Iceland has so many volcanos, some don’t even have names. One of those is erupting now and it’s forced the evacuation of the town of Vik along the southeastern Icelandic coast. We drove to Vik in 2007 during our visit to Iceland. The island nation is so rocky, lava-strewn, glacier-covered, windy and difficult to get around that most towns are isolated from each other despite their close proximity.
The fishing town of Vik itself is hilly but fairly developed. I didn’t get any video of it while we were there because it was socked in by fog. Like all Icelanders, the people there are spoke better English than most Americans and were extremely friendly. It’s probably strange for them to see Americans who wanted to venture outside Reykjavik to see what Iceland is really like.
Perhaps the video that gives you an idea of what’s going on in Vik right now is one I did from the Westman Islands off the southern coast. In the 1973, the volcano Eldfell erupted there and forced the evacuation of the entire island’s population of 5,000. Through incredible communication and the help of the island’s fishing community, everyone escaped unharmed to the mainland.
Iceland ranks with Tibet as the two most mysterious and fascinating places I’ve visited. But like the rose and all things beautiful, they can be dangerous. They are both proof that you have to respect Nature and get along with your neighbors to survive life on Earth.