Do you want to see the northern lights while staying in Iceland? For that you will need a bunch of luck and also a good forecast. The northern lights can vary a great deal. Sometimes they are barely noticeable, looking like a faint green veil on the sky. Other times they shine breathtakingly bright and dance across the sky in various shades of green, yellow and pink.
The night the lights went out in Reykjavík
One autumn day, a few years back, the city council of Reykjavík decided to turn off all the city lights in Reykjavík for the evening because the northern light forecast was exceptionally good. The lights were to be turned off at 10 PM and a lot of people had gathered by the Hallgrímskirkja, the main church’s square, waiting impatiently. I must admit I was terrified. The sky showed no signs of northern lights and I was afraid that all the people gathered there, both foreigners and Icelanders, had come for nothing. They would stand there until running out of patience, returning disappointed to their homes and hostels. The organizers of the event would hang their heads in shame becoming outcasts of Icelandic society.
Spectacular light show
The clock turned 10 and according to the plan, the lights were turned off. You could feel the tension building. Only few minutes later the northern lights came rushing in with an entrance unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The crowd was cheering them on and I’m sure they felt the adrenaline from the standing ovation, as they were giving the performance of their lives.
Powerful force of nature
I felt a huge relief on behalf of the organizers and people gathering on the square but I also felt so happy and alive. The nature is so incredible and unpredictable, it’s this powerful force we have no control over, but at that moment our expectations lined up so perfectly with the natures intention that it felt magical.
Here you can read more about this event in Reykjavík.
Seeing the northern lights is an unforgettable experience. It makes you want to come back for more. Here you can read the story of an ‘Ïslandsvinur’ (friend of Iceland) who came back multiple times to hunt the northern lights in Iceland.
See the northern lights dance!
Do you want to plan your trip to see the northern lights? Iceland Unwrapped by helgastina is a travel planning company focusing in connecting to the Icelanders, culture and nature in Iceland. Please contact us for more information.