Aurora! Now that’s what I call a Borealis – Watching the dance of the Northern Lights in Tromso

After three and a half days on the MS Vesteralen we finally arrived in Tromso with no Northern Lights sighting from the ship and slightly wobbly sea legs. While still on the ship, we arranged a Northern Lights tour so we could at least say we tried our best to see it. Once off the ship, Raquel and I went straight to our hotel to drop off our bags and find food before going for our Northern Lights hunt.

A Northern Lights tour or hunt is basically getting into a car/bus and driving out of the city and waiting in snow, below freezing conditions for the Northern Lights to appear. As this is a natural phenomenon, there is no guarantee that you will see it, but they key is to be patient and wait until all hope is lost, nothing appears and you go home empty handed and try again tomorrow.

Raquel and I were buzzing with excitement at the meeting point but also weary that we might not see the lights and leave empty handed without the chance of seeing it again. Fortunately when our guide arrived and we got onto our bus, the first thing the enthusiastic Italian Francesco said was “Today, looks like it will be a good day!”

He wasn’t wrong, on our way to our viewing point he could already see a faint aurora and when we arrived, she started appearing. Now, I had been taking so many photos on the trip, but never charged the camera battery because usually they last a while. Well, the day the Northern Lights started dancing in the sky, my battery went flat, not before I got two decent photos. To say I was annoyed initially is an understatement, but it was when I packed the camera away that I realised that I could now actually appreciate one of the greatest spectacles of nature without wondering about exposures, shutter speeds and ISOs.

The only photos I took before my battery died

There, next to an entrance of a fjord, with Raquel in my arms, we watched a mutual dream come true. We have seen the Northern Lights. For five hours, the aurora danced for us while we all watched in wonderment and disbelief. Even the extremely cold temperatures couldn’t dampen our spirits and if it did Francesco, our enthusiastic guide, kept jumping around taking photos and genuinely exclaiming “Wow guys! This is amazing” (he’s sees this every other day yet still reacts like it’s the first he’s seeing it).

Raquel and I with the Aurora above us (Photo Credit: Francesco)

After five hours of watching the spectacle, we got back into our bus and headed back to Tromso and the warmth of our beds after being privy to one of nature’s amazing spectacles!

For more photos check out the Arctic Guide Service Facebook page and the Northernshots site where they sell the photos they take.

*The tour operator, Arctic Guide Service, was great and did everything they said they would and the guides we had were great, especially Francesco who took the great photos of us.
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12 Responses to Aurora! Now that’s what I call a Borealis – Watching the dance of the Northern Lights in Tromso

  1. Wow!
    You lucky duck!
    I’m thrilled for you both, congratulations on having witnessed such a remarkable and thrilling spectacle.
    I hope to follow in your paths one day!

    • Tonito says:

      Thank you!! It was awesome! Still can’t believe it sometimes 🙂 Well I hope you get to see it, as it is something that you simply can’t miss!!

  2. Fiona Seow says:

    I agreed with you. We went out with Anja and Francesco on the the 4th of March and had a spectacular night!!! Highly recommend Arctic Guide service. I had a fantastic time watching and taking pictures of the lights.

    • Tonito says:

      Thanks for the comment! It’s quite something, isn’t it! Even though was not one of the spectacular swirly ones, it was still amazing to see!

  3. Lu says:

    At least you got 2 (very decent) photos of the Aurora! I saw it a couple of times in Finland – but never even tried to capture it. I thought I’d only waste my precious few slides of film (poor student-type at the time) – But at least I got to marvel at it without any photographic frustrations, just like yourself in this instance. It’s stunning!

    • Tonito says:

      Thank you Lu! I have to be honest it was one of the view times I was happy I didn’t have a camera and is definitely one of the lights of my travels!

  4. Rosemarie Katarina Anoff says:

    Hi Tonito, what luck you had…all i can say ONE day I will see it as well…. must hurry though as i am 71 and time is running out!!!! Katarina Anoff

  5. Rosemarie Katarina Anoff says:

    PS: although I am German I live in Ghhana/West Africa have lived there off and on for 49 years!!!!

  6. Tonito says:

    Reblogged this on Travelling Tonito's Adventures and commented:

    The Northern Lights: One of the coolest things I’ve seen during my travels!

  7. Carl says:

    Amazing! I’m so jealous of this 🙂 Hope I can get the chance the see the lights too!

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