When you stand on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean just south of Jökulsárlón the shore is littered with chunks of ice as far as you can see in either direction, some pieces are the size of your fist, others as large as an SUV, some are sharp like broken glass and some are perfectly smooth, some are crystal clear and some are opaque and cloudy, while yet there are some whose translucent blue reminds me of Blue Sky from Breaking Bad. It’s the austerity of it. The cold, the light rain, the ten foot chunk of ice in the shallows that rocks each time a wave rolls in to shore, too heavy to be moved up out of the water and too large to float in such little depth. It’s a gorgeous purgatory, a snapshot of something I’m trying to breathe in but ultimately can’t capture.

The lagoon has been featured in several movies, from some in the James Bond series to Batman Begins, so you know it’s going to be beautiful. My favorite aspect was the stillness. The water and the ice in perfect balance until a piece breaks off and causes a splash and ripple or a lone seal drifts along at a leisurely pace. If you climb the hills overlooking the lagoon you get unobstructed views of the whole ice floes all the way up to the face of the glacier itself. It’s not a short drive to get there, but with so much to see and do along the way, not to mention the stunning nature of the lagoon itself, it’s absolutely worth the trip.