Glacier Therapy, Knitting, and Northern Lights in Iceland

The Northern lights from Perlan

I live in Iceland. I work in Perlan Exploratorium. I’ve seen northern lights pretty often. I talk about them when I work, I go chase them in my free time. They are part of my life and work. By now I thought I was used to them. But one night became special.

I was working an evening shift. The days were growing shorter, it was the first day of winter 2019. The views from Perlan’s observation deck are breathtaking, especially at sunset. Around 7 pm, I went for a sneak-peek on the balcony. Towards the west, the setting sun was giving a beautiful palette of warm colors. As I walked back, I took a lot on the opposite side, when the night was starting.

I couldn’t believe it: green dancing lights started to show on the blue dark sky. It was the first time ever I saw the sun and the northern lights sharing the same sky. I didn’t even know it was possible. I felt very lucky to be able to witness such a wonder. Sometimes, the best northern lights are the ones you are not chasing!

Sólheimajökull – Glacier therapy

One week after a health scare, I walked on a glacier. In 2019, I had a stressful year. Health problems started to show up, and a lot of stress around them. But I was set to go to Sólheimajökull. I knew the glacier was shrinking and could disappear soon. I didn’t want to miss my chance.

The weather was bad, it was raining, a storm was coming. We only had a little window to make our way to the glacier and back. We geared up. Helmets, crampons, and pikes. As soon as my feet grasped the ice, I felt energized and empowered. The weather didn’t matter, the cold didn’t matter. All that mattered was the fresh wind, the sound of the ice under my crampons, and the wondrous sight at the top of the glacier. This moment of bliss was unforgettable.

There should be something like glacier therapy!

Glaciers are alive

Not many people can say that they have a favorite glacier. Well, I do! Myrdsdalsjökull is my favorite one. It is situated in a valley, next to the Katla volcano, a 40 minutes jeep-drive from Vík in South Iceland.

I first went there in 2019 and explored the ice-cave. I loved it. The layers of volcanic ashes mixed with the clear blue ice were mesmerizing. It was like admiring the work of an architect.

This year, I went back because I wanted my friends to see the same marvel I did. What I didn’t expect was to see something totally different in the exact same place! The ice-cave I first saw was no more, but a new one was born next to it. The colors, the hills, the shapes… all was different. Yet it was the same valley.

This is when I truly understood that glaciers were alive. I can’t wait to go there again.

Knitting the land in Iceland

This is my favorite activity in Iceland: knitting the landscape! Especially in the summer, you can knit outdoors and enjoy the landscape. My favorite knitting spot so far was Landmannalaugar, the highlands only accessible during the summer.

Author: Shared by Marion Polivez for Perlan

Images by Marion Polivez

See more memories here.

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