Iceland – Chasing the Northern Lights (We never gave up)

The North Lights is one thing we want to see and it’s in our itinerary to go on Northern Lights Tour.  We booked our tour prior to leaving California and booked it with Reykjavik Excursions.  Every night during the months when the Northern Lights are almost visible, there are available tours that you can go with, but as they said, there are no guarantees, but you can rebook again if you didn’t see them.

9:30pm, the bus picked up us from Icelandair Hotel Natura ( this the nearest hotel from where we stayed) and drop us off to the Bus Station (BSI) where we joined the rest of the group.

The weather forecast for our entire stay in Iceland was not a good one since it is raining on and off all day.  But we still kept the positive attitude, that we can be able to see the Northern Lights.

The tour company has a lot of bus tours that night, in different locations in hopes to see something.  Northern Lights are not predictable.  The can appear for a few seconds or last for minutes, in different locations.  They come in different shapes and disappear in a little while.

Our lady guide, Sola says our bus driver will keep driving until we can stop the best area to see the Northern Lights.  And even told us that all we need is patience.

We drove about an hour to a small town named Selfoss.  Sola told us to go use the restroom, because where we are going, there no more restroom for us to use.

While on the bus, Sola, our guide gave us notes about the Northern Lights as she kept staring out of the bus window just in case a northern Lights appear.  So does everyone in the bus stared outside to make sure we don’t miss it.

From Selfoss, we drove another 30minutes until we get to an Olis gas station at the corner of  Route 1 and Landvegur.  Everyone hop off the bus and walked towards Landvegur Street, so we can be away from the light pollution coming from the gas station.


Ed and I, set up our camera’s just in case the Northern Light would just appear at any time.

At last!!!  Our tour guide said, “I spotted one, but it’s just a faint one!”


“wow!” is all we have said.  Though it is not as bright as everyone is expecting, it just looks like a cloud.  The only difference, the Northern Lights glowing and disappears in a matter of seconds.  It was a small glow that was hard to see.  Though we are not experts in night photography, nor taking photos of the Northern Lights, our camera captured it.  Photos are blurry, but the experience is clear and memorable.

Some of our tour groupmates were disappointed. According to the Auroral Forecast Level of activity is 1, meaning it is low and really a very low chance to see the Northern Lights.  Our guide advised everyone in the bus to go online and rebook for another tour.  But we decided not to, instead, we decided to go on our own to chase the Northern Lights.

The next night, we were out there trying our chance, but it was really a failure because it was raining all night.  But we didn’t give up.  The following night after (our last night in Iceland), we again took the chance outside and drove back to the Olis gas station and park farther at the corner of Langvegur and Fossholar.  We parked, waited , fall asleep while it was raining, hoping when the rains stopped we will be lucky.  But to our disappointment, the rain did not stop.  We decided to go home.


While driving along Route 1, the rain stopped and the sky cleared up.  We looked for a place where we can park our car and found one (it was too dark and without knowing where we are).   We found a light glow in the sky.  My husband set up his tripod while I was hesitant to get out of the car, it was cold (5degC / 41deg F) and very windy. But that didn’t stop me to get stuck inside the car.  The Northern Lights is the reason why we are out there.  Finally, the Northern Lights Show begins.

Screenshot 2016-09-29 21.38.41.jpg

We lost words, all we have said was…




Repeatedly saying those three words as the Northern Lights keeps glowing .



This night the Auroral Forecast Level of activity is 4.


We can’t believe we saw it!  Can’t describe the feeling.   We feel thankful to have experienced something gorgeous and extraordinary, an event to remember and cherish  for the rest of our lives.




  1. If I were there, riding a bus too, I’ll certainly make sure that I’ll be getting my whole head in the window and let it hang there outside just to make sure I won’t miss that magical light. This is truly an interesting and something to look forward in the future to experience.


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