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Scandinavia 2016 – Part 2

So, after a nice start of the trip near the Lyngen alps it’s time to leave this beautiful area and start heading to Finnish Lapland… but before we went there I had a discussion with my travel companion Reinier about the weather conditions in Finland. The forecast was really bad and we weren’t able to see aurora over there. Well we already booked a hotel near Muonio for 3 days… So we decided to go there and wait 2 days to see if the weather conditions would change.

When I started to drive the weather conditions in Norway were good. Some clouds but almost no wind and everything looked peacefully… Just near Skibøtn I stopped to watch the laste view of Norway before I would enter Finland.. See the weather conditions for yourself….

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When I drove up the mountain the weather conditions started to get worse… Everything was packed with clouds and visibility started to get worse… also the wind started to get really strong…  In a 30 min drive the weather had changed from peacefully and calm to a hell with almost no visibility..

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Is it a good idea to continue driving? Was it a good idea going to Lapland? Is this what I’m going to see for the next few days.. Those were questions playing with my mind..

Arrived at Kilpisjärvi… Grabbing some lunch and the only thing we spoke about was about the weather conditions.. Wow that 30 min drive was intense…

After lunch the trip continued… Slowly the snow and visibility started to get better… That was a good sign! hahah With a few stops and a quick drive trough Sweden we arrived near the typical woods as you see them on television… A single icy road and all you can see are trees… It’s a complete different world…

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Around 18:00h we arrived near the hotel in the middle of the national park: Pallas-Yllästunturin kansallispuisto. After some relaxing and dinner (Sorry Santa, I ate one of your Moose… and she was delicious!) I wanted to go outside with my camera to explore the area.. Because of the weather I could be a very short visit to Lapland so I wanted to use the time wisely…

Exploring a unknown new scenery by night could be freaky… But I’ll never forget this hike! Everything fell in place.. The scenery, classical Lapland trees, packed with a thick blanked of fresh snow, the silence.. the darkness of the night.. even the thick clouds did there job… What a mystique place…

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Check out those Disney figures… :P

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Ok, I hear some of you thinking… Just some trees and snow… It’s much more than that.. The whole experience… Something you have to witness yourself… (And don’t mention the cold! haha)

 

The next day… Same thing… but now with a bit more light… I highlighted some locations I wanted to see.. Reinier as well.. So we made nice trip over the park.
When visited 2 locations I noticed that snow could be an obstacle.. I didn’t have special boots or something to walk over the snow.. I had to go trough the snow… Well… Thats not an option as the snow is “in average” more than a meter high… You don’t know where you walk and don’t know how deep you can fall…  (This happend multiple times…)

But I made the best of it.. :)

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It started to get dark already… and directly in the pictures you’ll miss the green color of the trees… Hard to create those pictures in those circumstances.. It looks very quick a black and white image…

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Here is me, fighting the deep snow… :P 

Back at the hotel Reinier and myself decided at dinner to head back to Norway the next day because the weather wouldn’t get better the next few days… (see the images…) Both disappointed because we desperately wanted to see Inari with al her frozen lakes.. But our main focus was the Aurora Borealis and we wouldn’t see anything of that in Lapland… :(

That night… We spend to much money at the hotel bar… Beer is very… very… very expensive…

The next day we drove a long way back to Norway, and we would stay on the island Senja. I heard a lot of stories of it’s beautiful scenery and a wishlist item was there. Tungenset. This is also known as the devilstheeth… this is a small but beautiful rock formation! It would be insane to catch it with some Northern Lights right…

We arrived at the end of the world… I couldn’t imagine that people would live here.. so far away from civilized civilization… but.. it was a very nice and cosy fishing village. After this long drive it was time for some relaxing.. It was dark already but extremely cloudy…  When I went outside to get something from the car I noticed there were some stars visible… So it was directly time for an aurora hunt… Picked up Reinier from our room and we drove to Tungenset…

When arrived the sky was good enough for some photos and the first signs of the Aurora started to show up. The timing was perfect!

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Sometimes a cloud blocked our view…but when it was gone the next wave started to show up. The Second wave had brighter curtains..

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And last but not least.. Before it ended a bit stronger impact with some nice red colors!

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Instantly price! It was a good choice to go back to Norway!

The next day it was time to go for Kvaløya. Another 4,5 hours drive… With a few stops at Senja. Melfjord, Tungenset and Bergsbotn

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On the road I was reading the Aurora forecast for that night. The parameters were already going nuts! This was THE day we’ve been waiting for. A PK6 was forecasted! This means it even could be visible from the Netherlands… my home country!  Just before dark we arrived at Kvaløya… But the weather conditions were bad. Dense clouds and no visibility… You have to be seriously… THE  DAY and nothing to see? The host, Maria of Yggdrasiltunet (lovely place!) were we would stay the next 2 nights said that sometimes the sky would open up because it’s so close to the sea. So let’s hope for the best…

10 minutes later when we settled down the sky started to clear up and a light band of Aurora was directly visible… Time to move! We drove towards the sea because maybe there would be less clouds visible. We arrived near Sommarøy with is famous of there bridges to enter the different islands. We were not alone. Lot’s of Aurora tourists arrived at the same time as us… We took our gear out, climbed a ice hill and claimed our spot. (The best there was) Sometimes a tourist (with there annoying flashlights) tried also to climb the hill but a few of them fell and slipped back down the hill…

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Nice green and deep purple colors were visible! The deep purple because is was extremely bright because it was THE huge impact! When the clouds blocked our view we decided to move… More tourists arrived (we tried to avoid them) and also tried to climb  the hill we were on. And also the location wasn’t perfect..

“I don’t see myself as a tourist anymore. I’m aware of what I do and how I act. Secondly, I know this area because I’ve bin here before…”

After a few stops with some views we noticed that there wasn’t that much activity… That is strange because the impact levels were insane.. After crossing the complete island of Kvaløya we decided to go back to our cabin… so strange there was nothing to see.. Arrived at the cabin we heard messages coming from all over the place that this impact gave away some spectacular shows at Scotland, Mid Norway and many more places… it was even visible in the Netherlands… So we were to high up north? After waiting and waiting til 4.00AM hoping something would show up (but didn’t) we decided to surrender and went to bed…

 

Part 3 is coming soon.

Back to Part 1

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There are 4 comments on this post
  1. FotoFanatic
    May 11, 2016, 12:50 am

    Thanks Giso! I Want to go back there asap! It’s so beautiful! :)

  2. FotoFanatic
    May 11, 2016, 12:49 am

    Chris! you are completely right! It was reindeer! :)

  3. Chris
    April 24, 2016, 8:27 pm

    Moose? Ehem, Santa has reindeer. We eat both in Scandinavia. Or are you confused by the Americans with regards to Moose/Elk and other deer? Elk is the original name for Moose, while the Americans call some deer “Elk”.

  4. Giso84
    April 02, 2016, 8:01 pm

    Once again a great story to read, i love those trees with a big layer of snow on them. Like you said they have something mysterious, the thick clouds above and beyond the tree lines.

    the Aurora (green) with the reflection in the water is just amazing !!

    Thank you for sharing the stories and pictures :-)

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