I’ve been on my first cruise, sailing up to and around Iceland. One of the highlights for me was seeing the snow-covered mountains materialise with the dawn above the lights of Akureyri.
The lights everyone was most hoping to see, of course, were the Northern Lights, and we struck lucky. Late at night on 31st October, I was up on deck among the crowd watching the sought-after phenomenon.
The Lights weren’t the bright colours we see in photos. They were ghostly pale, grey rather than green. But the luminous, ethereal bridge hanging low in the sky, shifting into fingers and swirls at the edges, was as moving, for me, as if it had been vibrant greens and reds.
Someone nudged past. It was Frankenstein’s monster with a couple of witches. They’d spilled out of the ship’s Hallowe’en disco to join the sky-gazers, bringing a fitting, story-book touch to the display.
It’s easy to see how the Lights have inspired so many myths and tales over time. Coincidentally, while I was away, BBC One aired the first episode of ‘His Dark Materials’. Philip Pullman’s trilogy, which begins with ‘Northern Lights‘, is one of my all-time favourites. I can’t wait to catch up with the TV adaptation now that I’m home.