After a perfect, non-eventful flight from Boston we landed at 6:30 am local time, 5 hours ahead of the still sleeping east coast. At 6:30 Iceland is still asleep this sunday morning and her mood upon waking is all I think about as we fight with the gusting wind driving spears of cold through my bones while arguing with a car door that won’t open.
With the nav set for the hotel and an hour to go, I settle in for a dreary ride when something interesting pops up on the horizon, it looks like radioactive buildings glowing in the distance. The car approaches and to my utter amazement there’s a green house right lighting up the landscape and my mood.
But the excitement doesn’t last long as I remember there’s still a 90 minute drive. The grey darkness is no good company as the M1 looms ahead, still not very inviting yet with no traffic even near, it’s pretty damn nice. Sleep is tapping me on the shoulder and tugging on my eye lids as I battle to keep them open long enough to reach Hotel Ranga and her good food, warm beds and riverside view where Northern Lights have been known to play for hours at a time.
Four hours later, some restless sleep and a pair of maid barging into my room with apologies, I am up, showered and out. Not knowing what to expect and I myself navigating (can you imagine that, me – missing the directions gene since birth) we come upon a beautiful church. The sun is sending tentacles forward to test the sky and then retreats after her disappointment but there is some blue sky and a little hope bubbles up as I start to see from the inside for the 1st time since Death Valley.
The blood is flowing now and I can feel the excitement of what’s possible, even with the weather as unpredictable as it is. We’re here for the Northern Lights and all the churches in the world won’t matter much to me if I can get the chance to experience what I came here for.
The photo Gods are in good spirits now, we begin to see interesting things.
And 30 years of large format black and white photography automatically take over and all I see now is the beauty of shape and contrasts. There’s still more to go but this is a good sign, a very good sign indeed.
Unfortunately rain ends the evening and it’s midnight here in Iceland and time to finally get some sleep.