Iceland Ring Road: an enchanted evening.

The church in Akureyi is lit up at night and it is easy to see that it was designed by the same architect Guðjón Samúelsson, who designed Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik. Unfortunately I did not manage to have a look inside during the time we were there.
After dinner at the fish & chip restaurant, we drove out of town to avoid light pollution and to try and catch the aurora borealis or Northern Lights. Despite there still being some cloud we arrived at our spot just as the moon was rising and managed to see some lights.
The Icelandic Met Office website is very useful for travellers as it provides not only weather forecasts but avalanche and earhtquake warnings and even aurora forecasts up to a week ahead. We passed several of their weather stations on our trip. There was cloud cover for the rest of our trip and no more sightings. I suspect that you would need to be further north in Norway or Sweden to be more certain of seeing them although I do remember a sighting from Aberdeen when I was a student there about 35 years ago. Two of our co-travellers had been in northern Scandinavia before coming to Iceland and had plenty of snow and aurora sightings.

Watching the skies

Spring is supposed to be in the air but as I left to go to the station yesterday morning for an early train it was minus 1°C and foggy. I was a little more obsessed about the weather and the sky than usual with the solar eclipse this morning and the uncertainty from the Met Office about the speed of an incoming westerly front. I recall that the last time there was a solar eclipse visible from the UK, I was on a beach on the other side of the Atlantic so I had never seen one. On the train, the fog persisted until we reached Wigan and it was then blue skies and sunshine so I was much more hopeful. South of Lancaster the misty shapes of the Pennines were visible in the east. Soon afterwards, the landscape began to change to upland topography, with hills, sheep and dry stone walls. At Carlisle station there were seagulls basking in the sun on a factory roof. However, the fog reappeared for a while in the Southern Uplands. It was still sunny when I reached Edinburgh and the buskers were out early in Princess St so I had music to accompany my walk to the bus stop. The good weather persisted while I tried to clean up the flat, put some of the furniture back in the rooms that had been decorated and then did a couple of things in town. By the evening, the sky was covered with thick cloud. I got my camera ready with neutral density filters on, settings checked and the tripod out but was mentally prepared to abandon everything if it was cloudy in the morning. Happily this morning I awoke to blue skies with a little cloud and the sun shining so after a quick breakfast and a hunt for the eclipse viewing glasses, I was up on the top of Blackford Hill. It looked like there would be very few students at classes this morning as they were all climbing up the hill with cameras, pinhole box cameras and colanders.Everyone intent on getting a good view. Someone asked me if the observatory was giving out free glasses. I took photographs at intervals from the beginning of the eclipse until the furthest it got by which time it was clouding over, a cold wind was blowing and I was ready for more coffee.

Eclipse 1 (1 of 1)Eclipse 4 (1 of 1)Eclipse 7 (1 of 1)

Another moon

After walking around town for a few hours doing various things while the floor in the flat is being restored, I had just got back for a late lunch when I looked out the window and spotted that the moon had risen. I have been trying out moon photos for a while but getting this seagull flying past just as I pressed the shutter was pure luck.

Moon and seagull Feb 24 2015 (1 of 1)