Chasing the Aurora ..... Caught it.

Iceland has a whole range of spectacles to offer, really packs a punch.


Reykjavik is a classy place to be and I went there feeling a little intimidated as the guide book said you were expected to leave your infants in their prams on the footpath and not take them into shops or cafes - can't have little ones messing with the serene atmosphere. I must admit we were pretty careful where we went, and I didn't feel like we crossed too many taboos while we were there.


Iceland nurtures a really strong design culture and Reykjavik is full of lovely designer shops selling beautiful clothing, textiles, home wares etc and the everyday person on the streets just looks lovely, classically elegant, not a slave to fashion just beautifully cut and made clothes thoughtfully put together, less bold and fashion focused then Paris - really aesthetically pleasing.


Then you get out of town and this tiny country delights you with active volcanos, steaming geysers, massive waterfalls rushing down glacial ravines, black sand beaches and rugged coastlines being eerily shrouded in a cloak of fog, fresh snow fall covering lunar landscapes, continental fault lines.... you get the picture, Iceland is geology 101 packaged neatly into the most picturesque island, the camera didn't get put down the entire time we were there, well except for the .....


Aurora borealis, to perfect to take your eyes away from for even a second to try to capture it on film... actually its almost impossible to take photos without a tripod of but I wasn't even going to bother fluffing around with the camera in case I missed a minute of the most incredible visual display I've even seen. It was our third time out in the middle of the night on the morning we were leaving Iceland and we had been monitoring the web sites which predict cloud cover and levels of electromagnetic activity and we hoped everything would fall into place.


It was 3 am and we were about 1/2 an hour to the east of the city, trying to get away from the glow of the city lights. We could see a little activity when we first arrived, it was a little disappointing really and I said to Craig I didn't want to see a little bit of it and be disappointed, I'd rather see nothing so we could justify coming back. We waited a little longer and from the initial low level display it started to increase in intensity and colour until we were dancing around and yelling with excitement.


The lights started as if lit by a massive spotlight on the horizon and ran in a complete arch from one horizon to the other, like drapes from heaven curtaining a deep blue sky covered in stars. These ribbons of light initially were beams like fingers shooting across the sky, then they morphed into a complex of swirling patterns, constantly changing but always perfectly interlocking with each other. Then the intensity of the beams of light increased and turned into the classic pale green colour and started to ripple across the horizon instead of over head, reminding me of a cake being iced around its edge by the hand of an expert, ribbons of colour rippling across the sky. I couldn't look away ..... but by now 3 of the 4 children were complaining of cold and tiredness, it was 4am and -7 degrees. But wow, a real moment in life to be treasured, feeling very blessed to have seen such a mesmerising display.