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 :)

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5 Responses to “Fun in the Dark :)”

  1. Nicole says:

    Sooo Beautiful! I NEED TO COME VISIT! :)

  2. Hanneke says:

    You mean the cake? ;)

    But yes, you really should!! I hope you can make it, you (and Patrick) are welcome anytime!

  3. Ben says:

    Excellent photos, especially of the northern lights! I'm just curious, how long does it take to climb and descend Tromsdalstinden? It looks like a lot of fun!

    Also, coming from more southern latitudes, how do you (and Paul) cope with mørketida? Do many people there suffer with seasonal affective disorder? I've never suffered with it, and I think it would be awesome to go back to Tromsø for the winter. But does it ever have a negative affect on you? If so, how do you deal with it?

    Thirdly, that cake looks yummy! :-)

    Sorry for asking so many questions in my comments. You're my best connection to northern Norway!

  4. Hanneke says:

    Thanks Ben! Paul doesn't really remember how long it took him, but it was a whole day (~8 hours?). When we walked up in summer, it took us 11 hours round trip!! Some people are much faster though. It depends what shape you are in I guess ;)

    I don't have issues with the dark time at the moment… When I leave for work (around 8 in the morning) the sky is just about getting light (very pretty!), but when I go home (at about 4) it's very dark. I guess this time I'm also blaming any tiredness on my new job! Last year when I was writing my thesis at home it was much harder. I found it hard to get out of bed when it was still dark, and in the afternoon I would get hungry very early, and sleepy too. But in general it doesn't really have a negative effect on me. In a way, it's also kind of nice – a time to be at home and do other kind of activities (cooking, reading, I even learnt to crochet :D).

    I just spoke to someone about seasonal disorder and she told me people in the south of Norway, and for example as far south as Italy (!!) have more problems than people up here. Perhaps it's because we have the bright snow, clear weather and aurora to compensate a bit :)

    Hope that answers your question! If you've never suffered with it, and are excited about spending a winter here, I wouldn't worry about it :)

  5. Beautiful pix! I'd so love to see the Northern Lights, you guys are very lucky :-)