She danced with full gusto! | Northern Lights in Norway
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We watched the silent Fjords bathed in white, with specs of black in-between, pass by. We were cruising towards Tromso, heading as far North, as possible, to increase our chances to get a glimpse of the Dancing Lady.
The Nordic countries aren't at the top of a bucket-list for a traveler. Rightfully so! Europe being a continent that provides a choice of more than 50+ countries, it's OK to sideline 5 that are infamous for being expensive. But the Nordic region is where the magnetic activity is concentrated and I kept wondering if it was worth all the expense!
The Norwegians definitely knew how to enjoy the cold, and do it in the most colorful way possible! The fjords were dotted with some of the brightest red, yellow and blue houses I'd ever seen, and these provided a stark contrast to the endless white around.
Chasing the Lights.....
As we entered the Arctic Circle, I had high hopes. Being in the middle of the Norwegian Sea, you'd think you'd get to see a show, but no! The clouds failed to drop out of sight and all it was was a cold night at sea.
We passed some of the most remote yet picturesque locations, and finally reached Tromso, only to continue further. We were steadily getting to our destination, a tiny island called Uloya with a total population of 78 people, which would be our base for the coming days.
Iced roads and a cold wind greeted us at Uloya.
That evening, mythical Sami tales were shared over traditional fish soup. It was interesting to note that there are no wild Reindeer's- they're all owned by the Sami - one of the oldest tribes of Norway. The night was getting dark and our hopes were getting high. But the clouds did not budge, and it was another uneventful night.
The days, however, were quite the opposite! We played with huskies, drove a snowmobile to the topmost peak and kept an eye out for whales, while we roasted sausages and gulped it down!
The season was changing rapidly. Roads were visible once again, small shrubs were peeking and the snow was porous.
Spring was here.
Would we get a glimpse?
3 days had passed and it was the last night. That evening a storm came. Strong winds blew and the rain lashed at the window. Then after a couple of hours, came the calm.
The sky had cleared completely and stars were twinkling. I ran out as soon as it was dark and saw a light green haze coming from the direction of the mountain.
It was finally happening!
I watched as more streams emerged and then the dance began! There were twirls and twists. There were specks of Violet too, the activity was definitely strong.
The excitement continued till the wee hours of morning and I had to tear myself away to catch a few winks in order to catch the early morning flight out. I was more than elated to have finally seen it with my eyes!
Money is definitely dear, but it's not always that you're lucky to watch rare occurrences, that are a boon of nature. 'Such experiences - you can never put a price on!' - was the only thought in my mind while I returned back home.
PIN FOR LATER!
Disclaimer: This post first appeared in the Newspaper - Sakaal Times and was written by me.
Some details for successful Northern Lights trips!
- The closer you are to the Poles, higher the chances of viewing the lights!
- That being said, since the South Pole is difficult to get to, toward the North you gotta go!
- The best locations are Iceland, Russia, Norway, Greenland, Finland, Sweden and the top regions of the United States and Canada
- Most of the regions in Scandinavia are expensive, so it's always best to research your options wisely with respect to budget and location, as the lights are unpredictable and your best bet is to plan your visit to last at-least a week!
- Taking a trip to chase the lights is pretty famous but I tried the opposite! I stayed put in a remote location and all I had to do was step out of the lodge to view the lights! Step in if I'm cold, have some beer and get out again for the show! Arctic Panorama Lodge is a stunning option!
- There are many apps that will predict magnetic activity and your probability of seeing the lights. Aurora Forecast is one of the best!
- November, February and March are the best months but the lights are visible throughout winter
- As many travelers rightfully state, do plan some activities during the day as well! If you do not see the lights, the fun you had during the day will be worth it!
- There are many unique activities you could opt for:- Reindeer Sledding- Husky Sledding- Snow-shoe walks- Snowmobile rides- Whale watching- Ice fishingTo name some off the top of my head!
- Like I've mentioned before, most of them are expensive! So if you're looking at a tight budget, take a walk or a hike around the Fjords and have picnics! They are break-taking!
- I will be adding more articles that will give much more insight into planning a successful trip and putting my complete itinerary up as well! Stay tuned! :)
Have you heard of a Maelstrom? Or the Lofoten Islands? And did you know that on the way to the islands there's a tiny town called Bodo with the strongest Maelstrom in the world? Here's more info!
Have you ever seen the Aurora? How was your experience?
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