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.
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).
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!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.