Day 2 consisted of Jarv and I running around like maniacs, non-stop, jogging our way through all the Golden Circle sights in an effort to see everything before meeting the others back in Reyjkavik for dinner. We were half an hour late, running into the restaurant red-faced, apologetic and still in our ski pants. Not at all embarrassing.
The day began with a beautiful drive towards Sólheimajökull, a gigantosaurus of a glacier that we had unwittingly decided to hike. Up. For 3 1/2 hours.
We were assigned axes and crampons. If it hadn't been a chilly 4 degrees outside, the nervous sweating probably would have started at this point.
We chose to join the 'fast' group and were led up, up, up, through ice caves and over crevasses, past waterfalls and seemingly endless holes in the ice.
After the incredible hike, we parted with the others and set off to drive the Golden Circle. Stopping to say hi to this adorably cool guy:
We stopped at Gullfoss, a stunning waterfall (more like 5 waterfalls in one) but the sun had already began to move and it was mostly in shadow, so my photos didn't come out so great. Still, having seen it in person was awesome enough. So on we drove, to Þingvellir, the National Park.
This is where our forty minute jog ensued. Literally. We jogged halfway round the entire damn place, checking our watches and stopping to take it in every so often.
Then straight back to Reyjkavik to meet up with some of the others for a 9pm dinner at Humarhúsið, (The Lobster House).
The above dish - lobster (bet you didn't see that one coming), sheep, horse and pig.
By far one of the most memorable moments was our unbelievable luck in managing to see the Northern Lights. We'd driven out of the city at around 1am in the hopes of spotting them. We were told the likelihood was high, although the clarity would only be around 2 out of 10. When we realised those huge shapes we were seeing out the window was in fact the Lights, we parked the cars, hopped out and ooh-ed and ahh-ed in awe for the next 45 minutes, teeth chattering and all.
I didn't have my tripod with me. My carry-on bag was minuscule. Also, I am an idiot. So there shall be no crisp, detailed photos of one of nature's most miraculous phenomenons this time around, I'm sorry to say!