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Scandinavia 2016 – Part 3

Well… After a disappointing night it was time to move on.. We decided to take a break after the long drives and short nights the last days… We tried to figure out why we didn’t see the beautiful aurora’s we expected. We never found a clear answer but it was clear that the high level (above the arctic circle) had definitely less Aurora as the mid levels… Maybe the impact was to strong..? I think we’ll never find out…

Just before dark we decided to drive to a gas station because our car was completely empty on fuel and if something would happen tonight (We didn’t expect that much) we were able to go out without an extra stop at a gas station.. The closest gas station was near Sommarøy and directly bought some stuff in the store… When we came out (It wasn’t even dark yet) we already saw a nice green wave dancing above our heads! Wow it’s not even dark yet. Happily we took our camera’s with us so we found a open spot to catch some of it… This was totally unexpected…

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When it started to get dark the wave started to fade away… Wow.. that was a quick start… would there be more? Well the chase was on. It wasn’t completely clear so we also had to find some nice spots without clouds. First we drove towards Tromsø with a few stops to see if Miss Aurora was showing herself. And she did!

The day before I found a spot where the skyline of Tromsø was visible wat was worth a picture. The Aurora wasn’t very active so we decided to stop there and make that picture. Hoping also some aurora would appear above the city.. When we arrived only the oval was visible.. but at the wrong side of the city…. but.. there was a nice bridge under it and this gave a nice view…

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After taking those images for the panorama the aurora started to get more active. All over the place nice Aurora shapes became visible though the clouds… this gave a very nice effect and also above the city lights..

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When this Aurora wave started to get calm it was time to go for another location and we choose… Ersfjordbotn. I’ve visitited it in 2015 already but this fjord has a stunning view so I had no problems to see it again! Even gave it me a fantastic show last year… so why not again this year.. :)

After a short drive we arrived there. And luckily no other tourists over there…

Ersfjordbotn is a famous location for aurora tours because its very close near Tromsø and easily to get…

We had the whole fjord for ourselves and choose the best spot.. There were clouds above the fjord but with a few holes in it so we choose te stay and hoped the Auroras would display trough the clouds… and she did. A few nice bands above the fjord.. Not spectacular but great to have another location with Auroras.

But,

From out of nowhere… (Behind us, behind a mountain)

A very bright and intens wave of aurora started to appear and was dancing straight towards our view location. I can tell you.. It was so bright that if I wanted (I didn’t wanted to..) to read a book over there… in the middle of the night… without a light… the very intense Aurora gave enough light to do so… Wow! I’ve never seen so bright Aurora in my life! The compete fjord was completely full of polluted with lights…

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The Aurora is looking white because of the speed of it. It went so fast the camera recorded it as light green/white. In real it was very bright fast moving with some nice purple layers in it…

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Without clouds… this would have been even more spectaculair… wait… What am I complaining about… This was insane! Mother nature made something up with us because of the night before…

Then, when is was more calm again we noticed more clouds floating in.. almost no good view of the night sky… On our way back to the cabin with again a few stops were miss Aurora was still showing herself.. Not as bright as before but still a nice green waves between the clouds..

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And this beautiful cabin of Yggdrasiltunet (I recommend it!) was also a place where we would spend the night..

After a great breakfast from the host, Maria, it was time to leave Kvaløya and head back to the Lyngen alps. We went to “Solheim Fritidsgård“, Also a place I can recommend for people that want to visit northern Norway. It’s located near the Jægervatnet area. A very cosy cabin with a sunning view!

When we arrived over there is was time for some relaxing, grocery (single trip was 45mins) and some exploring of the area. After some selfmade dinner we it was time for another aurora hunt. (Again? It’s starting to get bored.. ) It would be awesome if we could catch some aurora above the Jægervatnet mountains. The weather was “okay” when we arrived. Now it was waiting for Miss Aurora to show up. After 4 hours (Yes it was freaking cold if you’re not in the adrenaline rush) a very low green waze was appearing at the wrong side of our location…

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It wasn’t even beautiful… (Yes I’m started to get picky) so we called it a day and drove back to our cabin for some quality sleep. The next night we would have a second chance because we would spend 2 nights at Solheim Fritidsgård.

The next day is was time for a drive to the north to see more of the Lyngen alps. We took the west side of it and drove towards Russelv. This one of the most northern places on the mainland of the region (69.94 latitude) It was a beautiful ride with some spectaculair views and the weather was fantastic! So just a nice day to cruise around a bit and took a few pictures of some nice mountains.

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On our way back (to do some groceries) the sunlight was painting the mountains beautifully!

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After some fresh selfmade dinner it started to get dark very quickly. We decided to go to a place near the Jaegervatnet lake. A place with a wider view. The forecast of the aurora was terrible but because of the crystal clear skies we had to go out for another hunt.

After a 20 min drive we arrived at our location and waited in the car. This was maybe the best view of the nightsky I ever witnessed.. So much stars visible up in the sky.. We decided to park the car and stay in the car to keep our warmth with us.

