Why we took the ‘Northern Lights Tour’ instead of a self drive?
We thought that a bus tour for aurora hunting would be the best as the tour professionals would have been tracking the auroral activity and would also know which sites have the least ambient, thus helping us maximise our chances of seeing the lights.
Also, Iceland is sparsely populate. The country has a population of ~320,000 people only, of which, ~60% stay in the Reykjavik area. Traffic on roads, outside the city, is slim. We didn’t want to run the chance of having a breakdown in the middle of the road and being stranded there with no human in sight for hours.
And lastly, the weather in Iceland changes in a jiffy. Wind speed can be high enough to unhinge car doors as you try to step out. We thought that we would be a nervous wreck while driving the car and did not toy with the idea any further.
Why we did the ‘Northern Lights Tour’ with Time Tours?
Here is a little secret about Time Tours… Runar, the owner of the company, who took us for the trip really knows how to handle a camera to photograph the lights. If you are carrying a DSLR with a tripod, he will tell you the settings that need to be used to ensure that you take back some professional looking pictures. And oh… he will take a picture of you and the lights with his camera as well… we all need a picture to crystallise our memory, don’t we?Runar also understands the scientific concepts behind the lights really well and spent a while explaining them to us. I am sure if you have taken the effort to get to Iceland to see the lights, you know what they are and why they occur. But I am also sure that you have plenty of unanswered questions. Shoot them at Runar… he will do a great job at answering them!
Northern Lights at Thingvellir National Park:
We piled in to the bus and Runar drove us to the Thingvellir National Park. It was a full moon night. We could see the hills and the frozen streams. Regardless of the moonlight, we could see the lights dance. It was a great night! We even saw the corona… it appeared like needles of green and pink light falling overhead. I wanted to reach out and touch their tips…they looked so close! Aurora-ed… once again!
Bus Hostel – Our Base for Aurora Hunting: