You can’t start talking about Norway without talking about the Northern Lights.
While there were many things I loved during my time in Norway, the Northern Lights were hands down my favorite. It’s a spectacular phenomenon, one I believe every person needs to witness. It’s quite miraculous, and it takes a bit of patience and a good eye. You don’t just see the Northern Lights, you hunt for them.
First things first – You’ll need a clear sky and some distance from city areas with bright lights. On my hunt for the Northern Lights in January with my friend from Norway, our tour guide drove us out of Alta, into the wilderness, and up into the mountains. We had a very clear sky, but a full moon, almost as bright as the sun, took away from some of the darkness. As much as I obsessed over this moon that night, it probably would have been better to have a crescent.
Prepare to get as cold as cold gets. It’s the dead of night, during winter, and the Northern Lights love to take their time. Throw on layer after layer and pack those hand and feet warmers. Also, do yourself a favor and get thermal gloves that also work on touch screens. I constantly had to take my gloves off to snap pics and my hands almost froze over. Don’t be like me.
But once you’re good and cold, probably jumping around to keep warm, something incredible happens. Suddenly, these green and yellow waves of light start to tunnel into the sky from out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, they just magically appear. Within seconds the sky starts to explode with colorful lights coming in from different angles.
The excitement you feel as the Northern Lights dance above you is surreal. It’s the best light show out there.
But then, just as mysteriously as they arrived, they disappear into the night sky. They move fast and abruptly, and then you’re on the hunt once again.
We drove out further into the wilderness and this time the Northern Lights danced into the sky as we were on the move. We came across a bridge and quickly pulled over. They started to flow in right above a beautiful snow-covered mountain. It was one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life.
After a few minutes of just staring up at the sky in pure wonderment, the Northern Lights started to dissipate off into the distance again.
They truly have a mind of their own. You never know when or where they’ll show up or how long they’ll stay out. But, those short moments you get with them are life changing. You’re witnessing a miracle happen.