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Chasing the Northern Lights - Iceland

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Old 19-03-2020, 05:18 PM   #1336
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Shanice I strongly recommend you remain at Eastern Iceland if you want to see the northern lights. Itís forecasted to be KP3 tonight and the skies are clear in Eastern Iceland.

We left Akureyri yesterday, and drove 6 hours to Snaefellsjokull which is one of the Western tip in Iceland. Cloud forecast shows very clear skies and KP forecast was 2.7.

We camped outside our cabin from 9am to 3am, and boy itís really gorgeous to see aurora dancing above us. The whole sky was lit in green and we saw streaks of green/purple/white whipping across the skies from 12-2am. The lights were so strong that we could see it clearly with our own eyes.

We are really lucky to see such gorgeous display of aurora just 2 days before we head home. Itís like Iceland waving goodbye to us.

Aurora on top of Mt Kirkjufell




And cloud forecast last night
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:14 PM   #1337
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Enjoy!



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Last edited by yrh0413; 19-03-2020 at 07:22 PM..
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:21 PM   #1338
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Enjoy!



How r u heading home?

We need to fly back to London as we took BA.

Our plan is to stay London for 4 days before flying back to sg.

Now currently thking whether we shld just stay in Iceland n find another airline back sg directly.

Thanks.
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:25 PM   #1339
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How r u heading home?

We need to fly back to London as we took BA.

Our plan is to stay London for 4 days before flying back to sg.

Now currently thking whether we shld just stay in Iceland n find another airline back sg directly.

Thanks.
check in with BA, they have a flexible booking policy in place, and you should be able to change to your flight from a KEF-LHR and LHR-SIN flight to a KEF-LHR-SIN flight, where you just transit in LHR

either way, there are no direct KEF-SIN flights, so definitely need to transit in the main cities

question is whether or not transit will have any issues
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:26 PM   #1340
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Enjoy!



happy for you! it's super beautiful
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:36 PM   #1341
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My understanding is that EU lockdown means non-EU citizens will be barred from entering EU. Some EU nations may even bar transits (just like how our government forbids tourist from China/Korea from transiting through Singapore).

We have cut short our Iceland trip by 2 days, will fly into UK tomorrow... we hope to get into UK before they impose lockdown.

By the way I seriously discourage spending time in UK during this period, things are really out of control especially in London.
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:39 PM   #1342
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check in with BA, they have a flexible booking policy in place, and you should be able to change to your flight from a KEF-LHR and LHR-SIN flight to a KEF-LHR-SIN flight, where you just transit in LHR

either way, there are no direct KEF-SIN flights, so definitely need to transit in the main cities

question is whether or not transit will have any issues
Noted on the BA and Iceland Air. Will try to email Iceland air to extend.

Btw which aurora forecast apps did u use?

Thanks.
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:48 PM   #1343
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I use this. Itís clear skies at Northeast/Eastern Iceland tonight. KP3!!!
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Old 19-03-2020, 07:55 PM   #1344
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My understanding is that EU lockdown means non-EU citizens will be barred from entering EU. Some EU nations may even bar transits (just like how our government forbids tourist from China/Korea from transiting through Singapore).

We have cut short our Iceland trip by 2 days, will fly into UK tomorrow... we hope to get into UK before they impose lockdown.

By the way I seriously discourage spending time in UK during this period, things are really out of control especially in London.
Yes. Will not go into London as most of the tube r close.

Either fly back sg directly after return frm Iceland. Thanks
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Old 19-03-2020, 11:46 PM   #1345
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suggest you call directly instead of sending an email

their call centers are already very busy, doubt emails will be replied in a timely manner
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Old 20-03-2020, 05:48 AM   #1346
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Shanice did you manage to catch the aurora tonight? Northern Iceland has clear skies tonight and KP is high
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Old 20-03-2020, 09:26 AM   #1347
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Shanice did you manage to catch the aurora tonight? Northern Iceland has clear skies tonight and KP is high
Yes. Manage to catch the light just now.

Only see Milky Way in the sky.

Lucky got 1 French guy who have nice camera n help us to take a few good pic of the aurora.

