The next part of our road trip was heading up the east coast to the town of Reydarfjordur (and yes, I am proud to say I memorized how to spell that town name!). There weren't any "major" attractions on our route, but it was a beautiful summers day and the road hugged the coast going in and around all the fjords on the east side of Iceland. So you would have mountains on your left and ocean on your right- it was beautiful!
We had left early enough from our hostel that despite all the pit stops for photos, we got to our hostel in the early afternoon. The hostel was sooo nice! There are a couple different buildings that house the hostel, but we were lucky enough to be in the beautiful house that overlooked the water and mountains. We decided to relax that afternoon and picked up frozen pizza and beer from the grocery store. We drove around the area for a bit, but mostly just tried to soak up the beautiful warm day!
That night we had planned to hit the hay early, but we overheard two other people in the hostel discussing the forecast for the Northern Lights that night and they were saying it was high. Now, Sarah and I had no expectations of seeing the northern lights on this trip as everything we had read said the summer was no good for it. However, there is a website that forecasts the aurora borealis, and it was promising! We busted in on their conversation and invited ourselves along.
They were super excited to have us along and we stayed up in anticipation of heading out to the "country" around 11pm when it would be starting to get really dark, however at 10:30pm Elodie came running and said it had already started! You never know how long it will last so we jumped in our cars and drove about 10 minutes out of town and then we set up our cameras. At first it was dim, but then it became so distinct and cool.
I wasn't expecting this, but it was actually WHITE, not colourful. I later learned that you often need a camera to capture the colours. Please enjoy a small selection of the million photos I took that night.
I'm not going to lie- being from Toronto just seeing the stars was a huge treat! But yes, the northern lights were simply awesome (in the true sense of the word). It has always been on my bucket list and it did not let me down. Sometimes I just stopped working my camera (I kept adjusting the settings to try and capture the lights) and I just stood and stared. It was like this very visible white mist that danced and floated above our heads.
I think we spent about 2 hours out there before heading in. I actually had trouble sleeping that night because my heart was so full of the beauty I had just witnessed. Simple awe-inspiring and I am so glad that Sarah and I had overhead that conversation or we would have missed it all (and missed the opportunity to make new friends!).