Europe

Witnessing the Northern Lights

6:12:00 PM




The thing about travel is you’re constantly coming upon things, these magnificent things, that are just so life changing that every part of your heart yearns to share it with the people you love.  So you try to tell them about it, but there are just no words that can truly encompass the magnitude of the place or experience.  In my travels thus far, seeing the Northern Lights dance across the sky in Norway is at the top of this list. No photograph and no description can do it justice.  Sometimes, you have to let the world show off for you on its own, just stand under the phenomenon as it sweeps across the starry sky.


I was lucky enough to share this moment with one of my best friends, and it will forever connect us in a special way.  The night we chased the lights, we were standing around nibbling on some snacks when someone on our tour yelled,  “They’re coming!” I remember excitedly snapping my head up so quickly towards the sky and spotting a wisp of misty green start appearing.  It then stretched and navigated its way across the heavens at it’s own pace to eventually tap the horizon on the other side.  This display was a slow moving beam that swayed leisurely and subtly.   It teased us by dimming almost to disappearance and then would suddenly brighten to a vibrant color again. Sometimes you could even see hues of purple sandwiched along the edge of the green.  This beam entertained us for quite some time before vanishing for good.


Our second spotting that night, we were driving along a road when someone noticed a dash of green through the window.  I’ll never forget our van screeching to a stop to the side of the road and everyone eagerly rushing out of it like a clown car.  You never know if the lights will stay out or hide after mere seconds, so time is of the essence.  This time, Mother Nature truly showed off.  The auroras were fast moving, swirling and spinning about like a ballerina.  I remember wanting so badly to capture the motion in a still photograph, but after fussing with my camera, I reminded myself to just be present and watch the performance of a master.  It’s beyond indescribable.  Tears fill my eyes simply recalling it.


The third viewing was another jump out of the van situation, which is just as exciting the second time.  We were down by water again and could see some city lights across the way, which makes for really nice reflection photography!  The auroras seemed to have one take off point, but branched off in different paths.  These beams waved and curved through the sky, a slow but intoxicating tango. 



All three spottings were unique and equally thrilling, which makes me believe that no matter how many times you witness the lights, it’ll always be a brand new experience.  I don’t think it could ever get old.  I typically would rather try something new rather than repeat a travel experience.  But, I’ll make an exception for this.  It’s definitely now on my bucket list to return to the northern lights at another point in my life. 
Check out my post about What to do in Tromso to learn more about the tour and more!




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