I am rubbish when it comes to surprises and keeping them a secret! This one though, I have to say, I was rather chuffed with myself over. My husband has always wanted to see the Northern Lights, so for his 40th Birthday, I booked a trip to Iceland! On his birthday I had wrapped a series of ‘hints’ such as some thermal socks, a neon glow stick with an arrow and an N drawn on (… Northern … Lights … 😛 ), an ice cube tray (…Iceland…) … ok, you get the picture!
No matter where you go to try to ‘Chase the Northern Lights’ they are of course a natural phenomena and even on a completely clear night they may not come out to play but I felt booking to try and see them in Iceland gave us an opportunity to also explore a country that has so many other things to offer.
Sunday 28th January and after a VERY early morning flight from Gatwick to Reykjavik we walked out of the airport to what I can only describe as the freshest, coolest air! Amazing! As we had nothing planned for the first day, we decided to head for the Kringlan Shopping Mall which is around a 15minute walk from Hotel Island where we were staying. The snow and crisp clean air made for a wonderful walk and definitely warranted a hot dinner on return to the hotel!
On the first evening, we were set to go and hunt the elusive Northern Lights. A pre-arranged trip organised by the tour operator and run by a local operator that made decisions on where to go based on the weather and solar activity to choose the place that would give the best possible conditions for a view to remember.
That particular night we were taken by coach to an area about 40 minutes away from the bright lights of the city and within ten minutes of being there, a glimmer a movement was seen in the sky. I had an app on my iPhone that was pre-set to capture the lights even if they were weak…although this did rely on keeping the phone still long enough! There was a lot of cloud cover that night but……………..
It has to be said that it was actually quite an emotional experience to see the lights! Travelling back to the hotel, the tour guide announced that they deemed the trip to still be ‘unsuccessful’ as there was a lot of cloud cover so we could have seen more, but that meant that we would be taken out on another night…weather permitting.
We returned back to the hotel around midnight after a long day, super tired but thrilled to have seen the lights and dreading the fact we had to have a 6am alarm set but it would be for another amazing day!
Stay tuned for day 2!
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