The Lights Fantastic


Last night, thanks to the lady friend and her birthday trip, I got to see something I've wanted to see most of my life: The Aurora Borealis.

I'm not sure why but I've have always wanted to see The Northern Lights with my own eyes, not just through pictures and videos taken by other people. Something about them has always attracted me, an interest that has nothing to do with what I work as or my hobbies or anything. I mean come on, they are literally out of this world and look pretty damn cool (no pun intended given where you have to go to see them).

Last night after dinner we met the tour bus and went Light Hunting, which is the only way to describe the trip on the bus. See unlike Ireland Meteorologists it appears those fellas that predict the weather in other parts of the world can do their job spot on. Most of yesterday was drizzling rain or overcast and herself was worried that the skies would be covered in clouds, preventing any light show taking place. We checked a website that has been her homepage for most of the last six months and it said that in Iceland the clouds would be gone coming up to midnight and the lights should appear around then as well.

They had it down to the second. One minute we are standing in darkness as the top of a mountain looking up at the sky, the next the clouds have parted and we are blinded by the stars. Then, what looked to me at any rate, another cloud started to form. The lady friend pointed at it and said it was the lights starting, I said it was just a cloud as to me it looked a little on the grey side.

Oh to be proven wrong in such a spectacular way. The "cloud" brightened in colour and grew in size until we were all staring at a green splash of light across the sky. It fell in a strange manner, almost like it was paint being poured over an upside-down bowl. This perfect separation of green and black took up most of the skyline, flowing downwards to "gather" at one end. Here the light was rippled, streaked with black lines, like watching a moon rise over a lake.

It was something else to see.

Sadly the lights weren't intense enough for a normal camera to take a decent shot with and neither of us have those fancy cameras that you'd need to do the job. Of course while we were enjoying the show there were a number of folks forgetting basic manners and shouting at people for walking about the place while they were trying for a long exposure shot.

There's always one...

I can still see it when I close my eyes, this dazzling green spread across the black of space, floating in mid air with no source or destination. Just as it appeared so suddenly watching it fade was amazing as well. There one second and gone the next, the stars returning to take up their place as the only lights in the sky.

Oddly enough the best part of the viewing happened on the bus ride back to the city. The lady friend nudged me awake to show how the lights had returned and were even brighter and longer than we had seen up the mountain. We looked out the opposite side of the bus window to get a better view we were treated to "dancing lights".

A ribbon of green, bright and brilliant, hung over a mountain. As we watched it was like some giant invisible hand grabbed one end and shook it, the ribbon started to "move" about as the lights seemed to ripple across the sky. The light shimmered like this for a few seconds before the mountain blocked it entirely from view.

Even the words I've just typed don't do the event any real justice, it really is something a person would have to see for themselves.


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