Archive for January, 2010

Ice

On Saturday we drove to Håkøya, an island near Tromsø. We noticed that large parts of the sea are frozen, something we’ve never seen before! It hasn’t been especially cold, but it has been windstill and we had freezing fog (on the day the sun was supposed to come back) – so perhaps this caused the sea to freeze? The sun only comes up for a short period and by the time we arrived it was after sunset. The sky still had a deep orange colour though, and the views over the frozen sea were beautiful…

It was quite cold, so we didn’t walk for too long ;) When we came back to the car, on one side it was getting quite dark while the lights were coming on…

While on the other side, the sky still had some colours, and was reflected in the very still water.

On Sunday the weather was overcast, and we decided to visit a waterfall near Ramfjorden. It was all frozen over, with spectacular ice formations! Below you can see Paul sitting on part of this ice fall, and some of the icicles that are part of it.

And some more ice formations.. the second photo is taken with quite a long exposure, which blurs the water flowing underneath the icicles.

It was a fun weekend! We also enjoyed the Tromsø International Film Festival last week. We saw 10 films, and we liked most of them. We thought we’d be fed up of going to the cinema by the end of the week, but we actually regretted it was over! Last night after watching our last film, we cycled to Telegrafbukta to watch the aurora from the beach, under a bright moon – a great end to the weekend :)

The Jurassic Coast

Waiting for the Light

We’ve been back in Tromsø for a week now. A week with rubbish weather unfortunately – temperatures were above zero all week and we had lots of rain. The rain would still freeze on the ground though, which turned the whole city into an ice rink! One day I couldn’t even get up the hill next to the house – way too slippery. Our car doors keep freezing too, we’ve never had a problem with that before. Yesterday after we finally managed to open them, they froze while we were inside the car! Luckily they defrosted after driving around for a while. We need snow!

The weather finally cleared up yesterday, and we went for a little trip with Maiten, hoping to see the northern lights. They had been quite active, but by the time we got out of town they had died down. I only took this photo below, which does show a green glow, but I used an exposure of more than 7 minutes! Still, shows how many stars there were :)

The days have been getting lighter, and the sun comes above the horizon now. Not yet above the mountains, we have to wait until Thursday for that. I took this panorama just before 15:00, it was quite dark already but I loved the cloud!

That’s all for now, but I hope to upload some more photos of our Christmas break tomorrow :)

Christmas break part 1: The Netherlands

Happy 2010 everyone! Hope you all had a nice break :) Ours was very nice and relaxing. I’ll post some photos from the past weeks in the coming days, today part 1: The Netherlands. We were very lucky to escape cancelled flights on the way to The Netherlands. It was actually colder there than in Tromsø, and they had quite a lot of snow.

The day after we arrived was my birthday :) We went for a nice walk in the snow…

In the afternoon we celebrated Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) with my whole family. This is supposed to be celebrated on the the 5th of December, but this year we postponed it a bit! It was a really nice evening, we had lots of fun. As there are way too many pictures, I combined them to a collage. Plus a crazy photo of 2 Vikings under the Christmas tree ;) if you take a closer look at the Christmas tree you can see that it has rubber duckies instead of traditional lights – the creativity of my crazy brother!

Snow in the Netherlands equals chaos with the trains, so we decided to travel to Amsterdam by boat. This “fast flying ferry” (aka hydrofoil) goes from IJmuiden to Amsterdam and takes only half an hour. A fun way to travel! Amsterdam looked pretty in the snow…

On our last day in the Netherlands we went to Haarlem, which was also looking pretty with all the snow and ice. It was very cold and windy though!

These swans were trying to climb on top of the ice, but it was too weak to hold them and they kept breaking it. Poor things, they looked very confused.

In the evening we went skating with my sister and my youngest brother. Paul had never skated before, so he started out with one of those “zimmer frames” as he calls them. We started out on the bit in the middle of the rink, where you can practice (while trying to avoid out-of-control kids!) Within an hour, his skating improved enough to join the “real” skaters on the outside ring, I was impressed! It was lots of fun, I didn’t realise how much I missed skating… I should find out about the rink in Tromsø.

The next day we flew from Amsterdam to London to have Christmas with Paul’s parents. To be continued…