2016’s Aurora Borealis


According to Vala Hafstad of Nature & Travel, the citizens of Reykjavik are being asked to turn off their lights on certain nights this year. The aurora borealis, also known as The Northern Lights, has been on occasion unusually intense this year.  The city of Reykjavik has been cooperative too.  Between 10 and 11 pm on nights of vivid activity, it has been turning off street lights downtown and in certain neighborhoods.

Reducing artificial light pollution provides better viewing of this spectacular natural phenomenon that occurs when electricity charged particles from the sun enter the earth’s atmosphere and crash into each other.   Ruth & I had never experienced this.


However, last fall about this time we were staying in a hotel not too far from Reykjavik.  When we checked in, the staff asked if we wanted to be alerted if the northern lights appeared that night.  Indeed, we did.  About 9:30 we got the call.  I grabbed my camera and we headed outside.  Almost everybody staying at this hotel was behind it taking pictures of not much.  The Aurora Borealis was active but not especially beautiful that night. Despite this, everyone was enchanted with the show.  We watched with the crowd for a while, but then Ruth & I went inside to warm up.


When we came back out, even more laughing hotel guests were out there gazing upward.   It seemed as if the less intense the mostly white lights were, the more people showed up to see them.

If you want to see if there will be a light show in Iceland tonight, check vedur.com.  Expect a sales pitch.



About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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