Tromso and Northern Lights
*This post is long overdue. Too many other things diverted my time.*
Tromso is in far north Norway, almost at latitude 70 degree, way beyond the Arctic Circle. We drove over 620 km up there from Tornio, Finland, along the Sweden-Finland border. The route was chosen for two reasons. One was to take advantage of the relatively low cost of car rental in Finland, and the other was to maximize our chance of seeing northern lights, as Finland’s Lapland and Norway’s Tromso are well known for northern light sighting.
It turned out, however, that the weather was not cooperative. We did not have a clear night on our way to Tromso; our imagination of greenish northern lights over snow-covered Lapland forest remains imagination only.
In Tromso, we chose Ersfjord to try our luck. We checked out the village of Ersfjordbotn in daylight on the day we arrived in Tromo, and enjoyed a beautiful sunset there.
We went back to the city center for dinner and drove out to the fjord again after 10pm. It was only about 15 minutes after we got to our chosen spot that northern lights started to flicker over our heads ! The activity level that night was not high, at only Kp 2 (on a scale from 1 to 10), and it was a bright moon-lit night. Still, the northern lights were very visible to naked eyes. With the moonlight, we did not have to worry about finding our ways on the ground and foreground objects were well illuminated. However, the northern lights were so far high up that sometimes it was difficult for us to frame it together with any foreground object below.
We spent over two hours under the flickering northern lights. Many photographs were taken but we were not satisfied, hoping there would be more chances ahead while we travel in the arctic Norway. Unfortunately, it turned out that night at Ersfjordbotn was the only night during our entire trip when we could photograph the northern lights.