Archive for February, 2008

Aurora

Tonight we decided to go for a drive to find dark places to watch the northern lights from. It was clear but the aurora forecast was not very good, so we didn’t actually expect to see any. What a surprise when we stepped out of the flat and saw an amazing show overhead! We knew it would probably die out while we were driving, but we went anyway. We drove to a very dark place, after chasing a family of moose (4 of them!) along the road for a few kilometers. Silly animals, they can go left or right but prefer to jog along right in front of the car…

Anyway, this is what we saw when we found a nice place to watch the lights… It was incredible! So many stars out there too! Click for bigger versions:

Aurora Borealis Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis Aurora Borealis

Skis!!

We finally bought ourselves some skis! After a long time deciding what kind of skis we wanted, we finally went for fjellskis with small skins (attached underneath the skis, for going uphill), Telemark bindings and leather Telemark boots. The skis are quite narrow (67mm) and have metal edges so in theory you can turn quite well when going downhill, but this needs some more practice/skills. We have never done Telemark skiing so we still have to learn the Telemark turn, it will make going downhill a lot easier. Though the snow here is often so thick that going downhill isn’t scary at all – it slows you down and it doesn’t hurt much when you fall.

The weather this weekend was beautiful, plus we recently got a car – time to explore!

On Saturday we went to Ramfjorden. This is a fjord that freezes over, even though the water is salty. It’s quite impressive to see the sea ice edge, it’s very straight! There were people on the ice, so we thought it would be save… But I guess you need skis (to distribute your weight) cause when Paul stepped on it without them, he went through the ice with both feet! So he was quite wet and we decided to go home first to get dry socks for him before going skiing. But I first took some pictures there of course ;) The last two are of some huge icicles we found hanging from one of the cabins at the fjord.

Ramfjorden Ramfjorden

Ramfjorden Ramfjorden

While at home, I took another photo of the view… just can’t get enough of it! We’re getting more and more sunlight now, it’s really nice.

Tromso

Then we finally got to try out our new skis on the tracks at Tromsdalen (in the valley on the other side of the bridge). It was beautiful there at sunset, with the mountain (Tromsdalstinden) turning very pink.

Tromsdalen Tromsdalen

The great thing about our car: the skis easily fit in the back and you can sit in the van to change shoes etc:

Ramsfjorden

On Sunday it was sunny again, and we headed for Movik, also on the mainland. The ski paths there are really nice! Not as busy as Tromsdalen and very beautiful… We first skied to a lake (Movikvatnet), and then further up. In the first photo you can see the lake, and the next photo is taken from a lot further up:

Movik Movik

It was so beautiful up there, amazing views and nobody else around. We did meet another couple up there at some point, they were really friendly. Too bad we had to turn around to get back to the car before it was getting dark! There’s lots of huts around so we’re thinking about doing a multi day trip another time.

We took lots of photos from the top bit (almost 400m high). The last photo is taken back at the lake on our way back to the car. What a nice day!!

Movik Movik

Movik Movik

Movik Movik

Movik

So that was a busy weekend! We’re really tired now, but I can’t wait to go for another trip :)

A Volkswagen!

Volkswagen Caddy

After years and years of dreaming about it, I finally own a Volkswagen! I’ve always been crazy about them, first the Beetle and later also the Camper van…

I took photos of them all over the world (click for a large version):

Volkswagen Beetle Volkswagen Campervan

And own many miniature ones…

Volkswagen Beetle Volkswagen Campervan

And now… we own a 1997 Volkswagen Caddy… HAHA.

Volkswagen Caddy

We actually almost bought a beetle but as they are not very reliable, and with all the snow and ice here, we thought it was a bit too risky… So we went for this bargain van, it’s actually quite nice and it’s possible to sleep in the back so it’s *almost* a camper van :-)

Other great news: I am an aunt now! My brother Bart and his girlfriend Kaya just had a baby girl a few days ago, her name is Mare. I’ve put a link to their weblog on this page, they have just place some photos :) I’m looking forward to meet my (first ever!) niece… I’m going for a visit in a few weeks.

Have a good weekend!

Reindeer Racing

The reindeer races took place last week. Unfortunately it was a rainy day, the temperatures were above zero – it makes a horrible mess of the snow. Luckily there was enough snow in Tromsø’s main street for the races to take place (I actually think they cheated and got snow from elsewhere!)

The races were really impressive, I had never seen anything like it! Very fast… Here are some photos I took. In the last one you can see that there was also a race for children!

Reindeer Races Tromso 2008 Reindeer Races Tromso 2008

Reindeer Races Tromso 2008 Reindeer Races Tromso 2008

Reindeer Races Tromso 2008 Reindeer Races Tromso 2008

Here’s an experiment, see if I can show a video of the races!

http://www.blogger.com/img/videoplayer.swf?videoUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fv24.nonxt6.googlevideo.com%2Fvideoplayback%3Fid%3D1f8a3b5d15084cd6%26itag%3D5%26begin%3D0%26len%3D86400000%26app%3Dblogger%26et%3Dplay%26el%3DEMBEDDED%26ip%3D0.0.0.0%26ipbits%3D0%26expire%3D1274635076%26sparams%3Did%252Citag%252Cip%252Cipbits%252Cexpire%26signature%3D3843C400E038773560FD9B90CFAFFE0F9F7AFA48.1AF3371C833569DA7EAEF479B6819BCB4889302A%26key%3Dck1&thumbnailUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2FThumbnailServer2%3Fapp%3Dblogger%26contentid%3D1f8a3b5d15084cd6%26offsetms%3D5000%26itag%3Dw320%26sigh%3D7zubvfRRWaPC5dewn6Y3DP2qCJ0&messagesUrl=video.google.com%2FFlashUiStrings.xlb%3Fframe%3Dflashstrings%26hl%3Den&nogvlm=1

The races are organized by Sami people, I love their colorful clothes!

Reindeer Races Tromso 2008 Reindeer Races Tromso 2008

By the end of the races we were all cold so we went for some soup/coffee inside a Sami tent, sitting on reindeer skins around the fire… very cosy! As you can see in the photo below those tents are made of wood and reindeer skinds, with a big hole in the top to let the smoke out.

Reindeer Races Tromso 2008

It kept raining on Monday and Tuesday, and then finally temperatures dropped below zero again and we had fresh snow. A lot better than the mess you get when the snow melts and it rains on top of that! Unfortunately today that happened again… blegh. We’ve been trying to find a second hand car this week, no luck so far. Would be great to have one and explore the area aroundTromsø a bit more!