In search of a sandy beach

Sandur Travel Blog

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Replica of a Foroyar church sitting in the front yard of a house

I get on, I’m the only one! The driver asks my destination and I tell him, Sandur. So, off we go. Now I chose Sandur due to its unique qualities, here in Foroyar. It’s the only place that has a sand beach, sand dunes and the sand is black volcanic. This makes for a special experience in this island grouping.

 

My mother had asked me recently if I would be going anywhere that I could bring back black sand. I had just returned from Iceland so that was a shame but, I thought that Foroyar might have some. We were both in luck as I discovered that Sandur was the one an only, here.

 

We cross the island up and down some mountains and even a beautiful lake.

A house with its many additions and attachments
The land had many sheep and empty of people. The only significant settlements on Sandoy are Skopun and Sandur and the pics show how small the are.

 

We arrive and I am surprised that we are already there as it took just a short time to get there. The village seemed more like a subdivision than even a real village. I asked to be certain…..”Is this Sandur?”. The driver said it was, so I got out. I confirmed the location of my pick up. I didn’t want to screw that up.

 

I first walked over to a map of the village and surrounding area. I saw a tourist information center and was shocked and happy.

 

 I met a very friendly man who was happy to offer the information that I was seeking concerning the directions to the beach.

Across the inland lake and the distant view of a waterfall that runs through the center of the village.
He, also, seemed happy to have someone to talk to. He asked me to fill out a survey for a grad student in Edinburgh was is doing her grad thesis on “the reason why people choose to come to Foroyar for holiday”. It was very comprehensive and I was happy to offer my opinions and observations.

 

He thanked me for my time in filling it out and I thanked him for his help with directions.

 

Sandoy is one of the most fertile parts of Foroyar, interestingly enough. It's switchback road from Skopun was the first road to be completed in Foroyar, in 1917. The northern end has a small and a much larger lake that take up most of the valley on that end. Then the valley spreads out and in the center Sandur sits on a narrow promontory. Grotvik and Sandvagur (bays) sit to left to right, respectively.

 

The village church, now the 7th one on the site, was once the home of a Norwegian stave church from 1000 AD - 1100 AD.

Modern technology circa, 19th century???

 

The village, itself, is home to only several dozen homes but, it it the town with the most services on the island, including a tourist information center. There's not much of anything to see in the village. There are several beautiful expamples of turf houses but, most are newer and without charm.

 

Now, I didn’t think that I was confused but, obviously was. Where I thought he told me to go and where it actually was ……two different things. I walked about 45 minutes out of the way (round trip). It’s a long story that isn’t that interesting…..I figured it out and saw beautiful views along the way, enough said.

 

So, I find the road that parallels the sand dunes that stretch just a small area that rests between the two mountain ranges.

The beautiful green hills around the lake near Sandur
They have a special dune grass that only grows here in this one spot.

 

The village across the way is very dramatic from a distance as it has a very tall waterfall that ends in the middle of town. The protective mountains, behind, are like a natural stone wall with water feature, thanks nature, it's beautiful.

 

I walk along the road and there is a field, being farmed, separating me from the dune area. I can’t see any way to reach it other than crossing it with it’s gaggle of geese between me and the sea. So, I set out across it. As usual, I can only look down and not ahead at the view. There is so much poo that it is difficult to not step in it. With every step I must be vigilant and watch. There is just so much of it…..aarrgghhh! I just look and walk as fast as I can. The fog had lessened and I was concerned that it wouldn’t last. I had an opportunity, now.

 

I reached the fence separating the field and the beach, over I go.

Getting closer to the waterfall and Sandur
There is run off from the water fall that is making its way to the sea. It has cut a river behind the dunes separating me from them. I could walk along the right bank and reach the ocean but not reach them. Ok, it’s what I can do, so I walk along the right bank. It’s a sweeping band of water with beautiful black stones here and there, looking placed for my picture. Am I in a film? Am I dreaming? It’s that beautiful and surreal.

 

The sand has a grey brown from a distance but it is black up close. There is a white grain to it so; it’s not as black as the sand at Vik, Island.

 

I walked all the down to where the waves were breaking against the dune peninsula. You could see where the river from the waterfall and the waves from the ocean were intermingling.

 

Now, the fog was not working with me.

What a wonderful remote beach to relax and let your troubles fade away
By the minute, it was moving in. It was thick and beginning to surround the beach and up the mountains on either side of me. I decided that I had to leave. I was concerned that soon, I would not be able to see, at all.

 

I started back, walking fast but, trying to pay attention to my footing.  I didn’t want to fall again. Once at the field, the fog was already so thick that I couldn’t see the road or the lighting that I knew had already turned on. I could see the brown of the tilled dirt that was to one side of the field that I crossed. I followed the edge of it, also trying not to step in the poo, a tough challenge.

 

I made it too the road. I could feel the edge of the road because it felt different than the dirt. I couldn’t see it. The fog was terrible. I would barely make out the street light that was close. I walked that road back to the main road.

I am standing at the point where the river from the opposing village's waterfall and waves from the ocean break on the beach.
From there it was easier as the houses were close together and had color.

 

Back in the town center I waited for the bus to return. I wish that I could stay longer but, at least I came and know what is here. I can come back.

 

The bus returned and I got on, along with a group of kids. We picked up another two people at the marina. I hadn’t made it down there. Halfway between the village and the ferry, we dropped the kids off at a center of some kind. I guess they need something to do, right.

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Replica of a Foroyar church sittin…
Replica of a Foroyar church sitti…
A house with its many additions an…
A house with its many additions a…
Across the inland lake and the dis…
Across the inland lake and the di…
Modern technology circa, 19th cent…
Modern technology circa, 19th cen…
The beautiful green hills around t…
The beautiful green hills around …
Getting closer to the waterfall an…
Getting closer to the waterfall a…
What a wonderful remote beach to …
I am standing at the point where t…
I am standing at the point where …
Waterway along the interior.
Waterway along the interior.
A thick fog over the littel villag…
A thick fog over the littel villa…
Vilaage homes
Vilaage homes
A cute little
A cute little
Lovely wooden house, turf roof, an…
Lovely wooden house, turf roof, a…
A picturesque field with antique f…
A picturesque field with antique …
Walking along the lake
Walking along the lake
Close up of village with dramatic …
Close up of village with dramatic…
Field that I had to cross to get t…
Field that I had to cross to get …
Little red truck
Little red truck
Volcanic beach leading to a river …
Volcanic beach leading to a river…
Approaching the river and the dune…
Approaching the river and the dun…
Along the river and the volcanic r…
Along the river and the volcanic …
Dunes of Sandur - the river runs b…
Dunes of Sandur - the river runs …
The only dunes in Foroyar!
The only dunes in Foroyar!
Dunes and water.....and only me!
Dunes and water.....and only me!
River and stream flowing together …
River and stream flowing together…
Along the river, from the waterfal…
Along the river, from the waterfa…
Where the river meets the ocean
Where the river meets the ocean
Along the beach at Sandur
Along the beach at Sandur
Out on the beach looking back alon…
Out on the beach looking back alo…
Map of surrounding area
Map of surrounding area
Approaching the dunes and beach -…
Sandur
photo by: davidx