Travel News: Northern Lights, Viking Ships, Criminal Rubbish

Travel News: Northern Lights, Viking Ships, Criminal Rubbish

Photos by
Art Bicnick

As the Costa del Iceland’s pretty damn decent summer draws to its conclusion and the nights draw in, there are new seasonal activities on the menu for travellers. First and foremost, the northern lights will once again start to dance their ghostly way across the skies, should they be cloud-free, and solar winds willing. Like with any natural phenomenon, spending a few hours trying to spot the aurora is always something of a gamble, especially if you’re on a short trip, but you can maximise your chances by taking a bus to try and find the likeliest spot for a sighting from August 26th onwards. Where these trips actually go depends on the forecast—you could end up in Hella, Þingvellir or Snæfellsnes. Check the forecast at vedur.is, pick a good night, and book at re.is. And may our heavenly burning sun-orb bless your journey into the darkness with a veritable torrent of charged particles upon the earth’s atmosphere.

Viking Adventure Ship

Iceland’s viking past has been brought to life this summer by Reykjavik Viking Adventure (vikingadventure.is), who take people out onto the ocean in a traditional shield-lined wooden longboat, including a costumed crew. Inspired by the Þingeyri Viking Club’s building of the vessel Vésteinn in 2008, the company sails in an authentic replica of the Gaukstad, modelled on a ship from 900 AD. Trips run until the end of August, and take 1-1.5 hours, although private tours also also available if you want a longer voyage. Whether or not private tours include loaned weapons for a raid on Akranes is currently unconfirmed.

Highlands

Iceland’s Parliament this week discussed, for the second time, whether or not littering in the country’s central Highlands should be defined as a criminal act. Their proposal would attach a minimum 100,000 ISK (€750-ish) charge for those busted. But hey—whether or not this law passes, don’t litter in the goddamn Highlands, okay? Or any other part of Iceland’s countryside. Take it with you and put it in a bin, you damned barbarian!