Iceland: Golden Circle & Northern Lights Tour
Date Posted: 20/08/2019
Koysal Rahman, Social Media
Travelling through the Icelandic landscape on the bus ride to Reykjavik, the country’s spectacular scenery managed to take me back. It was beautiful. Standing outside my hostel I realised that I was in front of the most beautiful hill, covered in a blanket of snow as the sun set behind it. My trip was truly off to an amazing start.
Day 1: Golden Circle Tour & Northern Lights
This was going to be a busy day, as we made our way to Thingvellir National Park, we were surrounded by white snow, glistening under the rays from the sun.
Make sure when you get here to take a moment to immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery. You get plenty of time to embrace it and see the lakes in all of their glory, so take that first initial moment to capture the beauty of your surroundings. Everyone jumps for the first opportunity for a selfie or a cute couple photo - then again, the bridge is truly catered for a photo opp.
Next stop… the Geysirs. What’s cool about them is that there are smaller Geysirs leading up to the BIG ONE – great way of getting you pumped (pun intended). The main Geysir shoots up regularly and it is definitely a spectacle, but be wary of the wind as you may have a few droplets of hot water hitting you - the water shoots up higher than what you would expect. It also stinks. Sulphuric acid is everywhere (imagine a stink bomb) – it gets attached to your clothes, but it’s all good as everyone else is in the same boat and sharing that smell with you.
Last stop was Gullfoss waterfall. Be ready to be taken back by the backdrop of white snow glistening in the sun as the water crashes down into the river below. There is three different spots where you can stop and really appreciate your surroundings. If you’re lucky you may even see a little rainbow hovering over the waterfall. Take plenty of pictures too, it’s simply beautiful.
After showering back at my hostel to remove the ‘stink bomb’ fragrance, I grabbed a bite to eat with a fellow traveller before heading out for the Northern Lights tour. I have never checked the weather report so much in my entire life. (The tour gets cancelled if there is too much cloud coverage.)
Northern Lights take 1:
I took the advice from the people in the hostel. Wrap up warm, super warm, it gets cold at night. Thermals, hat, gloves, thick socks, and a big coat. Trust me it was necessary. I took a hoody in my bag just in case I got too warm or needed to warm up.
The night did not come to a promising start, as I walked over the clouds were above me and I could see no night sky. I asked the person behind the desk if the tour was on, she assured me that there was a small chance of seeing the lights. I was excited. This was what I had planned for.
Side note: I’m a geek when it comes to photography, so I took three different camera’s to increase my chances of seeing the lights. These were my phone, GoPro, and a DSLR (Canon 750d).
The tour guide advised us to download the ‘Northern Lights App’ as it is very difficult for the naked eye to see the true effect of the Northern Lights. To cut a sad story short – the weather was not in our favour. We were stood for ages, hoping the clouds would pass us by. Nope. Didn’t happen. My three camera set up – totally pointless. The snow hurt my face but on the upside I was warm. Thanks kind people of Kex Hostel.
Not to worry, as we drove back home, the tour guide told us that we can try again tomorrow. What she actually said was that your free return voucher lasts for an entire year. Nice one Iceland, great way of getting people back.
I’m back home, and I’m tired with nothing major planned for day 2. Mini-meltdown pending.