In this part I would like to take You in a short, photographic jurney to the glacial tongue of Svartisen glacier in northern Norway.
Chosen interesting facts about the glacier and the place we will visit:
Svartisen is the second largest glacier in Norway. The name 'svartisen' doesn't mean "black ice" as it can be translated from norwegian, but it comes from old language and word: 'svartis' which describes the deep blue color of the ice building the glacier.
The highest point of the glacier reaches 1594 m and the lowest goes underwater to -170m. The thickest parts have as much as 450 meters which make this glacier the deepest in Europe!
There is a couple of different places where we can visit the glacier without climbing the maountains or glacier itself - one of them is presented here - Svartisvatnet lake.
The glacier was almost 25% bigger when it was measured in 1905... so the speed of melting is really high and real. On the path to the glacier we can see many labels with dates - showing the place where glacier was reaching in the past.
Svatisvatnet waters are murky from a number of minerals coming directly from melting ice. We can reach the other shore of the lake, where the footpath starts, by two ways - one is by foot, using small path on the right side, going straight from camping place and parking area and the other - more popular and recomended is by boat. During the season it is swimming many yimes per day taking the visitors both ways. Boat trip takes around 20 minutes, after, we have around 3km more walking to reach the glacier.
The path is leading by the big, raging river of melted glacier - couple of waterfalls and cascades and among them, place where water is flowing directly under the rocks, from an underground tunnel which has around 2 km and goes from under the glacier.
The part of the glacier we will visit is called Austerdalsisen, its lowest ice is reaching the young lake created from melting ice called Austerdalsvatnet. On the way we can see many Danger signs - not to go close to the water, as the big parts of ice can fall off into the lake creating the small tsunami wave and wash out the curious visitors into the ice-cold waters... of course - for photographic purposes, I ignore the signs on my own risk...
Geological structures there are simply amazing! The layers of colorful marbles and granites, sandstones, many other which I cannot even name... The area of Svartisen is well known from a pink marble rock - it can be found in whole world as a building material of monuments and modern art-structures. Unique, beautiful stuff! I brought a big rock of pink marble to my home, it is one of the most beautiful in my collection of minerals and stones.
Landscape there is quite minimalistic if You are looking for vegetation, but it is so complex thanks to colours, geological construction, amazing rock forms and other details. I simply loved it, because it was like nothig else I have seen before!
The landscape was just "young" - all the area surrounded Austrdalsvatnet lake was under the ice not so many years ago... If You just imagine this and look at the landscape - it create some strange feeling like You are an explorer of new lands, discoverer of new landscapes, this is the place where mother earth creating its forms...
Hard to describe the feelings but in that moment I wished to stay there couple of days more to explore everything! Unfortunatelly, the boat was going to back pretty soon and for another one I would have to wait couple of hours... and we had to go back to Trondheim that day, to return the borowed car... well, next time I will plan to be there much longer. It is unique place with original landscape and fantastic geological background.
The mix of colorful rocks, the water, blue sky that day, fresh green of vegetation...
I wasn't called myself an explorer If I didn't go close to the glacier ice wall - I never been on the glacier or even so close to it, so it was my first time, first oportunity to touch it, to hear it, to feel it...
I was walking among the glacier walls hearing the sounds of cracking ice somewhere deep inside - I understand why glaciers are called 'the living ice' - we cannot see this with naked eye but it is moving all the time, such powerful, huuuge structure, billions of tons of ice is moving, shaping the land underneath, and You are standing just next to it, feeling the proccess...
So tiny man with its short and fragile life towards the ice-monster forming the landscapes...
One of my dreams was to touch the glacier ice - the real ice of real glacier - and I did it! I was coming back there...sorry, I was running back there, because I was almost late on my boat, I wanted to be there even one more minute, just to contemplate the scene and the moment.
I came back to the car, gather tent, all my stuff and head back to home - very hungry for more but very happy of what I saw and experienced.
I wish to visit the place some day! I wish to go up to see the ice fields of the glacier... I felt in love with this ice monster!
The place, and probably all other places, where we can approach the glacier, I truly reccomend to visit for all cost! Next to northern lights - this is the real taste of the north!