Photographer's Note

Watercolors of Iceland #4

The black sand beach of Vik. South of Iceland.

The village Vík in the south of Iceland is indicated on road signs from a long distance (about 180 km from Reykjavík), despite its small size (about 300 inhabitants).
It is an important service center for the inhabitants and tourists around the Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
A remarkable feature is the beautiful black beach with the Reynisdrangar, black basalt columns sculpted by the sea. A folk tale says that they are former trolls which were caught outside at dawn. The sea around them is rather wild and stormy, so travelers will not be surprised to discover a monument to the memory of drowned seamen at the beach. The American journal Islands Magazine counted this beach as one of the ten most beautiful beaches on Earth in 1991. The town is the wettest place in Iceland.
The near-by mountain Reynisfjall is very famous in ornithology circles. Many species of birds are to be seen there in summer, especially puffins. These may also be observed at the peninsula Dyrhólaey some kilometres away.
The village of Vik has another notable characteristic, one which may cause inconvenience to visitors. The risk of rainy days here is higher than in all the rest of Iceland.
Near Vik in 1964 and in 1965 two French sounding rockets of the type "Dragon" were launched from a transportable launch pad.
Vík is the site of the fictional Hanso Foundation's Vik Institute in the TV series Lost.

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Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 487 W: 1 N: 1045] (4929)
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