October 2016 marked my 50th birthday and my wife had arranged for the pair of us to spend 5 days in Iceland (kid free) as my birthday present. We flew out on 17th February to a rainy Reykjavik, grabbed our hire car and drove two hours along the south coast to the small town of Vik. We were staying at Icelandair Hotel Vik which is to be recommended.
The next morning was a 6am alarm and a 2 hour drive through the darkness down the coast to Jökulsárlón lagoon and beach. This lagoon is a recent one, left by the retreating Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. Huge chunks of ice calve off of the glacier face and into the lagoon where they might spend 5 years before finding the narrow outlet to the sea. Some of that ice then gets washed up onto Jökulsárlón beach which itself is comprised of black lava sand. Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies: A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Batman Begins.
After sunrise at the beach we moved to the lagoon. A mist had risen but this added to the atmosphere. For a long time I took no photos but just watched the icebergs move slowly through the water crashing and grinding against each other whilst eider ducks and grey seals swam past.
We eventually got back to our hotel exhausted but, with the promise of some breaks in the cloud, headed out to look for aurora. We parked up in a side track and started to see the glimmer of something. I took a shot on the camera to check and got the image below. Finally I had fulfilled the ambition of seeing the Northern lights albeit dimly. We settled back to see if it developed but then two middle aged American guys approached us to say that there coach had broken down further along the track and that a young lady in the coach was having abdominal pains. They asked if we'd take her back to her hotel 6 kilometres away. I looked up at the sky and, as fate would have it, the aurora chose that moment to dance. Reluctantly, but rather chivalrously I thought, we collected her and drove her back to her hotel. We returned to the same spot afterwards but the display was negligible by then. I was gutted but Karma would later see me alright. The image below is the one real shot I got of that night...
The next day was damp and foggy but we wandered around locally taking in Dyrholaey cliffs, Skogafoss waterfall, Solheimajokul glacier and Reynisdranger sea stacks.