We drove into the glacier town of Franz Josef on a Wednesday. A gloomy overcast day with scattered showers.
Checking out available ways to see the glacier, it seemed as though it was all or nothing – guided helicopter tour or a self-guided hike. Unfortunately for us, we hadn’t budgeted for the helicopter, which is currently the only way tourists can walk on the actual glacier. Due to the instability of the glacial ice and after tourist deaths, ground access has been closed.
Driving into the parking area to begin our rainy hike, we notice wooden signs along our path, noting dates, going back hundreds of years, marking the receding glacial head. It is hard not to notice the relatively huge retreat in recent decades. During our hike, we often stopped to look around, acknowledging that had we stood here x amount of years ago, we would have been under metres of glacial ice.