Iceland 4. Icebergs and Northern Lights / by Anna Garcia

As I said in the previous post, the weather conditions forced us to change our original plans. We checked the weather forecast everyday and it seemed pretty normal (in winter conditions, of course). But one day it changed. It seemed that the snow finally arrived to this country, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Due to these weather conditions, we only had one opportunity to visit Jökulsárlón, and we wanted to visit it so badly that we woke up at 05:00 to drive from Hella to the glacier lake; a 3 and a half hour drive there turned into a 7 hour journey due to the weather conditions.

As you may see in the title of this post, you can imagine that this day was pretty intense. And I think that this was one of the most filling days of my life. Before explaining our adventures at Jökulsárlón, I wanted to tell you one of the reasons why this day was a bit extreme for me.

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I’ll explain you the situation. @tropicalbert and I were in a gas station eating a hot dog early in the morning (yes, hot dogs were the 80% of our feeding during the trip), and talking about the Northern Lights. We wanted so hard to see them, but the aurora forecast was extremely bad during our stay. We went out at nights and tried to chase them but we failed. He told me that the night we were supposed to fly to Barcelona, the forecast was actually really good. So, he had the idea to skip our flight and catch another one two days later, to have more chances of seeing the lights. I thought he was crazy, because I couldn't afford that new plan, but he proposes to help me with the costs. You can imagine the romantic situation while eating a hot dog and him trying to convince me. But finally… I said yes! So, we decided to extend our adventure in this country!

After saying that, it’s time for Jökulsárlón! We arrived there almost at midday. I have to say that the weather and road conditions were difficult, and we drove with a lot of caution. But, I also have to say that we stopped so many times along the road because we were fascinated by the landscape.

We were amazed by the floating icebergs in the water. We observed them for a while and walked on the snow to see them from many points of view. While enjoying the views and taking pictures, we noticed that the water was full of seals, playing around as if we weren’t there. I’ve seen a lot of images of Jökulsárlón, and normally the pictures are without snow. So, I’m happy to have seen this place covered with snow, with a different point of view that the one I expected.

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After spending a bit of time in the lake, we decided to go to the beach to observe the ice remains from the broken icebergs on the sand. The beach was half covered in snow and half covered in ice. It was an interesting contrast between the black and white tones and it gave for a great view.

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We had a long journey returning home (in this case, we slept in Hvolsvollur). We arrived at night, after spending a nice road trip observing the snow and the beautiful colors of that afternoon.

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If you’ve read the title, you’ll notice that there is another reason why this day was a bit extreme. After trying almost every night, we finally saw them: the Northern Lights. We stayed in a guesthouse, and we spent a nice time talking to the owner about this country. After telling him that we didn’t see the Northern lights, we checked the forecast and, although it was not good, it was not too bad. So, with his recommendation, we drove along a dark road towards Þórsmörk.

We stayed in the car quite a long time looking at the sky without blinking. @tropicalbert spent this time saying: there are lights in that direction, and I spent the night saying: it is light pollution, keep calm. But actually, he was right. We were seeing the lights!

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The Northern Lights were getting brighter and brighter, and seeing them dancing in the night sky was a dream come true. We changed our flights to have more opportunities to see the auroras, and it was a gift to see them in a night that was not expected. Like this country, the Northern Lights are magic. And I couldn't think in anything else than: Will I have more chances to see them during the trip? I guess you'll need to continue reading if you want to know the answer.