After 30 minutes our mood dropped. We already had a long day and now no Aurora was showing up. Because it was still a bit early in the evening we decided not to give up that quickly. 15 minutes later a green waze was showing up at the east. Only a waze like yesterday.. or more…?

A very nice and bright oval was appearing.. So, the good sign was already there..

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Several minutes later a explosion of aurora started to dance above the eastern horizon…

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After this beautiful show it started to expand all over the sky… The waves were moving slow so they were very photogenic!

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and some waves became insanely wide…

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(I’ve shot so much beautiful images it’s hard to choose some of them…)

It started to get calmer so we decided to move for another location. Hoping for a new impact. We drove towards Jægervatnet itself as a gamble. Only the oval was visible as we calculated the view. The view direction is south west so the aurora had to become a bit stronger to get it over the mountains.

When we arrived the oval band was already above it as calculated! Even before I was ready setting up my gear fresh waves started to appear above the mountains! The timing was perfect..! Again!

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After some shots it looked like this was it… Wow! What a fantastic night! 4 fantastic hours of very beautiful Auroras and crystal clear skies! We drove back to our cabin. Inside the car I was thinking it would be lovely to have a show of the cabin with some aurora above it. When we arrived at the cabin a very small curtain was showing up behind our cabin! Haha! So I did make that shot..

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Our view of the fjord was also beautiful and also a few last remainings of miss Aurora… So that would be the closing shot..  Between the street lights I found a spot the didn’t distorted the pictures so I started to snap some final pictures…

But again…

A fresh wave of Auroras started to dance all over the place… I couldn’t move my camera because of the street lights so I decided to let it go and enjoy this 3th show… Well.. this is the part I really can’t explain  what happend.. It was like a enormous dancing tribal up in the sky… It was so intense I completely lost it.. I forgot everything around me and I felt blessed to withess this incredible power of mother nature.. Extremely strong lines above me were dancing everywhere. Even if there were no street lights.. and I had 5 camera’s with me… I wasn’t able to  catch all of them.

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This is just a impression…

After (I think) 25 minutes it started to get calm again and I went inside.. This was around 3.30AM. Together with Reiner we took some beers and some time together reviewed about it what we actually saw that night..

Quote of the night (before the beers) “I think my life is complete now

 

After a short sleep it was time to leave Solheim Fritidsgård and head back to Tromsø where our flight would leave the next day. We made a few stops to enjoy the views and did a small stops.

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When we arrived at Tromsø and checked in at our hotel it was time for some beers downtown and some dinner. It was snowing and freaking cold.. (Even for me!)
This evening we planned to go to Grøtfjord but when we arrived at our hotel we decided not to go because of the bad weather and our flight would leave very early the next morning.. After some relaxing I checked the Aurora forecast… Wow… there would be a lot of activity in the sky.. so we went outside for a smoke to check it ourselves.. Yes! it was visible behind the clouds… so maybe we do have to go… Grøtfjord is near the ocean so maybe there will be less clouds… In a rush we took our gear and raced to Grøtfjord. The traffic was terrible around Tromsø.. lot’s of Aurora tours on the road trying to find a clear spot… When we arrived at Grøtfjord (50min drive) the complete fjord was packed with tourists and Aurora tours… When we finally found were we had no interaction with the others we looked up.. Fully packed with clouds… And the Aurora was strong because the green was clearly visible behind them..  I decided not to take my camera out but to just enjoy the things I could see..

And I was actually a bit sad… Lot’s of activity and not a good way to capture it.. This was a sad way to end this Aurora season..

It started to get late.. Most of the aurora tours already left because of the clouds. Around 12AM it slowly started to clear up… I decided to take my camera out and create a final show of the Auroras of this night.

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It started to get completely open and the best thing about this. Al the tourists were already gone! So Miss Aurora gave us a private final show! :)

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We were discussing about heading to another location because the mountains made it impossible to get a nice and clear horizon. When I took a final picture of my chosen angle before we wanted to move there started to show up very bright curtains above the oval line..

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After this image things happend very fast.. A very intense explosion of bright aurora’s with different colors started to dance all over the place… Deep purple colors clearly visible! Also some very strong coronas.. (I didn’t had the chance to get it with my camera) It was like a huge hand from space came down to earth to grab something…  Even for me this was completely new…. Wow! So intense!

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The last image is kind of unique. See all of those colors. Even yellow clearly visible!

It started to calm down… Almost everything was gone… And so this trip ended with a big bang! Wow! Extremely intense! Together with Reinier we looked at each others pictures and discussing about this fantastic end of this trip…  With shivers trough my body (no, not from the cold) of adrenaline we waited if there would be more…

And there was… Another intense explosion of extremely bright Auroras!

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After this fantastic impact… with some leftovers and some smog we drove back… Again with a satisfied feeling and this time the weather had a great timing! :)

After again a short night (Oh, it was so worth it!) it was time to catch our flight… :(  The nice thing is that Miss Aurora started easy on us… and she ended it with a enormous impacts!  It’s only getting bigger and better! :)

 

Check here my “monster” time-lapse!

 

 

See here: Part 1

See here: Part 2

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