Still no Northern Lights but at least this morning started with the most beautiful sunrise sky I’ve seen in a long time.
When you get up in the morning to a day that starts like today did, you have to believe that it’s going to be a good day. And it was. Funny how a day in Iceland in the middle of winter can bring out the most amazing sights.
On the road, a full van packed with camera gear and luggage, our next stop was back to a beach that was almost too difficult to photograph a few days ago; Vix. The black sands originate as ash from the volcanoes that are commonly erupting all over the country. This black ash is the beach and that’s why it’s black. The sea stacks which used to be the center of larger structures loom in the distance, distinctly marking the territory for all to see.
Some of the most violent waters in the country are here where yesterday we met a fellow traveler (photographer) who was dragged into the sea while making a photo. His $35,000 camera was destroyed. So this is a dangerous place. And today it was calmer than normal, so we were lucky.
But, there’s two caves here on the beach, one very easy to reach and the other, hidden yet available at low tide. This is where the tides are fierce, too high today but others have died here. One of these caves is the source of an Icelandic Saga about a man who came to the beach one night to hear music in the cave, but it was covered with seal skins. He approached the cave and peeked inside and saw several beautiful young women dancing in the nude, so happy and care free. He watched for a while then decided to take with him a beautiful seal skin and brought it to his home, locked it in a foot locker and wore the key around his neck, and went to sleep.
The next morning, he decided to go back to the cave and see if he was dreaming. Inside was a young girl huddled and shivering with her arms wrapped around her knees. He cradled her in his arms, took her back to his home and cared for her gently. As the days wore on, they fell in love and had 7 children together building a life together. One day, he left to go fishing and while on the ocean noticed that he left his locker key at home.
Upon return, the locker was opened and his beautiful wife was gone. Sad waas he for many weeks, but soon returned to his boat and began setting his nets against the tide. Miraculously his nets filled with fish and they were the biggest, most finest fish he’d ever seen. The seals surrounded his boat all the way home and he felt her love had returned to the sea.
Poor guy, stuck with 7 children to raise on his own. That’s what you get for kidnapping a mermaid – smile.
Credit for this wonderful story goes to Stefan Helgi Valsson, Tour Guide Extraordinaire!