Visitors to Iceland are getting a new perspective on one of Europe’s largest glaciers, Langjökull A 550 metre-long tunnel has been constructed to take visitors deep into the heart of the ice cap.
A series of different rooms have been carved out of the ice, some up to 30 metres below the glacier’s surface. There is even a chapel, and yes its for hire.
Arngrimur Hermannsson, is a glacier tour guide and one of the main creators of ‘Into the Glacier’ project: “What we took out of the glacier here and out on the surface is just as if you have a big bathtub and you take one drop out of it. So huge and so big. And the glaciers are so important. And we want to educate the people about the glacier.
The project not only caters for tourists, geologists and glacier researchers come here to study the movement and formation of ice.
The world’s glaciers are in a vulnerable state, and may disappear altogether.
Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, geologist and author:“They are losing about 0.2 to 0.3 percent of their mass every year. And Langjökull, this big ice cap, if this trend continues, there will be no ice cap here in 150 years.”
Langjökull, which means “long glacier” in Icelandic, is a two hour drive from Reykjavik, and already attracts a large number of visitors.
‘Into the Glacier’ opened on 1 June and has been created to raise awareness of the threat posed to these chilly phenomenon.