The Northern lights or Aurora Borealis has always held a fascination for me. But as you will have known by now, I am one of those who needs to be pushed to travel. The dance of the beautiful lights in the night sky was something that I truly wanted to experience. So, Snigdha pushed me this winter season to get my ass over to Norway and check out this phenomenon. Now, the problems are many fold. I am a true middle class Bengali and cold hits me like a paralysing virus. The essential timings of the Northern Lights are found during the winters. The best time to catch them is also during the night making it one cold adventure.
Snigdha decided on the picturesque Lofoten Islands for our stay. Lofoten Islands is an old fishing station that used to attract fishermen from all over the medieval world. Even today, the Winter Cod catching competition pays tribute to the fishing skills of yore. The Lofoten Islands have some beautiful fishing cabins where we boarded up lodgings.
How to get there?
Now, travelling here is a bit of headache but I got my girlfriend for that. We took a flight from our base in Oslo to Bodo and travelled by bus to the islands. Although the journey is a little bit cumbersome, but it is well worth it. You can book the plane tickets on their national carrier SAS.
Where we stayed in Lofoten?
What better way to stay than in an authentic fishing cabin(rorbeur). Snigdha booked our stay at Svinoya Rorbeur. This beautiful series of cabins are located near the Solvaer harbour. These cabins are the perfect blend of modern amenities with the architecture of yore. The authenticity of the the wooden cabins are beautifully offset by hot running water that was absolutely essential for my survival.
Let’s get on with our mission
The best way to enjoy the Northern Lights is in a rib boat. There are numerous companies which run boats from the Solvaer harbour and take you around the water. But you can always experience the same just standing in the balcony of your Rorbeur. The magical dancing of lights of varied colours transport you to a dreamy world. It’s virtually as if the sky is moving and nature is trying to talk to you. The lights usually stay on through out the night and can be checked out whenever you feel like doing so. These lights are basically due to the electrons and protons colliding against the atmospheric particles.
What else to do in Lofoten?
Although we spent two nights enjoying the Northern Lights, but we definitely needed something to capture our imagination when the sun was up. The area being a fishing paradise, that is exactly what we did. We took a day tour on the M/S Ylajali which put us through the paces of winter cod fishing. The chilly winds buffeted by the lurchy seas is not something for everyone as you can get sick, specially Indian unaccustomed to being on the sea. But the experience is heavenly. We also tried out some cod soup.
We spent the rest of our time wandering around the harbour city, getting lost and trying out a bite of Norwegian Food. Do share with us your experience of the Northern Lights. You can plan your trip at Northern Norway.
All images are credited to Visit Norway.