After chatting with Christian, our campground host, about how best to see aurora, we put in a concerted effort last night. It was cloudy, but there were patches of sky visible most of the time, and we hoped that the cloud might just clear away. It didn’t, but we drove 8kms out of the village to the end of the (cleared) road to see if it was any better there. It wasn’t, but along the way we noticed that most of the houses had lights on inside – when we drove along here in summer, we had assumed that most of the houses were just holiday places, but apparently not. The Scandinavians have a lovely tradition of putting a small light or a standard lamp in every window. Around Christmas and New Year, there were a lot of decorative lights, nearly all of those have gone now, but there are still lights in a lot of windows. And indoor plants too.
We set the alarm to wake up every 2 hours overnight to check the sky and make sure we weren’t missing anything. At 5am, we both saw Lights behind the clouds, but the cloud was too thick to give us a decent show. We gave up after that and slept in until dawn … at 9am.
Greg walked around the campground this morning, taking some of the photos that are in the previous post. There are moose/s around here. I saw one last night and Christian showed us bare patches on trees around the cabin where they had stripped the bark off to eat. There are footprints around the cabin, and I’m being careful when I go outside in the dark – I don’t really want to meet a moose up close. We donned several layers of thermals and other clothes and walked into the village, which has 2 ‘supermarkets’, a car mechanic, a pretty church and probably a few other shops that open when there are more tourists around. The mobile library bus was at one of the supermarkets when we were there.
January is the worst month, according to Christian.Long, dark, too cold to snow and not enough snow to make things interesting. December is good because of Christmas, and February is good because the days are longer and the snow sports people start arriving to do their snow thing.
Tonight, the sky is completely clear and we’re hopeful. It’s our last night here, tomorrow (Tuesday) we have to do the 1600km drive back to Stockholm, which will mean a very long day’s driving, a stop somewhere along the way for some sleep and an early start on Wednesday to get the rest of the way before midday. And then we fly to Dubai for a couple of days to thaw out before heading home on Friday night.