Bucket lists. A nice tool to pull you out of your sofa. Everybody should have one. Your friends, your family, you, me – on a paper, digital or just in your mind. This is a short story about my road trip and how I tried to check one bucket: Taking pictures of northern lights. I am a photographer based in Hamburg, Germany. I like traveling. I like taking pictures of stunning landscapes and natural spectacles. It is always fascinating to discover new spots in different countries. My camera is always with me and I try to put the atmosphere of a special moment into one picture.
In 2015, we planned a trip to Iceland, the land of northern lights. Fourteen days of traveling around this amazing Island, in a car, hunting Aurora Borealis. It was the end of February and the temperature on Iceland was around zero degrees. Snow storms, rain, hail. The road trip started from Keflavik Airport. The SUV with spike tires was already booked from Hamburg.
When we came out of the airport at almost midnight the cold came directly against us. We had arrived in Iceland! The snow was roughly 30cm high. It made this nice sound under our feet while we were walking. We typed in the address for our first hotel and left the airport with all the lights behind. The snow came across us and the snowflakes were dancing in our headlights. All roads were icy. They were covered with a few centimeters thick ice layer. We were pleased to have spike tires. When we arrived at the hotel we went directly to bed and fell asleep. Our first night was awesome. Outside with snow, wind, hail, inside warm, cozy and comfortable. We did not know that we would miss our first opportunity to see the northern lights while we were sleeping. “Thank you” to the guy at the reception who told us the next morning, that the sky was full of red northern lights during the night. The rare ones. Often the northern lights are „just“ green. Sh** happens. After a short breakfast, we packed our stuff, took a map of Iceland from the reception, asked for some secret spots to go and left the small and cozy hotel. With a rough plan we started our road trip to unforeseeable destinations.
We made different stops on Highway 1. We booked our hotels always one day before or when we just arrived. I want to take you with me on my journey on Highway 1 around Iceland through my pictures. Maybe you can feel the cold, the silence and the amazing atmosphere. Sadly, we did not see the northern lights, BUT: during the night we discovered the most amazing starry sky we’ve ever seen. My next road trip is already planned: North-Norway during the next winter. Nordkapp and Spitsbergen. So my next try to take the eagerly awaited pictures of Aurora Borealis. Wish me luck and follow me on my journey!
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