Storm’s Return – Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

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Iceland’s black sand Reynisfjara Beach, as seen from Dyrhólaey, takes on an ominous feel as a winter storm approaches.

Before our trip to Iceland, we were anxiously watching the weather reports. We knew how bad the winter storms can be, and I’m not exactly a seasoned winter veteran. The week before we left, the weather was perfect. But I didn’t put much stock in it, because the locals constantly talk about how fast the weather can change, and that the weather report isn’t accurate more than two or three days out. Well, they were right. When I took off from New York, the weather reports looked decent. When I landed in Reykjavik, it looked markedly worse. I opened it up and the ominous headline read: “The Storms Return.” Great. The first day was fine, but this photograph is about when it started to turn. Our time at the iconic Reynisfjara black sand beach was not the stuff of fairy tales that most travel blogs would have you believe. 75 mph gusts of wind saturated with entrained sand painfully blasted any exposed skin. I didn’t even take out my camera, out of fear the sand would scratch the lens. This photograph is taken from the elevated lookout at Dyrhólaey, where the winds were even worse but at least there was less sand. The white-out blizzard hadn’t arrived yet… that was to come tomorrow.

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