16 May 2013

Iceland Day 4 – Vík Black Sand Beach / Laufskálavarða / Driving East

We visited the Black Sand Beaches of Vík after going glacier hiking/ice climbing on Day 3(see above for links). As we navigated our car towards the little, southernmost village of Iceland, the sun was already on its way to down.
It wasn’t our intention to visit this attraction in such low light but with our rather cramped itinerary, this was our only chance to see it. But you know what.. it was still BEAUTIFUL. A special, dark, windy, and scary kind of beautiful.

I love the blackness of the basalt sand. Above you can see a couple of basalt rock fingers/stacks in the distance, which are leftovers from a sea-battered cliffline that was once there.

The sea was rough and the waves were strong. We all stood watching it for a long time.. sort of absorbing its energy and marvelling its power. I imagined what it would be like swimming there. Or surfing there. I couldn’t decide what would kill me first – drowning or hypothermia.

^Here’s a video I took so you can get more of a feel!

The waves would bash the shore so hard that there would be such a huuuuge area of foam each time.

Sometimes, we would be so engrossed in our awe that we don’t realise the foam creeping up to TOUCH us. We’d suddenly realise and run away screaming.. it was so much FUN! It’s like playing catch with the sea. It’s a game I regularly enjoy at the beach, but I have to say, this one in Vík was my fastest and most exciting opponent yet.

DINNER AT HOTEL PUFFIN/HOTEL LUNDI

Following tips on TripAdvisor, we went to Hotel Puffin to eat. There wasn’t much choice in Vík really, especially since it was winter/off-peak season as well.

There are two main meats in Iceland – fish and lamb. By this time we were accustomed to most restaurant menus offering either one of these as a main. I think the menu is also more limited during winter season.

NOT that it bothered me – because Icelandic lamb is HEAVENLY. So soft, so tender, so juicy, so effing delicious!

  

^Dessert was apple crumble (pretty good). I also tried Lava Beer, a strong, pitch black beer with an alcohol content of over 9.4% (yesss). It had a rather chocolatey aroma. I liked it!


DAY 4 – DRIVING EAST

The next morning, we checked out of Volcano Hotel – which we LOVED – and started our journey to Jökulsárlón (the famous iceberg lagoon!) early. As we were passing Vík again, we stopped by to pick up supplies, like food… and an amazing wolf tail that I found at a souvenir shop, of course.

SOOOO this is what the place looks like in the daylight..

^This reminded me of Table Mountain in South Africa!

^Do you love the bits of ice on the ground? I did!

^Getting out photos.

The landscape was so vast and so empty. So strange and so overwhelming. So open and so exciting!

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^Me with Zorro

^Iceland’s everchanging, ever-so-beautiful landscape.

^Jayna, the camera and photography enthusiast in our group.

She brought some fancy schmancy analog camera that opened up like a lunchbox. Or a jack-in-a-box. My eyes nearly popped out when she said it cost her £1000.

^Birds.. I thought this shot was rather National Georgraphic-esque? Don’t you think? Except that I took it with my iPhone and there probably needs to be more birds present..

^I LOVE THESE TWO PICS ABOVE

What kind of ALIEN landscape is that, right??  I was in a car on a road that was pretty much mine, staring at this STRANGE scene with the icy cold wind in my face. For a few short moments, I had left the planet and found another.

Laufskálavarða

One of Iceland’s oldest farms used to be here.. until it got disintegrated by the eruption of Katla (nearby volcano) in 894. That is, by the way, 1119 years ago..

*bimbo moment – sometimes I can’t quite grasp the fact that there were PEOPLE on this planet THAT long ago.. what more doing activities like FARMING. Didn’t they just live in caves and doodle on the walls?*

Laufskálavarða, the lava mound, was named after the farm. The tradition is that if you’re passing through for the first time, you add a stone to one of the bazillion stone cairns for good luck on your journey.



Honestly, they looked like piles of poo.

^I tried to ‘be one’ with Laufskálavarða.

^Erm..

^Here’s a video of us goofing around on an ice puddle 🙂

ICELANDIC HORSES

We passed by some of these curious horses loitering around the fence and stopped to say hello.

I patted a couple of them. But I don’t really understand Horse.. what more Icelandic Horse, so I wasn’t sure what they tried to say to me. We left them a bite of an apple. I’m not sure if they ate it in the end.

^Remnants/steel beams of a bridge that was DESTROYED by glacial floods caused by a volcanic eruption in 1996. Can you believe the bridge was demolished by a bunch of GIANT ICE BLOCKS?

Next up: Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon.

Want more tips on how to make your trip to Iceland AWESOME? Check out TinyIceland! It’s one of my favourites.

4 Comments

Krissy |

haha i love the video of you guys sliding around on the ice puddle!!

that landscape is so beautiful, yet different. does look very alien!

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