Whoever designed the scenery for the animation ‘How to train your Dragon’ must have been to Iceland. I remember watching the film and thinking how spectacular but exaggerated the landscape was. There is nowhere in the real world that looks like that I thought. I was wrong.
Reynisdrangar black beach is reached by a twisting off-shoot from the main ring road, just west of the small town of Vik, on the south coast. There is a gravel car park and a café but the real attraction is the beach itself.
How so much geology can be packed in to one place is staggering. And with it comes geometry such that it is hard to comprehend that the straight lines and twisting perspectives are natural and not an MC Escher drawing brought to life.
We spent a long time, lying on the sun warmed black stones, staring at the rock formations, waiting for their secrets to emerge like a magic eye puzzle, tracing the routes of lava flows down the cliffs, discovering places where the earth had rent and bubbled and healed. I have never seen stone so vibrant, so full of movement.
Reynisdranger is the child of Iceland’s elemental forces, shaped both by the sudden violence of volcanoes and the slow sculpting of wind and rain, waves and ice. Don’t let the order of the geology fool you, this is a wild place. Lives have been lost to the sea here. Those that come to worship nature at this cathedral of stone can visit for free but must do so with respect.
For more things to do for free in Iceland see here