Svartisen glacier at the side of the road

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We have just driven off the ferry at Forøy and can now take it easy – we have no more ferries to catch today so there will be no more races to reach the next ferry. We drive only for a few minutes and then all the cars in front seem to be stopping – and we stop as well. There is a place where you can enjoy a good view of the main glacier of mainland Norway. It is called Svartisen – svart in Norwegian translate into black – so the glacier is basically called black ice.

The slowly flowing ice going down the mountain

The ice might be called black ice – but from a distance it certainly looks pretty white. You can catch a boat to the ice if you like it will take you across the fjord and you can walk on the ice for a few minutes before you have to catch the boat back. Actually you might be able to stay longer if you had arrived earlier in the day but we have been away for a while today so we will pretty much have to return on the first boat back. We decide to give the tour boat a miss after having taken a couple of ferries today already.

The large Svartisen glacier going to the fjord

So we only stop at another good road stop a bit further down the road from where you can see the glacier which is slowly flowing down from the mountain to the fjord below. The glacier of Svartisen is quite big – it covers a total of 400 square kilometers and it is the biggest glacier in Norway north of the Arctic Circle – ironically there is a bigger glacier south of the Arctic Circle.

The ice in the glacier can reach a thickness of 600 meters – though I guess many places it will be less than this. The glacier is slowly flowing down from the top with a speed of up to 2 meters in 24 hours – so you can really see the movement with the naked eye – you will need a time-lapse camera to record the movement which I don’t have plus we don’t have the time to wait for days to catch the movement anyways.

The fjord next to Svartisen glacier

While the ice is slowly moving it is dropping from a maximum height of 1200 meters to pretty much sea-level when it reach the fjord to die and melt into the Atlantic Ocean.

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