“Oh my god, it’s Jaws”, I hear someone gasp behind me. I smile. That very same thought crossed my mind a few moments earlier. We (the boyfriend, G and I) are taking a tour at the Jökulsárlón glacial lake. It seems appropriate nature features ice-Jaws here, as Jökulsárlón has been a popular film location throughout the years.
James Bond himself started the hype in 1985, in the pre title sequence of A View to Kill. Roger Moore skiing on the glacier, finding a -for him- important chip on a dead man in white. He’s being followed by Russians whose helicopter in the end crashes in one of the icebergs of Jökulsárlón.
Bond – Pierce Brosnan this time – returned in 2002, in Die another Day. Director Lee Tamahori shot the climax car battle scene between Bond and Zao, villain Gustav Graves’ loyal henchman at Jökulsárlón as well. Another movie, shot both here and at the nearby Svínafellsjökull, was Batman Begins. Iceland turns out to be one hell of an actress and acts as Tibet this time.
The Siberia-parts of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider were also set here. Location manager Chris Brock (on cinemareview.com): “Taking a unit our size onto the glacier was quite something to organise. I don’t think anyone had ever taken an amphibious transport boat onto the glacier. The road up to the glacier was quite narrow and steep, with some very sharp turns. It even amazed the locals. Inevitably, the day before the unit arrived, there was a terrible rainstorm that washed the snow off the glacier, leaving sheet ice, and washing away part of the road up to the glacier.”
Actually, I have pondered for some time whether I should feature Jökulsárlón here. It’s beyond the scope of this blog as I haven’t visited it any other way than has been described in tourist guides: taking a guided trip on an amphibian vehicle (which started after A View to Kill was shot there). But rules only exist to be broken: Jökulsárlón is a breathtaking glacial lake and I can’t but write about it and advise you to visit it.
Jökulsárlón is situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull, between Skaftafell and Höfn. It hasn’t been always there. Nature ‘created’ it in 1934-1935, when temperatures started rising and icebergs started calving and falling of the glacier. The lake is still growing as the glacier keeps melting. Compared to the 70’s the lake is nowadays four times bigger. In winter the lake freezes and locks the icebergs. The icebergs are much bigger than one would think, I learned from our guide. Only one tenth of them is above the surface. Sometimes they flip, which happened as we were there. Unfortunately I couldn’t see it. That’s also the reason the only possibility to go on the lake is by guided tour, because the guides know how close they can go near an iceberg. But I got to see seals, which live there as well. It’s great to spot them in their natural habitat.
If you want to check Jökulsárlón out, the tourist board has a live webcam there.
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