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The Black Beach: Probably The Most Amazing Location In The World

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"Just tell me where you want it to go and I'll bring it over," said Denni: the quiet, friendly guy helping us get Eldhús onto the black beach. In his eyes there were never any problems - only different ways to solve a task. Denni is a member of the Icelandic voluntary search and rescue team and a carpenter by trade in Vík, so he is used to much more difficult tasks than this one. He has accompanied a lot of film crews on the beach as well as high up on the glacier in very difficult conditions, serving the crew with an old army truck complete with a kitchen. It's like a scene in a Hollywood movie and indeed this spot has served as a location in countless TV programs, music videos and feature films over the years. We have a stunning view on each side of us, with the screaming ocean and its huge waves hitting the black beach, and three enormous cliffs, the big rock Dyrholaey on one side, and the glacier Mýrdalsjökull hiding Katla, Iceland's most powerful volcano under the thick layer of ice.

Garðar, the youngest member of the Icelandic culinary national team and chef at one of Reykjavik's best fish restaurants, Fiskifélagið, is our chef today. He has decided not to take the easy option in cooking tonight's dinner. He starts building a stone grill on the beach to prepare a common ling, a fish that Icelanders don't usually cook.

"People just don't know how to cook ling and for some strange reason it is exotic to them. The fish can be up to 1.2 m long and has a great taste, especially grilled," Garðar says. As he runs from Eldhús back to his natural grill on the sand, I hurry to get the house ready for today's guests at the black beach. I have to set the table, put the pictures on the walls, heat up the room and turn on the oil lamps. I can't stop looking out to the ocean at the cliffs and the glaciers- what stunning scenery.

Suddenly I see four people approaching, walking up the beach. Right on time. I'd better call my surprise guest and ask him to get ready to show up! There is a knock on the door.

Our four hungry visitors- Tristan, Nick, Michelle and Carla have found their seats at the table in Eldhús. "Skál" we say as four glasses of white wine are raised high above the table. At this moment I see two riders in the distance heading for Eldhús. What a fantastic scene to see the horses outside. I am afraid that they may start eating the turf roof so I take a position between them and my precious little house. Jóhannes is there with his 14-year-old daughter Birta to show our guests Icelandic horse to make the experience complete! Jóhannes explains the four different gaits of these famous horses. They are particularly famous for their unique gait called a "tölt". Jóhannes tells us that a good rider can hold a full glass of beer steady sitting on the horse in tölt without spilling any at all!

Jóhannes and Birta sit down with us and Jóhannes starts telling our guests about life on the horse farm. His farm is beautifully located between two waterfalls and above is the mighty Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Jóhannes is a member of a choir which reminds me that there are three things in every village in Iceland: a choir, a swimming pool and a golf course.

Nick, Tristan, Michelle and Carla all want to experience the Blue Lagoon before they leave the country. That is where we are heading tomorrow. Maybe we will see each other there again. The daylight seems to be slowly losing its battle against the darkness. It is the time of the magic hour. There will definitely be northern lights in the sky tonight.

Around the Web

iceland.is | The Official Gateway to Iceland

Iceland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BBC News - Iceland country profile

Iceland Travel Guide | Fodor's Travel Guides

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