This is a guest post by Sanadina and Christian who were featured in our Off the Radar Travel Interviews on their travels to Cape Verde, Africa. They have travelled all over the world, Sanadina to more than 40 countries and have continued to travel extensively with their daughter Samsara since she was 6 weeks old. She is now an experienced 4 year old world traveller and a very lucky girl indeed 🙂 They write about their amazing journey to see the Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis
To watch the Northern Lights and to experience polar nights has always been a dream. After extensive research and learning about the aurora cycle (peaks every 11 years),we decided to make a trip to Tromso this December to stay in a log cabin on an inlet in the Arctic Circle, in Norway. We stayed for 7 nights in a little fishing village called Oldervik, about an hour outside Tromsø. Other option would have been to stay in Tromsø (capital of the Arctic) and pay for a tour.
We flew with Norwegian Air from London to Tromsø direct. It took approx 3.5 hours.
To see the Lights you should be away from city lights and have a clear sky. We were lucky enough to start seeing it from the plane and for the next 5 days! We were extremely lucky to see it once for 45 minutes straight. The last 2 days were snow showers so we didn’t see any lights but was very happy to have a snowy Christmas.
There are some things in life that are really built up and then when you see them, it’s underwhelming. The Northern Lights were the complete opposite of that. It was mind blowing – there is nothing I have seen that comes close. And in no way I can describe it in words.
Polar nights in Oldervik meant having twilight from 9.30am to 12.30 in the afternoon. If you have clear skies, it is brighter than one would imagine. We used this time to hike around the town, my four year old jumped around in the snow, built snowman, went sledging. We also did a 3.5 hrs each way trip to the Northernmost Wildlife centre known as Polar Park Arctic Wildlife Centre. We were the only visitors there so the Park ranger took me and Samsara on his snowmobile and took us around. I am not a fan of animals in enclosure but these animals seemed very well looked after and the centre is based on exhibiting animals in their natural surroundings. Each species gets a lot of room to romp on and with 1100 dekar (1 dekar = 1000 square meters) in only 12 enclosures, the Polar Park is one of the animal parks in the world with the largest area per animal.
We went to Tromsø one day to buy some groceries (reindeer and moose meat amongst other local delights), see the Arctic Cathedral, and walk around the town It is the second largest city/urban area inside the arctic Circle, and sits 350 km within the Arctic Circle and home to the world’s Northern most University.
The rest of the time was spent in extreme relaxation with no noise, watching the Lights, jumping around in the snow. Our cabin was next to a frozen Fjord surrounded by the Lyngen Alps. The pictures perhaps can give you some idea 🙂
Few more pictures of the lights from our window! The most impressive views of full sky light up in green light are missing – we were too stunned to take my camera and shot it. (Note, some shots are out of focus due to camera mishap.) We saw it so many times for 4 days with the whole sky lighting up in neon green. It’s overwhelming and I have no words to describe how I felt every time..such an amazing experience 🙂 This post is linked to Our World Tuesday and Outdoors Wednesday