Iceland – Let the Lights Dance!

Having breakfast at 9 am and still dark outside was a bit weird! Afterward, we begin our drive again….in the darkness into sunrise. The road to Geysir takes over 3 hours again and before we headed out, we checked the road condition before trusting the GPS. You can check the road condition at: Clear to go! The sun making its effort to raise and slowly lighting up the surrounding mountains.

I like Iceland’s pink sky!

We made a stop at Borgarnes to fill up gas and check out the bigger supermarket Bonus that opens at 11 am (so late). I found my favorite Ritter Sports chocolate bars there but not in my favorite flavor – coconut. We found scallions to make our wonton tonight hehe!


Those mountains looked like pyramids!

Off we go again…continued on…

We drove through this extremely long tunnel across the other side of the ocean, the toll was 1000 ISK around $9. It as so dusty in the tunnel and it seemed endless. Approaching the geothermal area…

We arrived Geysir, used the restroom there and had some chicken wings as lunch in the Geysir cafeteria. After a few quick bites, we walked over to the Geysir that erupts every few minutes. As we get closer, the area where we could walk up near the Geysir in the summer was covered with ice, I was so worried that I’ll fall!

It was much more interesting taking silhouettes than the Geysir exploding since we saw it during the summer time.

Next, we went to Gullfoss, the trail down was extremely slippery as well and also some part of it was closed! Pros and cons of winter versus summer, best to visit both times to experience the differences 🙂 The low angle of the sun so will not have chance for the waterfalls to be completely lit up by the sun! There was a rainbow this time!

See that trail path on the right side? During the summer months, you can walk down to get closer to the waterfalls!

After Gullfoss, we drove back to our log cabin – Úthlíd Cottages. The cottages are located up the hill and the road was covered with snow, luckily our 4 wheel drive SUV got us up there safely. The restaurant/reception was closed but quickly a truck arrived and the guy checked us in and showed us our cottage. It was spacious, two bedrooms, few portable heaters that keep us warm and comfortable, a very large deck to enjoy the sunset, and a hot tub powered by the nearly geothermal activity!

How does waiting for the Northern Lights at this deck sounds? Too bad it is facing south not north 😛


Around 6 pm, Jason and I were preparing for our dinner while Zach having a dip in the hot tub.

He ran into the house and said “OMG, I see the Northern Lights already, it’s going to be an awesome night!” We ran out and took a look, oh wow we can tell it’s there already! See the upper right corner? We went back in to cook while Zach set up his tripod and camera and put it on timelapse mode right in the “parking lot” of our cabin. He just left his camera there and I said, you don’t need to guard your camera? He said we are in the middle of no where LOL!.

We went out every few 10-15 minutes to check it out…..the Aurora Borealis is rising from the horizon of those mountains, we couldn’t wait for it to raise up more! It was a cloudless night – very rare in Iceland; we were super lucky!!!

We can clearly see that the Northern Lights are green from our naked eyes, not the “white puffs”, it was unbelievable!

Our neighbor’s log cabin:

Our dinner: wonton noodle soup with roasted pork fried eggs!

After dinner, we wanted a different backdrop for the Northern Lights so we drove down the hill to the church around 9 pm. The church was perfect, there were lights turned on inside, I felt like they left them on just for us 🙂

And then without warning, that string of Aurora got crazy and started to dance right in front of our eyes! We were amazed, totally speechless! It was surreal! I remembered when seeing the Milky Way at Lake Tekapo in New Zealand and was mesmerized by the countless number of stars. This was twice the excitement because the Northern Lights constantly changing form and you have no clue of what it will look like in the next minute!

On the other side of the church….

And the front of the church…..they were everywhere! The sky was like getting painted by someone, the lights moved so fast that we were shocked!


They formed halos on top of the church, wow!

A photo of us to prove that we were there 🙂


The great performance lasted about 45 minutes and they faded away. Yesterday’s show was through the sensor of the camera and partially covered by clouds, tonight’s show was through our own naked eyes. Words just can’t describe our excitement, our surprises, that was so magically. You need to see it yourself to believe it!

8 thoughts on “Iceland – Let the Lights Dance!

  1. Nice to see the story behind the pictures.Any photo advice for taking photos of the aurora.Did you have a photo guide?Ready to guide an aurora photo tour?

  2. Another fantastic location! You have convinced me this is my next travel. I think early Nov, then to London for a quick trip. Thanks for all of the travel tips! Looking forward to your next vacation!

  3. These pictures are incredible – you were indeed lucky to see such a spectacular show! we were there a couple years ago, but didn’t get half this excitement due to heavy cloud cover. Think we need to back again 🙂

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