On day three in Iceland, we toured a Black Beach near Vik; Skogafoss, a waterfall; and a museum about the people of Iceland. It was another stormy day with high winds, but nothing like the night before.
We were on Iceland’s southern shore at the Hotel Katla near Vik. We survived their Icelandic storm which came ashore just before midnight. Since there are hardly any trees, there was little damage.
I had seen a black beach before, but not one this pretty. The sand is like black crystals, and since it is raining it is glistening and beautiful. The Icelanders call this beach Reynisfjara.
Just offshore we’re black basalt rock formations that jutted out of the sea.
Plus there are caves and folklore stories. The rock formations in the sea were once trolls who were turned to stone when caught by daylight.
Supposedly, monsters live in the caves. The rocks near this cave look a little like the giant’s staircase in Northern Ireland.
The water was very turbulent and dangerous.
This beach is also known for its deadly sneaker waves. There were signs everywhere warning about these rogue waves, and we were told by our guides to stay far away from the water’s edge. We thought we did!
In the photo above, notice several of our group posing for photos in front of the angry sea. See that big wave behind the couple in their red coats?
Well, if I hadn’t put down my camera and ran like hell for higher ground, Chuck and I both would have been knocked down by that wave. The lady in the headband got wet to her knees and she ran, too.
Above was my next photo as people rushed to help those knocked down by the wave. Thankfully, all of us were well up away from the waves, but one of these sneaker waves pushed far up onto the beach where we stood. Too close to the sea, and someone might have been swept away.
So many of our group got wet that we had to go back to the hotel which thankfully was a short drive away. We began to see how Iceland can be a hazardous place for the unwary.
After a change of clothes, we went to see Skogafoss. If you remember foss means waterfall. This was one of Iceland’s largest in terms of volume of water. It falls over the cliffs of a former coastline. It is 49 feet across with a 200 foot fall.
One can take a trail up to the top of the falls, but we decided against it. Too much wind and rain for us. These falls have been in many movies and tv series, including “Vikings” and “Game of Thrones”.
Our next stop was a lookout along the coastline. The entire point was littered with foam blown from the sea down below on the cliffs.
I’ve never seen the sea this violent, and Chuck and I once experience outrunning a category 4 hurricane in a clipper ship. A short video clip is below.http://oldageisnotforsissiesblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/img_2695-1.mov
Our last stop was to learn how the people of Iceland worked…
That night we went back out to see the Northern Lights again but it was too cloudy. We have an app that shows where the lights are for the night.