Thursday, March 6, 2014

Search for northern lights

Immediately after dinner we scrambled (even in a separate group so some people could have lead time) back to the hotel to await the bus that was supposed to pick us up and take us to our paid northern lights tour.

We had a car but figured we could see what kind of spots they went to first and take it from there on other nights. Or reschedule as was permitted by the ticket (you don't see it once but still go on the tour, you get a second chance for free...if the tour is canceled you just get a refund if you can't reschedule).

After the bus being suspiciously late (there was construction going on on the street in front of our hotel so we were worried about the bus never finding us), I called the tour company and had them swing back around. Success the second time.

We piled into the little bus only to be taken to a larger bus. From there four huge coaches drove us around to our destinations for the night.

The first, irritatingly, was a stop at a restaurant/bar called Kaffi Duus. Our group was very grumbly that we were coming all this way just to sit in a restaurant while the tour guides supposedly decided where the buses should head out for the night. It felt like a tourist trap (well, clearly it was).

After about an hour our buses were rounded up again and we were off to our first location. It was near a lighthouse.

Now admittedly I'd seen pictures of the aurora shining behind lighthouses in books...by professional photographers...but in general I knew enough about the aurora to know that unless the rating is high enough, you're not going to see it over the light pollution of the city. Pretty sure a lighthouse is one of the worst places to see the aurora at all since it has its own constantly rotating light pollution.

The group continued to grumble. We started passing around the furry rainbow flasks that Two and Olive had thought ahead of time to bring. That made us a little happier.

We were then rounded up and told after driving for some time that it seemed the aurora wasn't happening, so we were going to head back with the chance to rebook for another night and more luck.

I fell asleep at this point, awakened only when the guide said we were going to try one more spot for the night before heading back. This was around midnight.

We stopped at a church in a deserted part of Keflavik, where the airport resides. Again no luck.

We returned exhausted and slightly disheartened. While we were perched at the lighthouse location my group voted to schedule our next tour before they even called it a failure that night. This was only a smart move in foresight; the tour ended up being canceled the next night so we had to rebook everyone's ticket separately. This caused later rifts in the group but it was what it was. To be clear: no one actually saw the aurora on their tour - half of us never made it back onto the second tour. So I still have 5 vouchers that can be used within the next two years (do let me know if you are interested in these, dear readers).

We got back late and played Cards Against Humanity late into the night. It was good, despite not having seen the aurora.


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