Unfortunately, due to a storm, we had to reschedule our Ice cave tour which meant that Anthony could not go due to having class. So Suriel and I ventured out by ourselves for the first time this trip, leaving Anthony’s apartment at 9 AM. We were bound to forget something, so of course we did and had no food for the two hour drive to the meeting point for our excursion into the Langjokull Glacier.
On our way up there, we got to drive through a really long tunnel that actually goes beneath the ocean. So we got to check that off our list ( after paying $10 to do so). As we made our way to the meeting point for the Ice cave Tour, we made a quick stop on Anthony’s reccomendation,
Conveniently, the Hraunfosser Waterfall(s) was on the way and only about 10 minutes away from our meeting point to reach Langjokull Glacier for our Ice Cave Tour. The river that feeds the waterfalls comes from a lava field that was formed after a volcanic eruption beneath the same glacier we were going inside.
There were so many mini-waterfalls and streams flowing into the river it was impossible to capture them all with a single photo. Check out the video below to see the numerous streams and waterfalls along with the crystal blue water.
More hues of crystal blue.
Another varying shade of crystal blue water can be seen above in the clickable thumbnails. ΔΔΔ
Suriel and I opted to explore more and walked to the top of one of the river embankments where we found that each puddle was frozen over. Due to its shallowness, the frozen puddle was more like a thin sheet of glass than it was block of ice, so stepping on it was one of the more satisfying moments of my life. Stepping, and cracking, the frozen puddles was contagious and it kept Suriel and I occupied. To get a sense of just how amazingly satisfying it was, watch the video below. ∇∇∇
Farther up from Hraunfosser was another waterfall called Barnafoss.
The story goes that there were two children playing on the natural bridge over the waterfall and they fell in and drowned. In her grief, the children’s mother had the bridge destroyed so it would never happen to any one else’s children – Hence you have the name. If you want to read more in depth on the history of Barnafoss, click the below picture to see and read the notes in a variety of languages.
Ice Cave Tour
We got to the meeting point a bit early (if you aren’t early, you’re late) and got some snacks and coffee to wake us up and get us ready for the impending ride to the glacier and the incredible experience that would follow it when we went inside the Langjokull Glacier.
The Monster Truck was ready to go so we boarded first and got ready for the hour drive up to the glacier through black rocks, snow, mud, and incredible awe-inspiring scenery.
The drive up to the entrance of the glacier was long and cramped with a little boy around 7 years old who wouldn’t shut up. But even the sound of boy’s exclamations as he played a game on his Ipad on full volume couldn’t keep Suriel awake. Per usual, Suriel was slumped. Unlike me, Suriel didn’t have a coffee before we left on the monster truck so as always, he slumped out hard. Definitely check the video below to laugh at him.
The monster truck took one last stop for a bathroom break at the Summer base camp, called “Klaki”, closer to the Ice Cave’s entrance, allowing us to get out and see the huge white expanse of the Icelandic country.
We arrived at the entrance to the Glacier, which was held open by a huge metal pipe. Since the glacier is melting and shrinking each year, without the pipe the entrance to the glacier would also shrink and eventually disappear all together.
It was below freezing outside but once we entered the tunnel we noticed a difference; there was absolutely no wind nor wind chill. But we also learned from our guide that the inside the glacier is always a perfect 32 degrees. Another interesting and mind blowing fact was that 80 percent of the water that makes Gulfoss flow comes from the glacier that we were standing inside of.
Throughout the whole tour we didn’t listen much to our tour guide and decided to keep on with our normal routine of photoshoots. I think Suriel & I are both glad we skipped the listening part of the “Ice Cave Tour” and opted to take photos because the tour guide didn’t leave us much time to do so at the end. We definitely got our money’s worth.
Being inside an Ice Cave was amazing but it did come with a price. Never in my life had I been worried about regaining feeling in my toes until this day. I was constantly moving my toes in hopes that I would be able to feel them again. This went on for 3 hours until we got back into the heated monster truck that took us back to our car.
The Drive Back
After an excruciatingly long ride back to our cars, we were on our way back to Anthony’s place in Reykjavik. On the way up we came via the tunnel that goes beneath the ocean but since we didn’t want to shell out another 10 dollars we decided to go a different and slightly longer route.
The drive back was incredible and was something we were not expecting. As we drove the clouds moved out of the way and the blue sky showed itself to us (something we hadn’t seen in days).
But just as with the Ice Cave and my toes, to experience the beauty of this drive, there was a price. Since we opted for the road less traveled, we quickly learned this road wasn’t one that was well maintained – it was made of a mix of gravel, larger rocks, and numerous potholes. As Suriel maneuvered the best he could to avoid the many potholes in the road, we heard the constant smacking and banging of gravel hitting the body of our rental car.
“Gravel Protection” is one of the types of insurance you can add to your car rental in Iceland but of course, we chose not to as we couldn’t imagine really needing it (and we are cheap). After driving this sketchy road, we quickly learned why that insurance is so important – As we drove both Suriel and I were stressing every time we heard a smack on our car from the gravel thinking it may be costing us hundreds of dollars. But lucky for us there was no damage.
But one would think that since these roads were so unkept and sketchy you would be trying to keep your eyes on the road and drive as safely as possible – That was not the case for Suriel as he thought he would be able to drive and maneuver on these unkept roads all the while taking a Snapchat. Even after I offered to take the snap for him, Suriel insisted he was capable and then quickly proceeded to almost killing us by driving off the side of the road. You can watch this hilarious/ terrifying moment in the snap he took below. ∇∇∇
As the pictures show, the rest of the drive was incredibly beautiful and clear. With our soundtrack for the drive consisting of Ed Sheeran, Of Monsters & Men, Frank Ocean, and of course Future we were happy and content.
The drive was phenomenal and probably the most beautiful drive I have ever done. We drove into and around huge coves and bays, seeing along the way all kinds of wild and domestic Icelandic Horses. Interestingly enough, these horses didn’t seem to move and only stood there completely motionless and staring out into the distance or at the ground below them. It was very odd as it wasn’t just a few horses doing this but about 90 percent of the horses we saw this day. It must be an Icelandic thing I guess.
This was the best weather we had during our time in Iceland and really showed us to appreciate the little things like the warmth of the sun and the beauty & stoke that blue skies bring. This whole day was filled with adventure from seeing waterfalls, glaciers, and beautiful scenery so we realized how extremely lucky we were to be experiencing it all.