Quite a few photos in this post (15), but hey, if you can’t take a lot of pictures when going to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, when can you! You should see how many I took before I set about choosing!
It’s a classic ‘bucket list’ trip, isn’t it, to go and see the Northern Lights. I had meant to go with a friend early 2016, but that fell through, so as we moved into 2017, I had a few free days coinciding with a new moon, cheap flight and hotel, so decided to go by myself.
You can click the images for bigger versions. Ok, strap in, here we go…
1: Sunset above clouds
This was just after 6.30 am, coming out of a rainy Gatwick. This view was lovely, but I knew it didn’t bode well for later, because the forecast was for cloud in Iceland too, and one thing you *don’t* want when trying to see Northern Lights, is cloud!
2: Leifur Eiriksson
I arrived a few hours before I could check into the hotel, so spent time wandering around Reykjavik, which is fairly small. The hotel was just round the corner from here, so once I had made sure where it was, I was back out into the cold for some snapping!
That statue of Eiriksson is outside the Hallsgrimkirk church, which sits at the top of the hill and dominates the Reykjavik skyline.
4: Sun Voyager
I wandered down to the seafront wondering how long it might take me to find this sculpture, but it turns out it’s right at the bottom of the hill! By Jon Gunnar, I love how this looks out to sea. Very evocative!
5: Harpa Concert Hall.
The cold was setting in, so I went in and had a coffee and cake in the concert hall. I didn’t realise the design had won awards, and had my brain not been so cold I might have taken more, but nice nonetheless!
8: Northern Lights – Cloudy!
Speaking of that trip, I was tired when we set out, having been up since 3am. The guide told us we’d try a few different places to try and find some cloud free spaces, but after a few hours in the dark cold, we had to give up. They did offer another trip the next night, *if* it took place, weather permitting…
9: Golden Circle Tour: Thingvellir National Park
The next day I was up early (again) for the day trip around the golden circle, including seeing the meeting of 2 of the Earth’s tectonic plates. A wonderful view of nature at it’s finest, and lovely scenery. Yes, it was still cold!
12: Strokkur Geysir:
The 3rd part of the tour is the geysirs, and Strokkur blows every 15 mins, so although I was shuddering from standing still in the cold for that long, it was worth it to get the shot of it blowing!
14: Reykjavik City Centre Northern Lights.
The rerun Northern Lights trip didn’t happen. Despite the forecats being better, and the sky clearly being, er, clearer than the day before, the trip was cancelled. They did tell us that the next day would be great, but I was travelling home, so my chance had gone. I can’t say I was best pleased, particularly when I was walking around the middle of Reykjavik and saw this burst of Northern Lights right in town! Still, it did mean I could say I *had* seen them!
I really enjoyed the trip.
To be honest, I knew it was pushing it a bit to go for a couple of days only. I knew I’d be tired, and was not giving myself much of a window to see the aurora. Iceland is lovely though. It’s geared up for tourists, so very welcoming. I would like to go back, it feels a bit like ‘unfinished business’ with the Northern Lights and that free rerun coach trip is valid for 2 years!
Hope you enjoyed the pics – let me know what you think!