Like penguins, huddled to keep warm, the freezing Atlantic winds are blasting from all directions, the lighthouse barely protecting us. Taking it in turns to stand on the outside, we crane our necks skywards hoping, wishing, for some movement.
We’d been told by our guide that standing on the other side of the lighthouse would be the best place to avoid false light getting in our eyes. She didn’t tell us it’d be bloody freezing! The skies over Iceland had been quiet for a few nights so there were many busloads of tourists hungry for a glimpse of the elusive Aurora Borealis. There must have been about a hundred of us surrounding the base of the lighthouse.
After what felt like a thousand years, we decided to make our way inland and away from the harsh winds. We came across a playground which was eerie in the dark but still, I couldn’t resist and go on the swing. Mum needed a wee so we made a beeline for the café and relative warmth. Crowds of people sat around, it reminded me of a motorway services at the end of a festival. Nobody really knew what was happening, how long we’d been there or if the waiting would ever end.
Hours passed and the crowds started to thin. Coaches pulled away and headed back towards the bright lights of Reykjavik. Maybe they’d be lucky another night. Our driver fired his engine as we waited for the last passenger to return from the loo.
“Jay, what’s that over there?”. I got out of my seat to peer out of the other half’s window and stared at the sky for a few seconds. We were on!
As if the coach was on fire, we all bound for the exit, pulling on coats, hats and gloves as we went. The sky above us burst in to life with green, pink and blue. Wisps of colour danced and chased after each other as I jumped for joy and gave mum a big hug. Staring upwards and dancing about to keep warm, we were treated to the most magnificent display. My eyes stung as I gave thanks to the sun for spewing its radiation and allowing me to share the experience with the other half and mum.
We stood and watched in awe, not quite believing what we were seeing. The best word I could use to describe the lights; Alien. You can really feel the otherworldliness and philosophical questions about life on other planets are hard to avoid.
I could have stood there all night admiring the lights, but it was getting late and we had to start making our way back to Reykjavik. The lights continued to dance, ignorant to our departure, but at least we got to enjoy the show from the warmth of the coach as we drove back to our hotel.
Stay tuned for part 2 f our Iceland trip – the Golden Circle and dolphins!
Date of trip: January 2015
Price paid: £230.00pp for 4 nights B&B at Centre Hotel Klop with EasyJet flights from Manchester and private transfers. Northern Lights excursion was £30.00pp.
Points earned: 3500 Virgin Flying Club point for booking through lowcostholidays.com (no longer trading).