My Own Private Iceland

Posted by Ed 10 mths ago
When an island nation of 300,000 residents receives more than two million tourists a year, radical change is inevitable — but is it all negative?
There’s a place in Iceland where you can see the northern lights any time of year, regardless of the weather. You don’t have to ride a snowmobile into the mountains or rent a glass-roofed igloo. You don’t even need a winter jacket.
Leaning back in my recliner, I gaze upward at the ethereal reds, greens, and blues arcing across the sky, wavering like alien signals, an extraterrestrial message that we don’t know how to decode. I’m struck by their closeness. The bands of color appear right above me, like I could reach out and pass my hand through them.
These northern lights are glowing at 1 p.m. on an 8K resolution screen inside a well-heated IMAX planetarium at Perlan, a natural history museum set on a hill above downtown Reykjavik. Every hour on the hour the planetarium plays Áróra, a 22-minute-long documentary with footage of the lights taken from all over Iceland. The screen’s pixel density is so high that it runs up against the limits of what the human eye can perceive. The digital image might be clearer than reality. It’s definitely more convenient.
All you need is a $20 ticket. 

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