Iceland – The Quest for the Northern Lights Part 2

Day 1 in Iceland – Part 2 – December 6, 2015
The Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Spa and Baths
The Northern Lights

As we hurried to get dressed for the 2nd tour on our first day in Iceland, we decided to put our swimsuits on under our long underwear and outer clothing and coats. When we arrived at Fontana, we were given a key with a wristband and instructed on where to go. The locker room was spacious with over 100 lockers for our clothes. As we stripped down to our swimsuits and walked to the showers, we had a chance to rethink our choice of activity as others, who had complete their shower, opened the door to go outside and screamed. The cold air was a shock and we quickly got to a pool and got into the water. Some of us stayed in the shallow pool and were very comfortable with the water chest level. Even with our shoulders exposed to the cold air, we were not cold.

Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Spa
Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Spa
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Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Spa

After a long soak, we made it out of the water just as quick, found our towels and ran for the hot showers inside. We quickly dressed and went back to the restaurant. There was a buffet of Icelandic dishes set out for us. Beverages such as liquor or beer were extra. Coffee, tea or soda was included. The food was very good and certainly hit the spot since some of us had only a light lunch or no lunch. We have several hours at Fontana so it was very relaxing. By 10 pm we were headed out to see the Northern Lights. We stopped at the entrance to a state park. There were 3 buses of people that stopped at this locale. Somehow, we all found a spot to take photos with a good distance between us. It didn’t take long before the show started and it was beautiful. I was excited to see the lights up close. It’s an amazing sight. The neon green came in ribbons dancing in the sky and fading to light green clouds covering the stars. A surprise, when some of processed our photos, was the red or pink lights that we did not see visually but appeared on our photos.  Truly spectacular.

Northern Lights, Iceland
Northern Lights, Iceland
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Northern Lights, Iceland
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Northern Lights, Iceland

Thanks to our daytime guide for telling us about the storm that was coming because we would not have seen the Northern Lights without her suggestion.  We did not see the sky the rest of the time we were in Iceland. The next day started out gloomy and as the day went on it got windy and cold. The storm was on its way. Stay tuned for Day 2. For now, enjoy the photos of the spa and the Northern Lights.

For more photos with descriptions of Day 1 Part 1 and 2 – Quest for the Northern Lights:

https://www.facebook.com/tumblealongtales/photos/pcb.928980623857670/928970310525368/?type=3

Coming Next Week:

Iceland – Day 2 – Reykjavik Shopping and Preparing for the Storm  

If you can’t wait a week to see the story about the Fontana Spa and The Northern Lights visit our Facebook page and enjoy all the photos and posts about our trip to Iceland.  Please be sure to ‘Like’ our Facebook page when you visit.   https://www.facebook.com/tumblealongtales/

Thank you for visiting. See you soon.

 

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Iceland – Reykjavik – The Quest for the Northern Lights

Iceland – Reykjavik Tour – Day 1 Part 1   December 6, 2015

Four of us left Terminal 2 of Minneapolis/St.Paul airport on IcelandAir on December 5th at about 8 pm. Some of you may wonder why anyone who lives in an area of the world known for it’s snowy and cold winters would choose to go to Iceland in December. The Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, beckoned us with it’s alluring colors. Yes, we can sometimes see them in the Minnesota sky but we still have to travel north to see them well. The chances are rare that we would see them in our area due to so many populated cities. The added incentive was an airfare/hotel/tour package that was impossible to pass up. We arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland at approximately 8 am on Sunday, December 6th. The flight was only 5.5 hours long, but we traveled over about 7 times zones. We got bus tickets to the Fosshotel Baron and loaded our luggage for our 45-minute bus ride to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. We arrived at the bus station and immediately boarded the shuttle to our hotel. We wouldn’t be able to check in until after 12 pm. We stored our luggage in the locked storage area and then went to the dining room to have breakfast and figure out what we would do with our day.

View from The Perlan (The Pearl) Reykjavik, Iceland
View from The Perlan (The Pearl). Reykjavik, Iceland

The hotel’s breakfast was more than adequate. We had our choice of waffles, several different types of bread for toast, sweet rolls, croissants, cereal, yogurt, fruit, sausages. omelet, boiled eggs, and juice. For the Scandinavians, there was smoked and pickled herring, flatbreads, and cod liver oil. Beverages included tea, coffee, water, hot chocolate, and juice.

View from Fosshotel Baron. Reykjavik, Iceland
View from Fosshotel Baron. Reykjavik, Iceland
View from front rooms at Fosshotel Baron
View from front rooms at Fosshotel Baron

We settled on a day tour of Reykjavik which lasted about 6 hours. These are some of the photos from that tour. Click the link below for all the photos and descriptions from Day 1- Part 1. One thing I need to point out is that during the winter in Iceland there are only about 5 hours of daylight. Sunrise is at 11:03 am and sunset is about 3:38 pm. So the sun was rising when we boarded the bus, but by the time we stopped for lunch around 2 pm it was going down. During our daytime tour, our guide told us that a big storm was expected on Monday so if we had a Northern Lights tour planned for Monday we should change it to Sunday. We made our changes as soon as we got back to the hotel and rushed to get ready for our spa experience and Northern Lights tour. We left with our bathing suits under our long underwear and our outer clothing and coats.

One thing I need to point out is that during the winter in Iceland there are only about 5 hours or less of daylight. Sunrise is at 11:03 am and sunset is about 3:38 pm. So the sun was rising when we boarded the bus, but by the time we stopped for lunch around 2 pm it was going down. During our daytime tour, our guide told us that a big storm was expected on Monday so if we had a Northern Lights tour planned for Monday we should change it to Sunday. We made our changes as soon as we got back to the hotel and rushed to get ready for our spa experience and Northern Lights tour. We left with our bathing suits under our long underwear and our outer clothing and coats.

For 30 more photos with descriptions of Day 1 – Reykjavik Tour:

https://www.facebook.com/tumblealongtales/photos/pcb.928980623857670/928970310525368/?type=3

Coming Next Week:

Iceland – Day 1 – Part 2 – Fontana Spa and The Northern Lights  

If you can’t wait a week to see the story about the Fontana Spa and The Northern Lights visit our Facebook page and enjoy all the photos and posts about our trip to Iceland.  Please be sure to ‘Like’ our Facebook page when you visit.   https://www.facebook.com/tumblealongtales/

Thank you for visiting. See you soon.

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