Iceland: Crossing the Mýrdalssandur

A large area on Iceland’s southern coast is taken up with a vast desert-like plain of black volcanic sand.  This, the Mýrdalssandur, is where material from the Mýrdalsjökull glacier has been deposited.  It is also where the water from said glacier flows out to sea.  So, when there is a jökulhaup (a sudden glacial flood), it would be best not to be on the Mýrdalssandur.  Several such events have occurred here, and as we drove across the seemingly endless sands, we saw evidence of several bridges having been washed out.  Wishing we had found a stone to place at Laufskálavardða…

Just past the eerie cairns at Laufskálavardða, there were huge “fields” of broken rock, covered in fuzzy moss (or so we thought).  It was a kind of muppet-like texture, brownish, seemingly soft, but unclear as to whether it was alive…

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And then, the sands began.




The sands went on and on and on.  I estimate that we were driving over the black sands for at least an hour, maybe more.   And it felt so desolate, but in the distance, there were stunning views of the glaciers.


Most of the bridges were only one-lane-wide, so we always had to be wary of oncoming traffic.  You could see for miles, though, so it wasn’t much of a challenge.  Driving over the bridges that had built to replace those ripped away by flood water: slightly creepy.






We watched this tour bus leave the main road and drive right up to one of the glacier “feet”.  Notice the huge axles on that bus.


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After crossing these sands, we were so close to our final destination:  the Jökulsárlón.  We arrived at the end of a long day of driving and sight-seeing………

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1 Response to Iceland: Crossing the Mýrdalssandur

  1. Judy says:

    It takes very imagination to see trolls in all this, no? 🙂

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