Iceland – Northern Lights Night

April 14, 2016

After we finished our glacier walking we went alcohol treasure hunting. We drove all the way back to Vik thinking the liquor store would be open in that town – it was NOT. FYI the beer is  only sold in the same store as the liquor. It is called Vínbúð and opening hours are rarer during the winter months. In case you are ever in Vik in April, plan on getting your party drinks before Saturday. Vínbúð is closed on Saturdays.  True story.

We eventually made it back to Kirkjubæjarklaustur where Christian and I decided to seek out the Northern lights. We thought we would be lucky enough to see them since there was hardly any cloud coverage. After piling on layers of clothing, we hopped into the car and drove down the road – not far from our hotel. The moon was so bright and the stars were visible, but we weren’t happy with our position.  A big mountain was right in front of us and all I could think was “What the f is on the other side of this mountain?” and “Who’s the asshat that put this mountain here?” So we moved.  We drove to a deserted parking lot about 2 minutes down the road and I could see the other side of the mountain.  Christian does an amazing job at quenching my craziness.

It was 10:45pm. We shut off the car and sat in the dark, staring up at the starry sky.  Nothing.  Two minutes passed.  It seemed like forever.  Nothing.  Two more minutes.  Nothing. Ten minutes and my neck was hurting from looking up with anticipation.  Where were these bastards? One more minute and I was ready to go to bed! Then we saw them. Green streaks started to congregate in the sky above us. We jumped out of the car and pointed upward.  Do you see that?! They started to condense and become brighter and longer.  Soon they formed a huge green swirl across the night sky, to the front and back of the empty parking lot, swirling into that darn mountain I mentioned before.

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They were dancing above us while Christian and I danced below them, shouting things to each other like “Wow!  Holy shit!  Amazing!  So pretty!”  Sometimes it looked like they were raining down on us and we could see outlines of pink against the green. I felt like I was watching someone paint watercolors into the sky.  Beautiful.  It was such a wild moment and if you ever have the chance to see them,  take it!  Stare out your window in the far north until you see them and then rush outside because it is truly a breathtaking experience – one I would love to have again.

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picture credit: C.K.

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