Driving the Ring Road Around Iceland
Höfn and the Aurora
The fog was gone and the next day was the sunniest day
of the entire trip to Iceland.
The sky was mostly clear for most of the day,
and on into the evening.
That led to a very nice display of the aurora or the northern lights.
The Fog Lifts
The fog had disappeared soon after the sun set on the day that I arrived in Höfn. The sky was mostly clear by 1600. The next day was clear and sunny.
I turned left out the door of the hostel and climbed the small hill at the end of the short block. The view was great, north over the golf course, beyond that the Höfn airport, and to the full moon setting in the north above the fjord Hornafjörður. This was taken at 1130, as the sun was rising.
Turning to my left, looking to the northwest:
And further to my left, looking to the west:
Walking to the center of town, there was a great view to the northeast.
I returned to the old water tank for a view to the north:
...to the northwest:
...to the west:
...and to the southwest:
That's much better than the afternoon before, where I could barely see the lighted signs at the Olis gas station.
It seemed like early morning down at the port, although it was a little after noon.
as in this;
Þ/þ is unvoiced,
as in thick.
Humar is Icelandic small lobster. It's Norway lobster or Nephrops norvegicus, called scampi and langoustine in other countries. It's a slim, pale orange, tasty crustacean that grows up to 25 cm long.
Humarsúpa or humar soup is a popular dish across Iceland, but especially in Hölm, the lobster capital of Iceland. I got humarsúpa at Kaffi Hornið, a cafe that was about the only place open for lunch in Höfn.
It's a thick soup with vegetables, curry, and humar, with a glob of sour cream and chives or sprouts. Yum.
And More Humar
In addition to having humarsúpa twice, I had a humar sandwich at the diner-style Harnarbuðin beside the port.
The aurora was visible my first evening in Höfn. Below is the view looking west. A full moon was high in the northeast, and there was a high haze of clouds over the east half of the sky.
These were taken with a Motorola moto z4 phone using its "Night Vision" mode, hand held while braced against a utility pole. EXIF data for the first one is:
Camera make : motorola Camera model : moto z4 Date/Time : 2021:12:19 19:33:48 Resolution : 4000 x 3000 Orientation : rotate 90 Flash used : No Focal length : 4.7mm (35mm equivalent: 27mm) Exposure time: 0.100 s (1/10) Aperture : f/1.7 ISO equiv. : 20528 Whitebalance : Auto Metering Mode: center weight Exposure : Manual Exposure Mode: Manual GPS Latitude : N 64d 15m 25.8839s GPS Longitude: W 15d 12m 23.3892s GPS Altitude : 58.75m JPEG Quality : 95
It faded, then was back ten to twelve minutes later, when I had progressed further toward my late dinner at Bistro Z:
About an hour later a ribbon crossed the sky overhead from west to east, which is right to left in these pictures:
The camera is doing some processing that adds noise around the street lights.
Histogram equalization can show more of the green aurora plus the sky glow remaining in the west some six hours after sunset. Here is the result of an overall histogram equalization of the original 4000×3000 image, followed by downsampling that to 800×600.
Localized enhancement can replace each pixel with the result of a histogram equalization within a certain radius. However, doing that for a 100-pixel radius on a 4000×3000 pixel image requires 828 seconds of compute time on an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU with a 2100 MHz clock. And, the result is mostly sensor noise plus JPEG artifacts.
Below is the result of first downsampling the original 4000×3000 image to 800×600 pixels, then doing histogram equalization on a 200-pixel radius, and only then reducing JPEG quality from 95% to 70% for web display. The result is very blocky if you reduce JPEG quality before the histogram equalization. This required just 88 seconds of compute time:
At a 100-pixel radius, noise becomes more obvious:
Onward to BreiðdalsvíkNext: On to Breiðdalsvík
My next overnight stop would be further north along the east coast to Breiðdalsvík