Solstice lights and back to Tromsø

Aurora as seen from Lyngen lodge
Aurora as seen from Lyngen lodge

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year – or, more appropriately in the Arctic Circle, the longest night of the year. We went out with one of the Lodge owners – Graham – on the Spirit of Lyngen, a twin diesel power boat, visiting the historic fishing village of Havness and the fjord. Not much in the way of wildlife to be seen – puffins only hang out in the summer, it seems – but the scenery was spectacular and Graham caught a cod (which he released, it being a little one and not required for our dinner).

The Lyngen Alps are pretty imposing. The whole environment is so alpine that I’d forgotten we were were at sea level, not at a higher altitude sitting beside a large lake.

Another great night for the aurora – she came out really early at 16:30 and continued well into the night. Of the eight nights we were hoping to see the aurora so far, we’ve had seven shows and four of them have been really spectacular. We’re so lucky.

As I write this, we’re sitting in a dubious pizzeria attached to then Raddisson Blu hotel, just across from where the MS Finnmarken will dock in slightly less than two hours (ie: 14:30). We can board at 14:45, so we’ll drop our bags and then we have till 18:30 till she departs for the even more northerly parts. We’ve got some boring errands to run – we’ve run out of tooth paste and we want to pick up some wine so we don’t have to pay Hurtigruten prices on board (high even by Norwegian standards). Then we’ll probably go for a walk over the bridge to the Arctic Catherdral which we walked past on our first visit, but didn’t have time to visit, after we went up Storsteinen on the cable car.

We had a lovely drive over from Olderdalen this morning, by the road only this time – following the fjords – and in the light of ‘day.’ More spectacular scenery. Some of the more inland parts of the fjords had frozen over and, in other places, mist was rising which looked amazing against the peaks back-lit by the light of the not-quite-risen sun. About the last third of the journey was the road the bus we caught from Narvik had taken – only it was pitch dark then, so we were really seeing it for the first time.

Funny: Tromsø seemed like a nice, quiet little town on our first visit (on the way to Lyngen Lodge – but like a bustling metropolis on the return visit after four days in the wilderness. It’s still very cute too look at, though. Andrew summed it up best when he said it looked like it came out of a snow globe.

Written 22 December, posted when we were back in a place with internet connection on 29 December. Photos by Andrew – but I think some of mine are just as good!