Just for awhile. It dancing around.
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Old 20-03-2020, 02:52 PM   #1348
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Wonderful! 😁 where will you be heading today?
If you are traveling East do be careful, weather is really really bad here and winds are super strong.

We are now on our way to KeflavŪk airport.


Yes. Manage to catch the light just now.

Only see Milky Way in the sky.

Lucky got 1 French guy who have nice camera n help us to take a few good pic of the aurora.

Just for awhile. It dancing around.
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Old 21-03-2020, 11:10 PM   #1349
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Finally my Iceland trip has ended. Just to share some experience to those who plan to go there:

My travel period: 8-21 March 2020 (winter season), which is the peak of E.U. Covid outbreak:


1. If you plan to travel in winter, remember to do your research on sunset/sunrise timing. Iceland is huge and all attractions require hours of driving. I would say early March is pretty ideal... you get over 12 hours of sunlight and yet it doesnít sacrifice aurora hunting.

2. Get a reliable and reputable rental vehicle, and you must get a 4x4 if you plan to drive in winter. We rented a a Toyota RAV4 (AWD) and we got stuck in snow twice. Once we have to walk 1km to nearby farmer and they pulled us out with their track for; another time we manage to wriggle ourselves out from the snow.

3. Get the best insurance coverage on your rental vehicle. We rented from Bluecarrental and took up their max coverage (zero excess). First night our car got hit and run at the parking lot (damaged the rear bumper), and we made a crack on the front bumper. It would have cost us ~1,000 euros worth of repairs if we didnít take up full coverage. Get zero excess and travel with peace of mind.

4. We check safetravel.is for warnings and check road conditions twice a day. It is very important to know your weather if not you may land yourself in big trouble. Another app we check everyday is the Aurora forecast app. Check for KP and cloud coverage, if itís cloudy no point to camp for aurora.

5. Use Waze as your default navigation app, it shows speed cameras.

6. Cost of living in Iceland is quite similar to Singapore. Petrol cost almost the same and groceries are on the high side. We didnít eat out for the whole 2 weeks of our trip... always purchase raw food from Bonus/Netto whenever we can. SGD50 worth of groceries can last 3 us 3 days (thatís breakfast lunch dinner). Bonus is like our Giant, Netto is like Cold Storage. Personally we much prefer Netto as they have more variety.
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Old 21-03-2020, 11:27 PM   #1350
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7. We only eat out on the last day of our trip... at KFC KeflavŪk town. It cost us S$35 for a bucket of 10 orginal drumsticks!

8. We book airBnB one day in advance, or on the morning itself after checking road conditions to ensure we can make it to the destination. We only book cabins/cottage as we want privacy and also away from light pollution. All airBnB accommodation we booked comes with stove/induction cooker.

9. We didnít change any ISK or used any cash during our 2 weeks stay. All petrol/grocery/parking paid with Apple Pay/Paywave. We didnít use our physical credit card at all.

10. When pump petrol using the terminal, no matter what preset ISK amount you choose the bank will hold 20,000 ISK on your card and it will be cleared in a week. Take note of your credit limit as you may render your card useless. Another option is to pump first then walk into the kiosk and pay at the counter... you get charged the exact amount to your card.

11. If you plan to drive the whole ring road, I strongly recommend driving anti-clockwise. Reykjavik to southern Iceland have good flat roads and itís really easy to drive; moreover the attractions are pretty close to each other in southern Iceland. Take time to get familiar with your vehicle and the driving conditions in Iceland. Eastern/western Iceland has lots of mountain roads and itís challenging to drive when weather is bad.

12. Note that the estimated travel time on Google Map/Waze are estimates based on speed limit in perfect weather. A 2-hour drive on Waze will usually end up as 3-5 hours in bad weather... you may end up crawling at 40kmph on a 90kmph stretch when itís icy and snowing.

13. Iceland has the worst weather. We got blown off our feet in the mornings when winds are at 50-80kmph and it was snowing/raining. Our airBnB host came over to rescue us from his cabin. If not we may have missed our flight.
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