Words that flow...

Words and images - powerful elements of our everyday life. Most of the time we take them for granted, but sometimes something happens to make you aware of how important they are... and how thankful you are to have the opportunity to use or appreciate them. Here lies some of my words and pictures (which are untouched apart from cropping, unless I've said otherwise) - Please add your words to mine, and leave a comment. Thanks for visiting!

05 April 2009

Norway for Christmas

Then there was Norway...

I can't show you my photos of our trip there, because devastatingly the hard drive I transferred the files onto has decided to stop working (Even more devastating is that all my photos I've taken for the last few years are also on there!) :-( but I have a few I borrowed from someone else

I would like to tell you something of our week in Tromsø...

The flight over was unusual in that about half an hour before we arrived, though it was mid-morning, the sun begun to disappear below the horizon. What was bright sunlight turned quickly to dusk as we entered the arctic circle. On arrival at the airport there was a ground covering of snow; feet of it piled up to the sides of the road, all frozen and hard. This was what we came for...snow, something which has been so fleeting in England for many years!

It was a wonderful week, staying in a small friendly hotel, sharing Christmas day with people from worldwide we'd only recently met in the hotel. We walked in the twilight (between about 10.30 am and 12.30pm) the rest of the time was darkness, lit only by streetlamps, shop and house lights. While I might not want to live like that permanently, for the time we were there it was magical.




It snowed every day we were there except Christmas day - we were lucky, the locals told us, it had come early this year, that it was rare to have snow before Christmas these days - so every day we went tobogganing on the slope just outside the hotel to make the most of it:




Being in the arctic, we decided one of the trips we would go on was dog sledging. It was amazing. It was magical, beautiful, memorable and simply the most wonderful experience ever! We were picked up in Tromsø and taken in a minibus further south. When we arrived at our destination, the driver pointed over the clear, snow covered mountains and told us we might be lucky tonight, the Northern Lights seemed to be starting. Reluctant to leave the slight shimmer in the sky to go and add the necessary extra thick layers of clothing in case it disappeared again, we took a long look and went inside.

Every day we had been checking the Aurora watch, to see how likely we were to see it, and it hadn't looked particularly promising. Some residents in the hotel had come especially and were leaving without catching a glimpse (one problem with snow is that the clouds obscure the sky! )

Anyhow, once changed we came out to 'board' our dog sledges. Looking up, we could still see the shimmer over the mountains. It hadn't disappeared. We were so happy that we were at least catching a tiny showing....

We didn't have training steering the dogs...it was all so simple, they said. All you had to do was step on the rubber flap to slow the sledge down, or on the hard runner to slow it more strongly. The dogs would simply follow the lead sled...and that was it!

I sat on the sledge whilst he stood behind. The air was so cold the trees sparkled with heavy frost. The sky above us became a sheet of paleness, then brightened and became greener. Ribbons of light passed from one horizon to the other. We rode on for a long time, the light not fading but becoming more persistent, more beautiful, so by the time we reached the high valley where we were to turn, it was spectacular and breathtaking. Our guide told us it was the best show he'd seen all year...and of course I couldn't get my camera to work! Luckily I wasn't the only one with a camera....



This picture doesn't begin to show how wonderful it was. For hours we rode the dog sledges with sheets of light ribboning above us...so magical I could've cried, and to have shared it with such a special person and all my lovely family was something I shall always be thankful for.

Even when we stopped at an Inuit camp for dinner for an hour, we came out of the tent to find the sight still awaiting us, and it continued while we changed out of the extra-heavy duty clothes and returned in the minibus home. Really, that night will be one of those treasured times one never forgets ...

When we returned back to the hotel, most hadn't seen a thing, and the only couple who'd seen anything were glad to have had sight of the aurora for ten minutes.

I wonder if maybe that show was put on just for us...it felt like it :-D

© Annelisa Christensen 7:04 am

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3 Comments:

At April 05, 2009 11:32 am, Blogger Akelamalu said...

It looks quite mystical, I would love to see the lights some day. That sounds like a fabulous holiday Annelisa and you have beautiful memories of it to treasure. :)

 
At April 21, 2009 11:08 pm, Blogger GEWELS said...

How beautiful.

I keep threatening my husband with a winter in Alaska simply to try to catch a glimpse of what you were so lucky to have witnessed.
Good for you.

 
At May 13, 2009 8:01 pm, Blogger TopChamp said...

That's the aurora borealis?? (i didn't check the spelling so forgive me if it's all wrong). Amazing.

We looked at Norway for a holiday but didn't follow through. Sounds cool.

 

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