The South Coast of Iceland and Vik Stacks

Vik Stacks. The south coast of Iceland is home to these extraordinary rock formations near the Vik community Water spouting from cliffs. Water spouting from a crack in the cliffs A single road runs around Iceland. Only tracks penetrate the interior. In the north and west there are places to which one can divert before returning to continue the circuit, but in the south the road is confined by hills and glaciers to a narrow route and even this insubstantial tarmac tread is frequently overcome either by the glaciers or the sea. It is like all of Iceland, eerily beautiful, running by small green hamlets or out across desolate plains of melt-water and black ash. Icelandic horses by the road. Horses, the small Icelandic variety, Go to another site. are the commonest livestock Stream and scrub. A stream with scrubby birch which grows to a foot or so vertically then continues, often for some considerable length, horizontally. Very occasional defiles allow the trees sufficient protection to grow to a more familiar form as shown to the right Village and fields with horses. Grazing is afforded beteen the hills and the sea Tree-shaped trees. Cliff and waterfall Iceland is rich in spectacular waterfalls often tumbling for hundreds of feet House under cliffs. A house sat-upon by the crags Stream on rock surface. Water takes so many forms Turf roofed  house. A turfed roof house Go to another site. in one of the hamlets that line the road Crags near Vik. The bounding hills near Vik where they turn to precipitous crags Village and church. Vik Go to another site. church and village Black sand below hills. The hills along the coast are sometimes footed by black sand... Fields below hills. ...and in other places by green fields and hamlets Church and mountains. The new church at Kirkjubæjarklaustur with the mountains of the Vatnajökull National Park in the distance... Church and hills. ...since this picture was taken trees have grown up around the church and it is now harder to see Meltwater and black sand. As the road gets further east the meltwater from the glaciers combines with the black ash to create this desolate landscape Black sand by stream. Black sand banks Church and black ash. Vik church looks out... Black ash landscape. ...over the volcanic black ash landscape... Vik stacks with waves. ...towards those stacks. The strangeness of this black volcanic outlook is underlined by the eruption, a hundred kilometres west of here, of the island of Surtsey in the mid 60s. The next page continues along the south coast of Iceland to a glacier which flows into the sea - Vatnajökull The Vatnajokull glacier flows into the sea. line
Saturday 9th December 2017 Murphy on duty

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