A beautiful village by the sea Feb 04, 2017
Although it rained when i visited Vik, i was fortunate enough to be seated in a local restaurant having my lunch when it really poured, but i managed to explore the small picturesque town after lunch in the light drizzle. Wandering along the black beach i could imagine how dangerous the sea could be as wave after wave hit the black beach. This place is beautiful on a rainy overcast day, so i can imagine how beautiful this place could be on a bright sunny day.
From most parts of the town of Vik it is possible to see the little church on the hill, and is probably the safest place to be should a flood be triggered by a volcanic eruption. The church is known as the Flatanger church and offers a wonderful view over the whole town and Atlantic Ocean.
The cemetery was further up the road and much higher than the church
If you walk towards the beach at Vik you will see Arctic Lupines growing everywhere, one of the more beautiful wildflowers. The flowers are normally blue with a slight tinge of pink, and hares and squirrels sometimes feed on the plants. I did see these flowers growing in many parts of S E Iceland
While walking towards the beach at Vik i noticed a statue of a man standing on top of a stone column. I was even more surprised when i read the plaque which informed me that the sculpture was called 'THE VOYAGE' and symbolised the bond of 1,000 years of sea trading between Iceland and Hull. It is a tribute to the fishermen who braved the severe conditions at sea and a memorial to those who perished. The sculpture was commissioned 30 years after the last cod war between the two countries.
Vik has a lovely sandy beach but i would be surprised if anyone swims there as the Atlantic Ocean was very rough on the day i visited. Actually one of the American magazines voted this beach as one of the ten best in the world even though the stretch of black basalt stand is one of the wettest places on the planet.
In the late 19th century the settlement of Vik was established but due to the proximity of the ocean the houses were in constant danger from flooding or from sand drifts. When there was a huge eruption in 1918 sand and gravel and melt water from Myrdalsjokull were washed out into the ocean forming a small peninsula east of Vik, but over the years it slowly eroded with the loose sand extending the beach at Vik. Often the sand was blown over the village and had to be cleared away. In 1933 the government were forced to do something about this so the area was cordoned off, and lyme grass and lupine were planted to stabilise the ground. Stone walls were built and eventually the shoreline was 400 m from the village. The sandy peninsula all but disappeared and no more sand drifted towards the beach so it started shrinking again and returned to the levels of 1905. A flood embankment and groyne were constructed in the last 20 years which seemed to have helped in catching the settlement and stop the beach erosion. Meanwhile volunteers continue to plant vegetation and fertilise the plants.
Vik lies directly south of Katla volcano that has not erupted since 1918, but one day it may erupt and the town of less than 300 inhabitants would be obliterated by floods. It is believed that Vik church would be the only building left standing so residents sometime practice evacuation drills to the church
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Troll Rocks Jun 29, 2008
Despite being the main focal point for the direction signs, on the way from Reykjavic, Vik is really quite a small town about half way along the southern section of the ring road.
It does however have a great beach of black volcanic sand and is the best place to see the Reynisdrangar (Troll Rocks).
Only a couple of small shops, and a couple of restaurants down near the beach, and we went into the Halldorskaffi. It wasn't that great, were left waiting for ages, to the point we were about to leave, and the choice was very limited.
Has a beatiful little church set up on the hill.
For those doing the ring road this will be a compulsory stop, as the rocks are one of the most striking features you will take as a memory for Iceland. Just don't expect to much from the town.
Part of the Iceland June/July 08 travel blog
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