Adventurer of the Week: Jake Shauli's Interstellar Glacier Adventure

Jake Shauli

Jake, a photographer from New York, shares his glacier walk experience on the same glacier that the movie Interstellar was filmed.

What motivated you to visit Iceland?

There were a number of things that motivated me to visit Iceland. Most of the motivation came from my brother.  He was interested in visiting a lot of  glaciers sooner rather than later given what he knows about global warming and glaciers retreating all around the world. He prioritized visiting Iceland for that particular reason. On my end, I was really into the movie Interstellar and they filmed a lot of it in Iceland, especially Dr. Mann’s planet.  Additionally, it just looks like a great place to visit because you can see so much in such a short amount of time without lots of plane or train rides. You just get there, rent a car and see whatever you like.

How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?

I traveled with my girlfriend, my brother and a friend. We rented a car and drove around Iceland for about 2 weeks.  

Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?

We went on the Glacier Adventure tour (a 4 hour glacier walk on Svinafellsjökull, part of Vatnajökull). We chose this tour specifically because Icelandic Mountain Guides  were the only ones that we could find during our internet research that went to the same glacial tongue that Interstellar was filmed. In fact, we found an article on Gizmodo where they talked about this specific tour.

Jake Shauli

What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?

Our guide Niko from Italy was awesome! He just was an expert on everything glacial.  He would stop and point out something like a line or a rock or something seemingly obscure and explain why it is significant, and how thousands of years shaped whatever we were seeing. Also, I was lagging behind and taking pictures during the tour and he was totally ok with that.  He was not only an expert but also a great person.

What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?

I learned so much! Some of the history was really interesting. I never knew that Iceland was ruled by Denmark for a long time and only gained its independence recently, relatively speaking. I learned a ton about the cultural history of Iceland everywhere I went.  

If you had more time in Iceland, what else would you like to see and do?

If I were there in the winter, I would like to go inside of an ice cave. That was the biggest thing we had to skip because we visited in the summer. The other thing is visiting the West Fjords.  We just didn’t have time to drive out there. It would also be great to do some more hikes.

Jake Shauli

What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?

A lot! Be prepared for how much things costs.  The prices are a bit more than you expect, especially coming from the United States. There is a lot to do no matter how much time you have to spend. For instance, if you only have a few hours because of a layover you can still see some of the best stuff, but if you have a lot of time it is easy to rent a car and go see what you want.

There is only one road around the country so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. The midnight sun is awesome! If you can make it in the summer you can definitely get a lot more done in your day and experience something rare. You can only find the midnight sun in a few other places.

I learned a ton about the cultural history of Iceland everywhere I went.

What adventure are you off to next? What is your next dream adventure?

I haven’t had a big adventure since going to Iceland.  I think the next one might be on the west coast of the U.S. and maybe on the west coast of Canada. I’ve heard that Vancouver is amazing, especially the lakes and hiking. From there, I would like to drive down the western coastline of the U.S. In the distant future, I would like to visit South America and Southeast Asia.

To see more about Jake’s adventure in Iceland, follow him on instagram.

The out-of-this-world landscape on our Glacier Adventure tour is only one of the many features that make it an unforgettable experience. Book your tour and join us for an excursion that is guaranteed to make memories that last a lifetime.

About the Author

Jewells Chambers

Jewells Chambers

Jewells is a Brooklyn, NY native but love, work and a taste for adventure have brought her to Iceland. As the Content Marketing Manager, she has the exciting task of bringing Icelandic Mountain Guide’s voice and its customer’s stories to life across the digital universe. When she is not working on content strategy, you can find her frolicking in Icelandic nature, trying new vegan recipes, instagramming and pretending to understand when someone speaks in Icelandic. “Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” - Ibn Battuta

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