Iceland: The Northern Lights

*a very text heavy post*

We spent 10 wonderful days in Iceland. We drove around the entire country, stopped to see and pet as many Icelandic horses as we could, contemplated the beauty and drama that was the Icelandic landscape, and hoped and hoped for a viewing of the Northern Lights.

The first half of the trip, we assumed that since the skies were so clear we were sure to catch the Aurora Borealis! However, we soon grew to understand that what's sunny and clear in the day was very very cloudy at night.You see, you can only spot the dancing phenomenon with clear skies and away from city lights!

Anyway, on our last night in Reykjavik (the capital), we were determined. Even though it was cloudy and even though the Aurora index said the lights would be at an intensity of 2, we still went. It was silly, it was desperate, it was hopeful.

The bus driver drove us outside of the city for an hour in search of a good spot. We got out and I immediately set up my tripod to catch the lights. We waited in the freezing temperatures. We waited so long that my fingers, in the thickest snow gloves, were still freezing. I couldn't move them and it soon became unbearable.

Any sliver of hope diminished after an hour of where my ears, nose, fingers, etc. etc. couldn't feel a thing. My husband (still getting giddy saying this word!) guided me back to the bus saying that it just wasn't meant to be.

It had been a beautiful trip. We saw the most amazing sights in the world. It would have been selfish of us to ask for more. But just HOW perfect would it have been...

We got to talking. This was a great trip and we were content. Hand in hand, we were ready to come back home and start our life and hand in hand we fell asleep on each others shoulders. In a tour bus. In the middle of the night. Waiting. Hoping.

I can't remember if it was 2 minutes, 30 minutes, or 90 minutes when we heard foot steps. "Look!" "There it is!" We awoke to passengers running outside of the bus, all looking up in awe. We followed them outside and started looking up at the sky. We stared. And stared some more.

I couldn't think about anything else besides staring. I couldn't think about setting up my tripod. I couldn't think of grabbing my camera. Because thinking of anything else meant risking the lights disappearing.  Little did we know, those lights would be around for hours!! So after 5 minutes into the show, I set up my gear and got these shots.

If I'm ever lucky enough to see these lights again, I would bring a larger tripod instead of my Joby and a wide angle lense instead of my prime. That was very silly of me.

1 comment:

  1. Iceland is definitely on my list of places I want to visit. I dislike the cold. I hate it actually. I love living in New York, but the winter drives my desire to leave. Regardless, the recent stories I've read about trips to Iceland along with pictures of it's majestic beauty has made it earn a spot on my list. Thanks for sharing your trip with us :)