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Spoiler Alert

November 9, 2015

I SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!  Today was one of the all time great travel days on it’s own, but it ended with one of my bucket list items – I saw the northern lights.

But I’ll start at the beginning.  We headed out with the aim of a moderate hike along the coast.  On the way we detoured to see the famous black church of Budir.  We peeked in the windows of the remote church on the windy hill and at the graves which ranged from the 1800s to 2011.   Wondering outside the cemetery gate, we saw small animal prints alongside a drag mark, wondering what creature it was and what it was dragging, we followed the tracks over several dunes sharing our theories – an arctic fox was mostly likely, but we all hoped we’d find a christmas cat.

Back on our way, we detoured again to walk the dozen or so flights that wound up a volcanic crater.  The thrill was slightly marred by a group of American’s who parked and left their car in the middle of the road to the crater.  CeCe did some creative driving to get us around it.  As we neared the top, we heard the unmistakable drone of a drone.  The groups of Asians photographing themselves with the evil flying machine turned up at many of our stops alone the rest of the day, but did not last long at the crater.

We stopped at a gas station to use the facilities and stock up for lunch – a picnic at a rocky beach which, were it not for the lave, could have been along the coast of Maine.  We had crackers with a weird, yummy Icelandic bacon cheese, dried broccoli, Icelandic yogurt, and “exotic” fanta. Amanda’s chardonnay thyme turkey jerky went untouched.

Our afternoon hike was a 3k walk through rugged lava fields overlooking the coast.  We told tales of the trolls and elves that lived among the mossy, jagged lava.  At the turn around point we were greeted by a giant stone troll (and the group of Asians).

We drove though a couple towns on the way home hoping to find a place for dinner, but ended up back at the hotel where we happily gorged on fish soup and lamb.  And lots of red wine.  After dinner and a competitive game of hearts, we decided to walk down to the beach to look at stars.

And that’s when we saw them.  The sky lit up with thick streaks of glowing light green which jumped and danced in the sky.  Like clouds it shape shifted and drifted.  We watched in the cold and dark for at least a half an hour before the clouds rolled in and we began to lose it – though if I roll over I can still see a small bright strip out my bedroom window.  We tried in vain for photos, but in the end decided to just revel in our seeing it.  We drank shots of Icelandic birch schnapps to keep warm and scared ourselves when we thought a pole in the grass might be a person watching us (it was not).

The day also had lovely Icelandic horses – they are not ponies! – and sheep and many many waterfalls and glaciers.  And those damn lights.  I’ve finally seen them and it was worth it!

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