Tromsø and the Arctic Circle
The world can be such a beautiful place, especially when shared with the people within it.
Tromsø is a city located two-hundred miles or so above the Arctic Circle. It’s a city like no other, where during the short summer it is home to the Midnatsol, or the midnight sun. Tromsø is also known to be one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights.
These photos were taken during our trip to Tromsø, so that we could tick one off our list. So for four cold nights, Rochelle and I were Aurora chasers above the Arctic circle!
Behold the Northern Lights, the most beautiful show on earth. The lights are visible during winter when energy-charged particles from a solar storm collide with atoms in the Earth’s high-altitude atmosphere. That collision produces the characteristic green shimmer of an Aurora Borealis in polar latitudes. As a testament to how awesome Tromsø is, on the very first night right after we arrived and met with our host we saw the lights. We really really couldn’t believe our luck.
Rochelle and I have been picturing this moment a thousand times inside our heads for years now. We did our own homework regarding the northern lights but we still kept our fingers crossed all the way up until this magical night.
Auroras are very unpredictable and clouds are going to make it or break it for you. We were concerned because we only had four nights to catch the lights but the Norse gods must be on our side this time!! I’ve never seen nature as beautiful as this! A sight to behold, looking at the Aurora Borealis made me feel like I was a kid again revelling at the cosmos and the great mysterious beyond.
Now that we have had our fair share of the Northern Lights, the trip became much more relaxed knowing we already got to experience what we came for. So I popped some Isbjørn while waiting for the local bus to arrive. It’s time to see the town.
I’ve been looking forward to having this guy for dinner. You can tell by my smile that I’m gonna have a good dinner tonight.
Aaaaaaaaaaand there it is. Reindeer fillet. It’s very gamy and delicious! Pair it with cheap red wine and you’re set.
This is where we stayed. We CouchSurfed on an apartment just two minutes away from the beach where you can see the lights at night. Our host was a Russian fellow named Andrey and he is an amazing host and an even more amazing person.
These are Andrey’s postcards from his friends all over the world. Rochelle and I are very honoured to have met such an awesome and inspiring individual. He speaks Esperanto, hosted tons of travellers over the years and has been to the most interesting places in continental Asia. I’ll tell you about him and his hitch-hiking ways next time.
We travelled from Tromsø to Kirkenes by ship for three days aboard the MS Lofoten, a passenger and cargo ship that operates on the Barents Sea shipping people and goods around Norway’s coastal towns.
Except for the nausea inducing episodes when the seas were rough, our experience aboard the Lofoten was delightful. Beautiful snow-capped mountains, fjords and picturesque seaside towns. I was very ecstatic that I’m finally sailing on the frigid Barents Sea, above the Arctic Circle!
Night came and the Northern Lights decided to make an appearance again and oh boy! did it show off! This time it was all over the place, from horizon to horizon! I didn’t even attempt to take photographs because I was aboard a moving vessel but I will never forget that moment for life… on the deck of the Lofoten, sailing under a moonless night on a cold Arctic night; grinning like an idiot while looking at the sky.
You know, there are times when I question my own decisions in life, whether or not I will regret it later on. Let me tell you that chasing the Aurora and gaining new friends across the world is definitely not one of those.
As an aspiring photographer, I want to lightly touch about this subject that always bothered me; I feel that travelling as in life, we shouldn’t be just spectators of cities, cultures and people to be seen from afar; to be photographed and flown away from as a holiday album memory only, but to embrace each place with a greater knowledge, understanding and appreciation.