Posts tagged “Church

Vik, Iceland

Vik (pronounced Vig) has the dubious honour of being the wettest place in Iceland.  Having visited many times I can certainly vouch for this however, on one particular winter’s day this year, driving from Höfn in the east of the island, as we headed toward Vik, a sort of half-way point between Höfn and Reykjavik, we emerged from heavy snow and  leaving the blizzard behind, we drove into a wonderfully bright sunny day.

Here’s a few rare, at least in my collection, picture postcard photographs of Vik in the sunshine. The town is hidden behind the dunes but the church can clearly be seen up on the hill.  The rocks are known as Reynisdrangar and are basalt sea stacks.  I’ve also included a look back at the blizzard we left behind which incidentally pursued us relentlessly as we continued our journey to Reykjavik.  Finally catching us up a few hours after we arrived in the capital, it made the drive to the airport the following morning for our flight home a little more hazardous than we’d have liked as it was still snowing.. :-)

The Church at Vik by Adrian Theze32mm f/11 1/160 sec. ISO-100

SpacerThe Church at Vik by Adrian Theze70mm f/11 1/250 sec. ISO-100

SpacerReynisdranger, Vik, Iceland32mm f/11 1/6400 sec. ISO-100

SpacerBlack Beach, Iceland32mm f/11 1/160 sec. ISO-100

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Miðfjörður Church

I’m really quite taken with Icelandic churches.  The smallest of hamlets will have a church, many created from the same set of architectural drawings it seems.  This particular church was on the banks of Miðfjörður in the northwest of Iceland.

Miðfjörður Church24mm f/8 1/160 sec. ISO-50

It had been our plan to tour the Westfjords during our first few days in Iceland but the weather beat us unfortunately.  It was touch and go whether we’d make it to the northwest at all following the journey I wrote about in my first post from Iceland which you can see here.

Arriving in the northwest we were treated to three days of near hurricane force winds.  Gusts of wind were making it impossible to open the door to our cottage and when parking the car, I had to park broadside to the wind so that Chris could get out on the lee side and then turn the car around to allow me to get out.

It was crucial to get this right; the best that could happen if you got it wrong was you simply couldn’t open the car door.  The worst was a real risk of having the car door ripped from your hands and blown open causing a great deal of damage.  This is the most common type of damage that occurs with hire cars in Iceland apparently.

For the two nights we stayed in Hvammstangi, a red alert was in force. This meant the wind was gusting at speeds greater than 27 metres per second.  That’s a force 11 on the Beaufort scale, a wind that is very difficult to stand up in.  The advice from the Icelandic road agency is that when a red alert is in force, driving is hazardous and vehicles of all kinds risk being blown off the road.  Thankfully we didn’t get blown off the road but with snow and ice covering the roads, it really didn’t make sense to travel too far afield.  These were the conditions we encountered just a few minutes after taking this photograph. You can hear the snow flakes hitting the windscreen they were driven with such force.

I had wanted to revisit Arnastapi and Snaefellsness where this picture of another very similar Icelandic church was taken but the sadly the weather was against us..

Icelandic Church24mm f/11 1/50 sec. ISO-100

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