My sabbatical is fast approaching, so it’s time to reveal my first destination: Norway.
Now you might be forgiven for thinking that when you live in a country that’s having its worst snowfall in 18 years, that the smart option for someone who could travel to almost anywhere would be to a nice, warm climate. But I’m different. I’ve decided to go somewhere even colder, further north with more snow…even into the Arctic Circle!
I was always going to travel in these three months. As much as I’d like to take time and do a load of writing, I wanted to get out and see some of the world I hadn’t seen before. I decided pretty early on that it would be good to see a few places and things I’d always wanted to see – if not now, then when? So a quick think suddenly turned up the Northern Lights, and I made the decision there and then that I was going to try to see them. A bit of research suggested Norway as one of the best places, and lo and behold February seemed to be an ideal time to view them. Surfing away at how to get there, I came across a professional-looking site that offered an ideal package: a seven-day mini-cruise taking you up the coast of Norway, into the Arctic Circle, stopping off at various points on the way, with optional excursions. I ordered the brochure and free DVD. As the first images appeared on my screen, I was hooked. It had me with ‘hallo‘.
I also have this memory of my grandparents going there many moons ago, bringing back tales and gifts from this magical foreign land. As it happens, based on my old letters I’ve kept (they lived in the Lake District so I didn’t see them much; Nan always loved my letters, though, as I did hers) it appears that I might be taking the very same route they did: Bergen to Kirkenes.
I like snow, never been on a cruise, love the idea of entering the Arctic Circle, and would dream of capturing the Northern Lights on camera, so this was the first thing I thought I’d book up.
Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. Depends on cloud cover, moon phase and position, and of course whether I get lucky with the sun activity that causes them. Maybe I won’t see them, but you can ask the crew to alert you at any time they appear, so will keep my camera ready near my porthole.
Starry, starry night. I live in a town. With lots of orange lights. On a good night, I can see a few stars and constellations. In Norway, I hope to see the what the universe really looks like.
Dog sledging. I could have done with this going to work the other day! It looks so cool and different that I had to book this excursion up.
North Cape. One of the most northern most points of mainland Europe. Hoping for some great views there.
The remote life. Bit different from life round here, I expect.
Relaxing and enjoying wonderful scenery. The ship has large areas with panoramic views, so can’t wait to sit back and take in magnificent landscapes.
Seven days to get a load of memories, photos and hopefully make some new friends. I hope to update this blog with my progress and upload photos throughout the trip. I’ll try to get a few of me looking absolutely freezing in about fourteen layers of clothing, but the dream shot is me with the Northern Lights in the background!