Wow to start a story about a childhood dream you didn’t thought was possible? Thinking about it right now, how it started and how I pursued trying to fulfil it makes me instantly lose myself in reverie, smiling, eyes wide opened.
I was 4-5 years old when my mother was playing for me stories on film strips on the white door of my bedroom. During the long winter evenings there was not much entertainment. And how I loved stories! We could play one story per evening cause the machine was getting very hot while in use. Thus, each evening I was carefully picking the one. And there was one I liked in particular: about a polar bear living in a circus in Europe and dreaming about the cold dark polar nights, the icebergs and that Arctic wonder: the northern lights and how he used to watch their show while being a cub, in the North Pole. Like a fire on the dark night’s sky, they were described in my childhood story. This very memory stayed with me ever since. I was fascinated.
So here I was in Norway! My evening flight from Bergen to Oslo was delayed due to difficult weather conditions. After 4 hours in the airport we landed an a strong blizzard in Oslo. I went back to the same hostel I used when I first arrive in Oslo, three days before, close to Central Station. Next morning I was having my flight to the no1 destination of my trip: Tromso, at the Arctic Circle, in Northern Norway. A place I’ve read about after my last year’s trip to Iceland, famous for its perfect display of the northern lights but not only.
Although I dreamt since I was a child to get the chance to admire the northern lights, now I was surprisingly relaxed about it. And that’s because I knew I won’t stop until I will see them, even if I had to move to the North Pole for a whole month in winter. And I was excited about other plans I had already and the previous days which were amazing too. But, still, an itch was there… I was terribly curious: about how’s gonna be, what will happen, will I see the lights or not. So I checked one more time both the weather forecast and the northern lights prediction website. I was doing so for the past month, obsessively during the last week. And miraculously, the not so very good predictions have turned now, out of the blue, into very good chances. Was past midnight, I was alone in my room, the street lights were lighting the room with an orange shade and I was so excited I could barely fall asleep, though I was exhausted.
Next morning at 11:35 I was in the plane, took my window seat and right before departure I got my 7 hours northern lights hunting tour booked.
At 13:30, flying over the frozen fiords with superb white mountains and dark blue water from the ocean, I was witnessing one of the most spectacular sunsets and my northernmost so far. Imagine as far as sight you could reach, the view painted in 3 shades: white, blue and orange. Land, water and sun. Than we flew over Tromso for minutes, getting a perfect aerial view of the city I wanted so much and for so long to visit. Couldn’t believe my eyes: I was in Tromso! What an amazing welcome!
I was expecting cold, it’s not like you go to Northern Norway in January and you’re surprised by the cold temperatures. But this was arctic cold: -8′ C and windy. The windows from the passage reaching the airport were entirely covered with a gorgeous ice lace. This got me even more excited: Tromso, baby, here I am, ready to be amazed! Let it be cold! Let it be clear sky, full of stars and the darkest of nights. And let me catch them, the northern lights!
I had 5 hours to get to my Airbnb accommodation, to get to know the city a little and prepare for the 7 hours tour: hunting the northern lights.