sólheimajökull
The glacier was covered in snow which in retrospect is quite scary. Our guides were fantastic so I know we were safe but I have to admit now understanding more about glaciers, the thought of walking over crevasses without being able to see is a harrowing thought. The snow allowed us to go relatively high onto the glacier without ice climbing, so the views were incredible. Our guide ominously pointed to the lagoon at the front of the glacier, near to our future wedding location and explained that even though it looked like a field of perfect snow, walking on it would result in certain death.
As we walked between huge pieces of glacial ice, we could see ice caves which had formed.
We walked along between pieces of ice which formed snowy corridors.
And stopped to look at the ice in more detail.
Everywhere you looked, beautiful sculptures carved naturally from ice glistened in the sun. It was one of the most unique places I had been and I loved the silence, being up there away from anyone else.
Walking back down to the car park we see all the way to the coast. I wish I could have known then that in a few years I would be doing that same walk again, married and wearing a princess wedding dress and trainers.
This post was written retrospectively in November 2016