:: Northern Lights Travel Blog #6 ::
21 October 2014 (Tue)
Still jet-lagged, I eased myself from my light slumber, and made good use of the
strong WiFi signal to check my emails.
I reckoned that a little core exercise would do more good then harm.
And Pilates, while seemingly easy, often gave a good sweaty workout.
After Pilates, I had a quick warm shower, then we got changed and headed for breakfast.
The dining area at Hotel Katla was designed like a Viking hall of sorts.
It had a pronounced V-shaped ceiling that rose high up,
and the pine interior together with the incandescent lighting gave the hall a warm and cozy vibe.
Particularly impressed with the waffle machine, I made a few lovely waffles and coated
Cafe for lunch and WiFi. Then it was back to Skaftafell area to put on our crampons
and board the city van which would fetch us to the edge of the glacier.
It was our first time using crampons, and it did feel a little awkward initially,
as it required us to walk in a penguin-like swagger. The glacier
having the top-most layer constantly melted away by the sun yet solidifying yet again
by the cold frosty winds. It was one step at a time, one foot in front of the other.
The uneven surface of the glacier caught the sheen of the sun and bounced its rays in various angles.
This, coupled by the clear blue, cloudless skies, presented to me another new landscape, something
was retreating everyday. As they shrink and grow smaller, there was no doubt that it would
Hence, nature, as conceptual as it might sound, was an organic form that constantly interacted with us.
Nature was especially personified by Iceland, where we could see glaciers, volcanoes,
and the most diverse environment possible.
This was because, while the snowmobile was action-packed, the glacier walk was more muted.
The silence in itself was not a bad thing as long as one took this opportunity to think,
but there was more adventure in the snowmobile one.
Thinking. Something which could be a luxury these days, when we are bombarded by various
glasses on her nose, then smiled,
then drive to a remote corner of the hotel compound where we could be
shielded from the bright lights of the hotel.
lobster tails, and hamburger and fries. I was won over by the extremely well-marinated
This was Iceland after all!
Within minutes of reaching our secluded spot, I spotted a faint glow over the horizon;
initially I couldn't determine whether it was just a large horizontal cloud - it was lackluster.
Then, much to my amazement, it morphed into a shimmering orange-green phenomenon.
Rushing out of the car into the cold darkness, I fumbled, trying to
In fact, my investment in the trip: the camera, the tripod, and the time lapse application,
and my hours of reading up about the Aurora borealis was to prepare for this moment.
Excited with seeing the thin wavy hues with my naked eyes,
I clumsily fiddled around with the camera controls; was it supposed to be Shutter Priority mode?
If so, would 30 seconds do?
In the midst of my panicking, the Aurora disappeared.
I did not manage to take a shot of this beautiful light.
I was more prepared this time round and managed to capture several instances of the Northern Lights .
n fact, I stood and stared at the play of lights across the star-lit skies.
It was amazing! While the camera captured the lights, nothing beats seeing it in person.
It felt surreal and transient - like this journey, and this life of mine;
shimmering and shining for a brief moment and then fading into nothingness once more.
Yet it was not meant to be a sad affair, but an appreciation that all things good (and bad) will come and pass.
The transitory nature of the moment.
Definitely moving past the prime of life into a new phase of life.
What would define me in this new phase for my life?
If a person in his twenties was looking at growing his career and wealth as his future,
and journeying towards excellence,
a person in his forties would still be journeying, but perhaps experiencing life and also smelling the roses.
why do I exist, and for
came to mind.
nothing was really what it seemed. We were influenced heavily by the pop culture,
social media as well as the friends and people around us.
Almost like "keeping up with the Jones," or
"doing better than the Jones." -
there was a pressure to do and live better than the mean and the median group,
but yet this determination was usually measured in material terms of how much one earned,
how big was one's house and one's car.
(hence traveling to different parts of the world was essential to broaden one's perspective of the
One should also engage in a process of retrospection juxtaposed with introspection;
to muse, to ponder, and to contemplate, and to think.
And then the phenomenon was over. We waited for another hour in the car,
sheltered from the biting cold, and sat on our numb fingers in order to warm them.
The dazzling spectacle did not return.
We decided it was enough for the night, and return to the nearby guesthouse.