As we were walking back to our Airbnb from dinner, we noticed a bunch of people with their tripods and cameras facing the sky over the waterfront. We figured they were searching for the northern lights, but since we didn't notice anything in the sky, we went on our way.
We were almost home when CL noticed that she'd lost one of her gloves. Sad. In no hurry to get back, we decided to retrace our steps. Miraculously, we found CL's glove on a street corner. We really didn't expect to, so we were all giddy and laughing as we once again made our way home along the waterfront.
When we passed by the tripod people this time, however, T stopped by one couple to ask what they were looking at. The couple were from France and though they didn't speak much English, we understood clearly what they were trying to say when they showed us the photos they took.
Northern lights. Holy shit.
I'm sure seeing the northern lights is on just about everyone's bucket list. It certainly was on mine. I'd read that it was possible to see it from Reykjavik, but it didn't even occur to me that we would see it our first night there.
I'd always thought that the northern lights would be super intense and clearly visible to the naked eye. Apparently not always. The lights we saw that night looked like a faint smudge in the sky. It was only after painstakingly tweaking the settings on our cameras that the bright green became visible.
Needless to say, once we saw the images on the French couple's camera, we immediately dropped all our stuff, squatted on the ground, and dug out all our camera equipment. I was the least prepared. My tiny Daiso tripod was crap and despite playing with all the settings, my camera just wasn't able to capture the lights the way CL's camera and even CV's cell phone could.
I still gave it my best shot though. (Heh. Unintentional pun there.)
Eventually, the lights kind of faded away and we returned to our Airbnb. T was super hyped though. She kept checking the northern lights forecast website and announced that the viewing conditions were going to be fantastic at 6 in the morning.
Still high off of our northern lights encounter, we all agreed to catch some sleep and then wake up early to try our luck again. Well, all of us except DK, CL's boyfriend, who clearly valued sleep over photo opportunities.
Around 5:30 am, we bundled ourselves up and trudged our way back to the waterfront...only to discover that it was already too light out to see anything. We probably should have known. I'm sure the lights were there, just no longer visible because of the impending sunrise.
More than a little disappointed, we went back home and back to bed. CL and DK must have conked out because there was no movement from their room when CV, T, and I woke up a couple hours later. We finally figured we should just let them sleep and the three of us went out scouting for brunch...or more accurately, lunch.
Our search led us to Bergsson Mathus:
(I know, we're finally getting to the food part of this post. Which is what this blog is supposed to be about. Sorry for the long detour.)
Bergsson Mathus had a cute, kinda-hipster café feel to it:
When we walked up to the counter to place our order, we noticed a platter of croissants. We couldn't resist the call:
It was surprisingly very buttery and soft. We thought about buying a couple extra to bring back to CL and DK...but then nixed that idea. You snooze, you lose, right?
The three of us decided to split two entrees. We got the cod with cape butter sauce (2390 ISK or around $23.90):
And the Moroccan chicken (2390 ISK):
The chicken had an interesting almost cinnamon-like seasoning and the cod was pan fried to buttery perfection.
The portion sizes were generous. There was more than enough for the three of us. Prices were typical of Iceland and so was the service (do Icelanders not like smiling?), but the food was good, as was the ambiance.
It was certainly a good place to kill time while half of our travel group regained consciousness.
Templarasund 3, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
+354 571 1822