Archive for December, 2009

Flying Home for Christmas

I haven’t had time to write my blog for ages – in fact I even haven’t taken any photos for over 2 weeks which is probably a record for me ;) The reason for this was that I’ve been working on the corrections for my PhD. It hasn’t been easy to work on that during evenings/weekends with a new job taking up most of my energy. Last Sunday I finally sent an email to my external examiner with a new version of my thesis. And today I had good news: they have been accepted!!! This means that all I’ve left to do is get 2 bound copies to UEA, and then I’m finally officially Dr. Hanneke :) It’s a huge relief, and a great way to start our Christmas break :)

We’re flying to Oslo tonight, and on to Amsterdam tomorrow morning. I can’t wait! We’re having a (very) late Sinterklaas in the Netherlands, and Christmas and New Year in England. I’m really looking forward to it! I hope to find some time to put photos online while we’re away :)

As I can’t write a blog post without any photos, here is one I took on Sunday night, just before finishing the corrections. We went to watch the northern lights, but they didn’t get very active. The lights reflecting in the water were pretty though! And we saw several meteorites (Geminids), one so low we thought it might land in the water! If you enlarge the picture below, you can see one…

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Fun in the Dark :)

Last week, I went out one evening to meet some fellow Dutchies/Flemish in a café. When I stepped out of the house, the sky was filled with beautiful aurora! Quickly changing plans, we drove to Telegrafbukta hoping to get some pictures, but by the time we got there (only about 10 minutes later) it was all gone… Paul dropped me at the café and drove to the north tip of the island afterwards, hoping the lights would reappear. And they did! Here are some nice pictures he took…

On Saturday we went to town for some shopping. The Christmas lights are hanging now, and there’s a Christmas tree in the square. (They actually put it there by helicopter, I would love to watch that but keep missing it!) It also snowed a little – a perfect Christmas atmosphere! After shopping, we stopped at our favourite place: Aunegården. They serve the best cakes in Tromsø! (And guess what, my new job’s “julebord” (Christmas meal) will take place there :) needless to say I signed up!)

On Sunday, I had some work to do so I stayed at home, despite the beautiful weather. Paul went up Tromsdalstinden! He started from Tromsdalen, even though the walk through Tromsdalen valley is quite a boring one. But the first cable car is at 11:00 and that wouldn’t give you enough daylight to get to the top. He walked up via Rødryggen. From there he took this panorama, which shows how beautiful the light is even when we have no direct sunlight:

In the first photo you can see Tromsdalstinden from Rødryggen. He took snowshoes, but didn’t use them as there was very little snow, and it was quite hard and compact. Crampons were needed to get over the icy patches. By the time he reached the top it was dark! There was however a very bright moon that night so it wasn’t a problem. He took a self portrait on the top, very pleased to finally have conquered “the beast” in winter. He was hoping to sign the turbok (logbook), but the cairn was so snowed under that it was impossible to reach it!

Safely back in Tromsø we enjoyed a well-deserved (for Paul anyway!) pizza in town :)