Winter Nights and Northern Lights

My strong desire to see Iceland was pretty simple- I needed to see the Northern Lights. It’s what drove me there, in all honesty.  What I didn’t realize is that seeing the Northern Lights is not something that is guaranteed.  Apparently, the Northern Lights come and go in few day cycles so the best bet to ensure a sighting is to be there for at least a week.  And to venture far out of the cities.  Though most importantly to check the aurora forecast every morning and be willing to change up your agenda, if need be to get to the area where the sky are clear and lights visible.  http://www.northernlightsiceland.com/northern-lights-forecast/

My experience in witnessing the Northern Lights was far better than I even imagined.  This day, however, was a white knuckle stressful day of travel from Reykjavik to Skaftafell for our Glacier hike was beyond hellacious.  We started the morning around before 7 am to ensure ample time to make it for our 1 pm glacier guided tour. The snow/hail/rain that we encountered made for a long and, at times, a rather stressful journey.  After being on the road for 6 hours we arrived at Glacier Guides for our tour starting at 1:00 at 1:01.  Literally just missed the tour but moments.  Thankfully, as fate would have it, we waited for the next tour in hopes that others, like us, may bail out and we can hop in on their time slot.  It ended up being even better, as we had the chance to have an phenomenal tour of the glacier and caves and finished our hike at sunset.  Spectacular.  Truly memorable experience, gazing over ice and glaciers at the closing of the day, in the perfect light of the night sky.  Had no idea that this was only the beginning of our magical night.

We booked a last minute reservation for Hotel Lambafell, a log cabin like, mini estate in the middle of nowhere, sitting perfectly at the foothill of a mountain.  Upon our arrival we immediately found our way to the jacuzzi in the back yard (though in reality it was more like an entire open field, miles of land, that belonged to only us)  Magical in itself.  Though the true magic began about 45 minutes later.  Enjoying some wine and the company of new friends, the sky began to light up with one green trail that quickly turned into an entire sky of green and purple.  From finger-like chandeliers to swirling and dancing across the sky.  It was by far one of the most spectacular things I’ve witnessed thus far in my life.  I was so inspired, so much in awe, I couldn’t get out of the jacuzzi to get my iPhone to capture it.  This was the one time in my life that I wanted to just truly be present and not miss a thing.  The night and lights finished around 3 am.  Though even then, when falling asleep, we swore the lights were still circling above us as we closed our eyes to sleep for the night.  This experience was something that truly touched my soul in that moment.  To share the space with good people, great wine and one of the most fantastic “light shows” in the world.  Life is beautiful.  Get out there and explore, my friends!  Oh and if you ever need a travel buddy, I’m always down!

 

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The glory of the glaciers, Skaftafell
The glory of the glaciers, Skaftafell

 

Francine

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