February 16, 2006
Oh my gosh. Let me say it again. Oh my gosh.
I just got back from seeing one of the most incredible sights. Really, where is this on the Natural Wonders of the World list???
To think I was impressed by the glaciers of New Zealand. They pale in comparison to this one. I think every glacier pales in
comparison. This was like the Mt. Everest of glaciers. Please, pardon my excitement. I didn’t know mass quantities of ice could do
this to me. (Oh wait. Actually I think I did learn this when I was in Antarctica.)
I don’t really know where to start. With the boat ride that went along the north face of the glacier? Where I saw huge chunks of ice
fall to their death (well, if ice was a living thing it would have fallen to its death) in the lake? The noises that were reminiscent of
thunder when the ice was breaking and a gunshot when the said piece of ice fell into the lake? The bright iridescent blues that
radiated from within the glacier? Let me just say…I was impressed.
But more was to come…
We went on a short hike around the glacier to see it from a few different angles. Eventually we ended up at the platform where the
viewing is the best.
There were five different platforms from which to see the glacier which is massive. Really, ‘massive’ doesn’t even begin to describe
it. The glacier is literally the size of Buenos Aires. Call me a sucker for information like this but I find that pretty incredible.
In the first week of my trip, I went to Capadoccia (in Turkey) and I found the landscape truly breathtaking. So much so that until I
went to Antarctica, I rated it tops in scenery on my personal ‘Favorite Scenery’ list. I remember being there and seeing postcards
of what Capadoccia looks like in the winter when it is covered with snow. When I was at the inferior part of the glacier today, I felt
like I was looking at those postcards. The shapes looked as if Capadoccia could have been hiding underneath the ice. And seeing that
I am such the fan of ice, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.
But the main event had yet to occur…
As I was standing on the first platform staring in awe for the last few minutes before heading back to the bus, I heard a grumble. A
very long, loud grumble. This was no little piece of ice falling; this was the size of something equivalent to a building (keep in mind
the glacier is 60 meters high at the north face – approximately 180 feet). I felt like I was watching an old hotel in Vegas being
imploded to make room for a new one. It just collapsed on top of itself straight into the water. Everybody who was watching was
screaming in joy.
Five minutes later we were all still staring at the new surface that had replaced what had just disappeared. It was a slightly
different texture and different shade of blue. Then about 100 meters away, it looked like there was a big whale coming up to the
surface. But it wasn’t a whale – it was the massive piece of ice that had broken off. Now it was its own iceberg in a deep blue color. It
was bobbing up and down while getting sucked under every now and then. We were all aghast. As if this wasn’t enough to get our
glacier juices flowing, there was another loud grumble. Another part of the glacier was falling off and this piece was directly in line
with the bobbing blue blob of ice. And just two minutes later, there was another large ice mass that came up to the surface. And
then another one! These last two were more pale blue in color. All of these newly-formed icebergs were floating right next to each
Maybe I am just trying to convince myself that I saw a very rare occurrence but I really can’t believe that everybody is as lucky to
witness such a thing…
|New icebergs formed while I was there.
|The Perito Moreno glacier.