Northern lights hunters

by | Oct 30, 2020 | Diaries, Europe, Norway

The first time is very special, almost like an incredible gift of nature. The second night you start believing it’s true. And soon you get addicted. 

It was September 27th, the night we parked on the lakeside gravel road that crosses Koli national park. Koli is at 62nd parallel, which means is pretty southernly for Aurora Borealis views. While I was placing my tripod to take a picture of our Iveco next to the lake, I saw a green light. That was it!

I shouted the girls, who were preparing to sleep inside, they dressed in a hurry and came out to watch this great spectacle of nature. My pictures were not good because I was shooting very long, about 45″ to 60″ long. But I was so happy.

The following morning we wild camped at another spot into the same national park. We were equipped by Aurora smartphone app, which sent us a notification like the previous night. I was better prepared for shooting the lights, we lit a fir next to the lake and it arrived.

It danced over the horizon for roughly 45′ disappearing and reaappearing three different times. It was majestic. We were in love. From that night we were only thinking about that. Would we have a clear night or cloudy. What does the app says? What is the kp index? What’s the percentage of reappearance?

After those two nights, we didn’t see it for about 20 days. We drove to the north, arrived to Lapland and stayed in Rovaniemi for different nights. Then we got to know that we were really lucky we had seen the Aurora so early and so southernly. Two people actually told us about that phenomenon, which was incredible even for them. I looked on the net and found that there was a magnetic field disruption those two days, that’s why Aurora was seen in the south of Finland.

So, mid-October we crossed Lapland to the north and the first snowfall arrived – as prediced – on October 17th. We were in Hetta. From there we drove the icy road (on summer off-road tyres!) to Alta, Norway.

We stayed two nights right next to the marina of the town and the first one aurora arrived and in completely different colours and shapes. It was not so greeny and bright as at Koli national park, but it was the first time it appeared over the sea.

Two days later, on the road to Nordkapp, we spent a night next to an old house at Olderfjord. And the aurora payed a visit for one more night. And it was marvellous. It stayed with us for more than three hours – actually it was coming and going all night long. Take a look at the pictures with the boat standing still. This is sea water, not a lake. What a night.

We were not lucky enough to encounter the northern lights from the iconic North Cape. The afternoon we arrived there bad weather was predicted for the same night. We left the cape after two hours and spent two nights at the neatby Skarsvag village. It rained hard with wind gusts that sometimes were terrifying. We found a spot behind a house to protect our Iveco. No aurora by the way, how could it be?

The last three encounters were at Lakselv. We stayed at the Fjordutsikten camping for 10 days waiting for the winter tyres we had ordered from Oslo, through DekkTeam.

Aurora arrived there three different nights. One of them – the third, we didn’t bother taking any pictures. The first two nights, it was incredible, dancing like a fairy for more than two hours.

The second night, moon was pretty full and sky very bright, so you can see how special the photos are. We selected only few of them, we could have easily added about 50-60 photos in this article. Enjoy them!_Akis Temperidis

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