Seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in Iceland was a bit of a dream come true. They’ve been high up on my bucket list for a long time.
Several factors affect the odds of seeing them: location, cloud cover, sun activity, time of year and light pollution. There was heavy cloud cover for most of our holiday and with only a few days left, we weren’t feeling optimistic about seeing them. For the last three nights, we stayed in a hotel an hour away from Reykjavik. And boy did we get lucky; we saw them three nights in a row in varying strengths.
A tripod is pretty essential for good photographs. We didn’t have one so we improvised by resting the camera on rocks and a handrail. Who cares if they aren’t perfect, we captured sun particles hitting the Earth’s atmosphere!
On the first night we stood outside watching the lights, wrapped up in as many layers as we could cram under our coats. Did you know Aurora Borealis aren’t actually bright green in real life? Cameras make the colour more vivid. The lights we saw were grey to start with, turning pale green, purple and pink as they grow stronger. Irregardless of the colour, they were magic.
The lights ripple across the sky. Sometimes they dance and fizzle while changing direction, creating swirled patterns like those in the photo above.
On the second night, we lucked out with a good view from our hotel room. No more standing out in the cold for us *smug faces*. We stood eagerly hanging out the window… for all of two minutes. It was so incredibly cold that we had to wear coats and scarves while wrapped up in a blanket — indoors!!
I’ve since discovered that being an Aurora hunter, is actually a thing. Where do I sign!?