Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 11 - Mýrdalsjökull Glacier -> Vik -> Black Beach -> Check in cottage at Hótel Eyjafjallajökul

On the way to Vik, passed by gigantic Mýrdalsjökull glaciers near Skogafoss. Hubby said the glaciers here are very much bigger and more than that in New Zealand.

Mýrdalsjökull or the mire valley glacier is an ice cap in the south of Iceland. It is to the north of Vík í Mýrdal and to the east of the smaller ice cap Eyjafjallajökull. Between these two glaciers is Fimmvörðuháls pass. Its peak reaches 1,493 m (4,898 ft) in height and in 1980 it covered an area of 595 km2 (230 sq mi).

Enroute to highway 1

Ram, white sheep and bla bla black sheep

Then we headed to Reynisdrangar, basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjal, near the village Vík í Mýrdal, framed by a black sand beach with spectacular coast and beautiful rock formations.

Black beach at the village of Vík which is the southernmost village in Iceland, located on the main ring road , ~180 km southeast of Reykjavík.

Despite its small size (291 inhabitants as of January 2011) Vik is the largest settlement for some 70 km (43 mi) around and is an important staging
post, that is why it is indicated on road signs from a long distance away. It is an important service center for the inhabitants of and visitors to the
coastal strip between Skógar and the west edge of the Mýrdalssandur glacial outwash plain.

Its stretch of black basalt sand is one of the wettest places in Iceland. The cliffs west of the beach are home to many seabirds, most notably puffins
which burrow into the shallow soils during the nesting season. Offshore lie stacks of basalt rock, remnants of a once more extensive cliffline
Reynisfjall, now battered by the sea. There is no landmass between here and Antarctica and the Atlantic rollers can attack with full force.
The village was affected by volcanic ash during the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull

Vík lies directly south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which itself is on top of the Katla volcano. Katla has not erupted since 1918, and this
longer than typical dormant period has led to speculation that an eruption may occur soon. An eruption of Katla could melt enough ice to
trigger an enormous flash flood, potentially large enough to obliterate the entire town. The town's church, located high on a hill, is
believed to be the only building that would survive such a flood. Thus, the people of Vík practice periodic drills and are trained to rush
to the church at the first sign of an eruption.

Our accommodation arranged for the night was not around Vik. In fact, we had to return back to Hvolsvöllur and take road 261 to Hellishólar,
that is drive backwards to Eyjafjallajokul. Thank God that the sun sets at 1150pm so it was still very bright during our drive backwards.
It was very far though. The night’s accomodation was at a little, small, neat and compact cottage with 2 bedrooms in Eyjafjallajokul.
View from the cottage - Eyjafjallajökul Volcano

A tiny kitchen and dining area

Two single beds in the living room.

Living Room

A tiny bathroom and toilet

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

The wooden cottage

Cottage key. Our cottage number was 21.

Eyjafjallajökul Volcano

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