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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My visit to Iceland on lookout for Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis

I'm creating this blog post to share some of the reflections of my visit to Iceland last month (February 2013). In fact the main reason behind my visit to Iceland was to see the northern lights, aka aurora borealis. Ever since I'd heard of them and seen them in pictures and internet with breathtaking time lapses, I developed an utter desire to see them in reality.

Beyond doubt Scandinavia is the place to be, but you have to make sure you're within a decent latitude to see this magical phenomenon. Far north in Norway or Sweden , Finnish Lapland or distant Iceland would be potential candidates for your location if you're close to Europe. As for me I bailed out Norway and Sweden merely because I'd been there before, although it was not the far north where I was before, during my first trip in Europe. This latest being the second, I chose Iceland as my target, inspired by many facts about amazing nature, sagas, old Norse, Eyjafjallaj√∂kull, the best horses and Reykjavik night life in addition to the mere ambition of spotting the northern lights. Additionally the Icelandic forecast for this winter was quite promising too.

During my arrival in Reykjavik it was not the best time to see northern lights from there whereas the very northern-most capital of the world is located in Southwest of the giant island, not the best at least per meteorological reports available at However owing to random circumstances with spontaneous occurrences I managed to get in touch with a Finnish couple, rent a jeep and drive to Akureyri, a town located in Iceland with more hopes for those irresistible natural flashes over the skies.

The first night in Akureyri had to be given-up due to the thick cloud cover and even the people who'd been taken out by those expensive tour operators had no luck the entire midnight. As for the next day I had already checked site and we in Akureyri had an activity of 1 in the aurora forecast whose activity is given in the range of 0 through 9. Thus with desperate hopes with minimal chances of aurora borealis we found ourselves chatting in a bar with some Erasmus students and locals, later that evening. For them who had been witnessing this ongoing extravaganza for many many times, just another show of northern lights was nothing that could get them out of their chairs. Actually they'd got bored seeing them too many times that it was nothing special for them.

However a while later we were coming out of the bar to head back to our hostel, when we began to realize that the magic is happening. Voila !! YES, it was northern lights. Gleaming beams of greenly and yellowish lights were all over the skies, they were drifting across the skies like fast-moving torrents. Some lasted for a longer duration and some disappeared quickly leaving no traces whatsoever about their being. But above all, that was a stunning and a spectacular show of northern lights. One of the amazing days of my life that I would never forget. I was really happy that the mother nature had favored us and we could see the northern lights.

Meantime we hurried to our jeep and went a bit up towards mountains to avoid the pollution-lit town to get a better view and some pictures of course. We didn't have a tripod and pictures were taken with my friend Tuomas's camera. The lack of the tripod is clearly reflected in the pictures, but nevertheless I wanted to share them and I hope you will enjoy them ! Let me know what you think.

Most importantly don't miss a chance to visit this amazing volcanic island with its unparalleled natural aestheticism !!



I really can understand your excitement because it was the same I experienced just one year ago.
This country is still impressed in my mind and I definetlely fallen in love with it.
Aurora is simply amazing and unforgettable. I'm glad you found it!