Hunting the Aurora in Suðurnes

Hello folks! Here in Reykjavík the snow is getting real wet and we’ve got such strong winds that there won’t be any tour tonight. Instead, maybe I could tell you about last night’s tour that ended up surprisingly well?

Sunday during the day we got really violent snow-fall. For hours and hours during the night we experienced many inches of snow falling down the skies and I was really starting to question my boss’ wits has he had drafted me to go this very night.

By 20, 30 though, the snow-fall had stopped and we went on to pick-up our guests. Unsurprisingly enough, not all of them showed up, actually, we were supposed to get 36 people but in the end only 16 showed up! That was quite a bummer but ultimately it helped bring a cozier atmosphere in the bus.

We started a little bit late because of people not showing up so we drove right away towards the Suðurnes peninsula. Just a couple minutes after leaving Hanarfjörður we stopped by the road and had a look at the skies. No Northern-Lights yet but we could definitely see the stars, something we could absolutely not in the city! Confident that things were going better, we continued a bit further away and stopped by the church at Kalfatjörn. There, we had mostly clear skies, especially in the North and the moon lit up the path quite nicely. There was still nothing though and after a little while the clouds came in. We then decided to drive further West where it seemed that we might get clearer skies.

Clearer skies we indeed got! As we drove south towards Grinðavík, we stopped by a parking lot, just next to the Blue Lagoon. There was still nothing but the skies were clear at 70 per-cent. It was a good place to stop if any and I thought we would be able to see any Northern Lights there, given they actually appear!

Just by besides the parking lot lays a little crater with a ladder. This is of course a lava cave, not a gigantic one but it’s a pretty neat feature. As nothing could be seen in the sky I proposed to some of our guests to have a little look inside (we of course did not crawl down the shaft as such activities should not be undertaken without proper headgear and such). The few daredevils who dared to come down with me were quite impressed but just as we were getting deeper in the cave someone who stayed outside shouted “Northern Lights”!

I thought it was a joke of course. In real life, Northern Lights do not appear when you’re down a magma chamber but in any cases I quickly climbed up again and indeed there was a Northern Lights! Just as we were getting desperate enough to lock ourselves in a cave, The Lights indeed appeared! They were not that strong at the beginning though and it was hard to see them with the lights of Keflavík in the foreground:

Hunting the Aurora in Suðurnes

Still, they got stronger a short while afterwards and we could clearly see them dance from East to West. It really was unexpected but we actually did saw them:

 

Hunting the Aurora in Suðurnes

 

 

Hunting the Aurora in Suðurnes

 

 

Hunting the Aurora in Suðurnes

They continued moving across the sky for maybe half an hour before effectively drying up.  We then proceeded to drive back home and we arrived in town just ten minutes later than expected and everyone was happy! This teaches us that even when your hopes are real down, we should never stopped looking at the sky!

 

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