Ed Petrie

1 July, Iceland – ‘All Over The Place – Europe, Part 2’

When I last came to Iceland on holiday I was lucky enough to go climbing on a glacier. Today I was lucky enough to go INSIDE one.

“Into The Glacier” has been several years in the making and only opened to the public 4 weeks ago. Some enterprising Icelanders have dug a network of tunnels into the top of a glacier, and even hollowed out a few rooms (it has its own wedding chapel). Of course, getting to the top of a glacier is a bit of a challenge in the first place, so as we arrived at the base this morning we were greeted by 2 missile launchers that have been converted into buses. The large tyres with adjustable inflation means that there is much less risk of falling down a crevasse while travelling up there.

After shooting a jokey introduction with me as a driving instructor and Chris as my terrified pupil we climbed aboard and did some more filming on board as the mighty beast lumbered its way up the icy slope. Once we were out of the bus and filming our “fact offs” with the people who dug the tunnels I reflected on how pleased I was to have brought so many layers with me. It may be mild English Spring type weather down in Reykjavik, but its blooming freezing up the glaciers. Once inside it was even colder, as the inside of a glacier obviously never rises above freezing – otherwise it would be less of a glacier and more of a river!

One of the tunnels leads into a crevasse and it was impressive to see what the inside of one of those looks like without having to fall down one, and they’ve done some awesome coloured lighting in a couple of the chambers, as well as some nice white lighting to show how blue the compressed oxygen makes the ice. The wedding chapel is very nicely done too in a minimalist kind of way, although I think it will take some hardy wedding guests to make it all the way up there and they better pack thicker socks than I did, as by the end of an hour I’d lost all feeling in my toes!

Once we were done the missile launcher had gone back down the glacier to pick up some tourists, so we made our descent to the car park in a smaller caterpillar truck that felt like something out of ‘Thunderbirds’, and to our bus and the lovely prospect of a day off tomorrow.

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