By Laura Aish, Third Year PhD, Film and Television
The Croft Magazine // Laura Aish introduces the travel section's new 'Sense' series, celebrating the most memorable sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches that our writers have experienced travelling. We start with her account of an Icelandic glacial walk.
Cracking, spitting, popping: I walked across and looked at it in awe. It was a glacier. I was standing on an actual glacier.
It was a long time ago now - back in 2009 - and it was part of a tour in Iceland. As we drew up, the group's anticipation of what we were about to experience was palpable. The cool air permeated all around. Our breath curled and spiralled upwards in front of us as we took in the view. A vast icy expanse – so beautiful, so captivating – it stretched out before us like the surface of an icy planet.
The ground was crunchy and you had to watch your step. Our tour guide pointed out the dangerous parts of the ice. Walk slowly. Move carefully. You had to engage all of your senses to stay aware of where you were moving.
The shape of the glacier was impressive. It was like a large sculpture – reaching off in this direction and that. Shaped around the land. It formed an intricate maze of frozen caves and waterfalls, with icy peaks and deep grooves cutting through it all.
Water could be seen dripping and cascading - almost as though it were dancing
Water could be seen dripping and cascading at the same time - almost as though it were dancing. Juxtapositions of pace and pause as the water fell rhythmically from the curved lips of ice caves. Clear little drops that were so pristine – drip, drip, drip – into the rivers churning below, that were just visible through the holes in the surface.
The glacier was something truly special for me. A unique experience. A rare experience. It is a memory that has stayed with me and a view that I can still remember clearly. It made me feel in awe of nature and I don’t think I’ll ever see or experience something quite like it again. I feel incredibly lucky that I had the opportunity to do so - especially given the ever-increasing effects of climate change.
Featured Image: Epigram / Louie Bell