So, this was an interesting trip.
In the last 4 years of travelling (since the Beginning), Tromsø is my very first solo trip. I’ve travelled alone many times but I’ve never had the intention to go on an adventure packed holiday for one. Possibly the beginning of many.
Why? Why not!
I’ve been meaning to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) for some time now and seems it was most convenient to just do it before the winter ends. So, I did. Planning took place maybe a month in advance and next thing you know, I’m here! Yay!
You can see as the plane descends, the island is covered in a glorious white blanket of snow. Getting off that plane filled with excitement and joy, like a kid on Christmas, I couldn’t wait to get amongst all that snow! But, of course I had to control myself.
It was a very short ride to the city centre. I dropped off my bags and immediately went exploring. It felt so nice in the fresh, cold chill compared to the wet, damp rain in London’s winter. I didn’t get very far until it started to snow again and this brought the excitement level higher as everything seemed even more picturesque.
From looking at the map the city centre isn’t very big and you can possibly walk from one end to the other in about 20 minutes. Me being me, took a turn every time I saw something pretty and ended up slightly losing my bearings. Luckily, it’s a small town.
Day One – Let’s go find the Aurora Borealis.
6pm pick up and we were guided by friendly Duncan from Scotland. All geared up and ready to go, we drove towards Finland as he said that could be a much clearer site. Following his intel we stuck on the E8 for over an hour, running away from the coastal clouds before I spotted something in the sky. It was like a faint ribbon of green smoke glowing in the darkness. We stopped the van to do a quick session on setting up the cameras and played with some test shots. But the Lights moved so quick we had to follow it.
We stopped here and there but finally set base in Enontekiö, Lapland, Finland (Does this count as another country on my tally? Maybe not now – I’ll be back, Finland). Duncan pulled up on the side of a road and told us to unload the van. What?! We followed and made our way out to the middle of nowhere. Knee deep in soft snow, it was very difficult to predict if your next step will land on solid ground or a metre of fluff. Staggering through, we settled down not too far from the road and was then told we were on a frozen lake! Double What?!
Camera, tripods, picnic and the group all settled around a pile of firewood. We looked up and could see the glowing lights dancing above us. It looked so magical (and that’s a word I don’t use lightly). Because you can’t take videos of it, it’s very difficult to describe. I guess the best way is to say it is like it moves like the flames on a fire. It changes constantly with different forms and flow, sometimes you can even see a purple tinge depending on the level. We camped for a while and feast on dehydrated meals and hot chocolates but sitting too long reduced the blood circulation in our hands and feets.
Driving back took another 3 hours but it was all worth it, we even saw a reindeer on the streets.
The adventure isn’t over yet… read Part II