The first thing we did today was pack and travel. We left our hostel in Vik early this morning, making a stop to collect groceries for the next few days, and set out north-east to Klaustur.
Klauster is a small town, right between Mýrdalsjökull, the glacier we worked at yesterday, and Vatnajökull, which is the second largest glacier in Europe. In Klauster we learned a lot about the history of the region, especially about the 1783 eruption of the volcanic fissure Lakagígar, a devastating natural disaster that we read about in the semester leading up to the trip.
After a short film about the eruption in a local visitor center, we went on a hike around the nearby cliffs, getting an excellent view of the ocean and the town below, as well as Systravatn, a beautiful lake at the top of the cliffs. At the end of the hike, we were about to see Kirkjugólf (The Church Floor), a formation called columnar basalt which forms when a lava flow cools under the right conditions.
Today was mostly a historical and cultural day, and a break from our scientific work, but it was really cool to see the places and landmarks we have studied in person.