How disappointing! After watching all the websites for information about the solar flare and CME, with all their predictions for some great Lights last night, we stayed up late watching the clear sky for any activity and … nothing. Nada. Zip. Not a sausage. I went to bed at 10.30pm and Greg crawled in at 2am mumbling something about Tromso in Norway having some great Lights and that we should go there. Okay then, let’s go.
So we did. We drove north and then west for 350 kms to Tromso, and our longer-term readers may recall that we got a very expensive parking ticket here 6 months ago. We’re reading the parking meters extra-carefully now to try and avoid making THAT mistake again.
As we drove, the temperature dropped lower, and lower and lower. We started the day with the thermometer on our cottage porch showing -18C, and at some stage early this afternoon, the car thermometer showed the outside temperature as -29C. It all just feels bloody cold to me, but I think the difference is how long you can stand to be outside ….. and at -29, that’s not very long at all!
We saw the sun, briefly, for the first time in 2 weeks! Just a little tiny bit of it sat right on the horizon. It looked like it was setting the whole time, it was that red ‘sunset’ colour, but it was really just skimming along the horizon from east to west for an hour or so before it disappeared at around 1.30. The sky was a clear, pale blue, with a pink tinge at the horizon for the few hours of daylight.
Tromso is such a pretty town. It spreads along both sides of a fjord and all the lights looked lovely as we drove along and over the bridge to the town centre. We’re staying at a ‘cheap’ hotel for a couple of nights. Cheap by local standards, but still over $110 per night, which is expensive to us. There’s very little snow here compared with the other places we’ve visited inside the Arctic Circle, but there’s enough slippery ice on the roads and footpaths to make walking a potentially hazardous experience. We’ll have to go out of town to do some aurora-watching, to get away from all the lights.
Greg snuck into a supermarket when he was ‘getting someting from the car’ this evening and found his beloved lefse. I’ve just eaten some and it reminded me that I didn’t really like it much …. so it’s all his, and he’s delighted about that. Any spare Norwegian kroner at the end of our stay here will be spent on lefse, I’m sure. Here’s the Wikipedia article on lefse. Greg likes a commercially-made variety that is filled with butter (I think) sugar and cinnamon.