Our next stop Immediately after Vik was very interesting. It was only a few miles down the road. In fact it was on the beach just past the 4 pillars. This was called Reynisfjara.
It surprised me that this place was not even mentioned in my Guidebook. How could that be? Reynisfjara is a world-famous black-sand beach found on the South Coast of Iceland, just beside the small fishing village of Vík í Mýrdal (Vik). There were huge basalt sea stacks with roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas, Reynisfjara is widely considered to be the most beautiful example of Iceland’s black sand beaches. In 1991, National Geographic voted Reynisfjara as one of the Top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet. It is really the same beach as Reynisdrangur that we had just passed. It is all connected. This time we came close to the stacks and walked on the black sand beach.
There were also basalt columns that reminded me of Giant’s staircase in Ireland. Facing the sea was a huge natural pyramid made of basalt columns that looked like a staircase to the sky. This basalt cliff is called Gardar. The rocks are nearly perfectly shaped. It is difficult to conceive how nature could do this. After all nature never works in a straight line. Nature meanders! I think there is a lesson there for my friends who hate to meander. So many of my friends always want to get “there” as soon as possible. Perhaps this is why Chris calls me “a meanderthal.”
The symmetrical columns were shaped when many years ago, lava flowed out and then cooled and contracted. The slow speed at which the lava cooled made it crack and create these near hexagonal forms. This process is called columnar jointing. Such columns can be found at other places in Iceland such as Svartifoss waterfall or Dettifoss waterfall. The process is interesting but I decided not to include it in this post.
There are some very similar names for some of the sights. The tallest of the pillars reach as high as 66 metre. The black sand beach is literally made of lava. It is not a tanning beach. After all how often can you tan in Iceland? It was created by lava flowing into the sea which cooled it almost instantly.Reynisfjara is not a fine sand beach. It is actually small black pebbles of varying sizes. Like so much of Iceland., it was rugged and wild.
I also enjoyed looking the opposite direction away from the pillars. There was a pierced rock that reminded me of Perce Quebec. We were told that one brave flyer flew threw the hole in the rock 3 times.
When we were done we drove by another lovely church. Iceland has so many of them.