Our third day in Iceland was more than we could have ever have asked for.
We woke up with the goal of getting waffles at Mokka Kaffi, a little cafe in Reykjavik I found through Instagram months before our trip. They serve thick and fluffy waffles with whipped cream and strawberry jam, and the strongest caffe lattes I tried in the city.
Rielly, having been in Iceland 2 weeks before us, set us up to meet a friend she met who lives in Iceland, Raggi. He met us at the cafe and laid the plan he had for us for the day: glacier hiking non-tour style, to see the secret ice caves he knew about; seeing the Bruarfoss (a waterfall); and driving the Golden Circle. Beans and I were giddy over meeting a new friend and the idea of having a personal tour guide through Iceland – and seeing some of the natural attractions we hadn’t planned on seeing.
We already had our $300 (for the 2 of us combined) glacier hiking tour booked with Arctic Adventures though – our rescheduled tour for that matter. So we set off for the Arctic Adventures office on the main strip with the intention to cancel our tour and get reimbursed.
Long story-short, we were reimbursed just fine after telling our story that we drove all the way to the glacier on Tuesday to find out the tour was canceled and never received the cancellation email due to the fact that Beans’ email wasn’t working as it detected a security precaution with her trying to log in from a strange country. We were told very sternly how the company is not responsible for the weather causing cancellations. If I am to visit Iceland again, I would definitely book another tour with them and – hopefully – actually go on the tour with them. They offer some great tour options for snorkeling, glacier hiking combined with waterfalls, Golden Circle tours, and more; AND were super friendly when we went in on a random night looking for suggestions and directions to a worthy authentic restaurant.
We hopped in the car and were on our way. I should mention, with all the gratitude in the world, that it wouldn’t have been all possible without Raggi riding shotgun that day, to guide us to the impossible-to-find Bruarfoss (helpful directions to the tricky natural treasure can be found here)through a burnt orange field of grass under an overarching landscape of snowy mountains paradise; to point out the unmarked massive hole in the ground like a door in the Earth’s surface leading to a 4-mile underground cave, and to provide us with such kind & generous company that we will cherish forever.
The rest of the day went as follows and consisted of a day filled with driving:
First stop: Bruarfoss waterfall. We parked at a random driveway in a neighborhood of vacation homes off the side of the road. From there, we walked through soggy dirt and crossed a wooden path towards the sound of running water for about 15 minutes until the first sign of cyan blue water appeared from under another footbridge.
We left Bruarfoss with joy running fervently through our veins. Beans and I reflected on how we would’ve never found the waterfall without Raggi; we would’ve never parked in someone else’s driveway thinking it was okay and then trekking through their backyards to find this masterpiece.
On the way towards the Golden Circle, we spotted the legendary horses of Iceland grazing in a farm on the side of the road. I knew from pictures on Instagram that these horses were friendly and exceptionally photogenic. Beans jolted the car to a stop and the three of us ran, laughing like school children across the street and into a ditch of hay before the fence.
The horses saw us and slowly began to gallop towards the fence. It was amazing.
Next stop was the geyser, Strokkur (which means “churn”), located in Haukadalsvegur, Iceland. They geyser erupts every 10-15 minutes as if the Earth is projectile-vomiting a powerful spew of water deep within its gut.
There’s not much else to see around there unless you want to stop at the nearby retail store and restaurant, so we continued on our way.
After the Gullfoss, we realized time was preceding our plans. It was getting late and we had a Northern Lights tour with Sterna Travel planned for 8:30 p.m. We rescheduled to see the glacier with Raggi on Friday, and began to head back towards the city.
On the way, we came across this beautiful blue river.
Hot Dogs in Selfoss
We hadn’t eaten since our Mokka waffles at 9 a.m. that morning, so we stopped in the town of Selfoss for hot dogs from Pylsu Vagninn, which translates to something like “sausage wagon.”
Hot dogs are a MUST in Iceland. You can find them anywhere. What makes them special are the toppings: raw and fried onions, ketchup, mustard, and a thin remoulade kind of sauce. The sauces are different from the condiments we have here in the States; thinner and not as flavorful.
Raggi said his friend used to work at the factory where the remoulade sauce was made and we “didn’t want to know what it was made out of.” This can probably be said with most things, though….haha!
Raggi also said no fast meal is complete with a Prince Polo and a Coke, so we had to indulge in that as well. A Prince Polo is a Polish chocolate bar with crispy wafers. He was right – very satisfying.
Anyway, I had 2. And we went back for more.
Our final stop was a – as I mentioned before – random hole in the ground off the side of the road coming back from Selfoss. Raggi gave us head lamps and we literally just jumped on it. There were tall mounds of snow peaking up through the hole that we could also slide down or climb up to get out off, but it was rather slippery.
As we continued on under the Earth’s surface, we reached a point where there was no more sunlight where the cave continued on like a black hole with giant ice globes emerging from it. I couldn’t help but think of that movie Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995) with the actress from My Girl in it – does anyone remember that movie?! They get stuck in a cave and it’s so scary. So, I was like, “Hell no. Not today.”
After arriving back in Reykjavik around 7:00, we left Raggi to check the reception desk at Kex to make sure the Northern Lights tour was still on.
It had been canceled at 3:30.
So, we went out for a nice meal at a cozy little restaurant on the main strip, Old Iceland. Beans ordered a creamy penne pasta with a fillet of fish in a white wine sauce with fresh herbs and parmesan. ‘Nuff said.
And I ordered the seafood soup, made with chunks of fresh fish, white wine, herbs and cream. My soup was a dark orange color with spots of olive oil. I couldn’t figure out the flavors, and although it took a few bites to get used to the strange spices, it was really delicious.
We also ordered Sauvignon Blanc wine and I’m kicking myself now for not asking what brand of wine it was – BECAUSE IT WAS THE CRISPEST, LIGHTEST, PERFECT AMOUNT OF SWEETNESS-WINE I have ever tasted. MMM, it was such a perfect meal…
..and look how cute my date is!