Archive for April, 2011

Glorious Sunshine!

How do you know Spring has arrived to Northern Norway? Unfortunately, not by trees turning green, lots of flowers and birds singing everywhere… It’s more defined by melting snow creating mud and floodings everywhere, the dirt and dead leaves from last Autumn appearing from underneath the snow, lots of screaming gulls (and a few oystercatchers :)) and unstable weather that can’t decide between snow, sleet or rain. No wonder I am most homesick at this time of year 😉 But there are other signs too… the first tiny flower to appear (not as pretty as tulips or daffodils, but it has COLOUR anyway :D) and the typical Norwegian Easter madness breaking out…

This flower is always the first to arrive in spring. It's tiny, and prefers to grow in impossible places - but I am always so excited to spot the first one! This one is in our parking lot. The name of the flower is hestehov in Norwegian, Klein Hoefblad in Dutch and Coltsfoot in English Easter is huge in Norway, and one of the traditions is a Mystery on the milk cartons. You're supposed to guess who committed the crime, but I NEVER get them!

Yesterday afternoon was really nice and sunny. It seemed like ages we had seen the sun, so we just had to go out and make the most of it. As the Easter break has already started here (Thursday-Monday are official days off, but most people take a week or more) there were lots of people with the same idea. Many were having their first bbq, we were a bit lazy and prepared some food at home before heading out.

The beach at Telegrafbukta. It looks empty but there were actually quite a lot of people enjoying the sunshine! Lovely evening sun

It was really nice to have dinner outside and feel the sun on our faces. It’s not very warm yet, I had my down jacket on and wore gloves most of the time, but still 😀 It was much needed, soaking up some vitamin D and dreaming of summer. Summer definitely is my favourite season, I can’t wait for the midnight sun to come out, and all that snow to disappear from the mountains so I can go hiking 😉 But I am sure Paul has a different opinion 😛

Our first meal outside! The view from our bench :) Paul enjoying a cup of tea :)

The weather was so nice, and the sea so calm that Paul was eager to go for a trip with the boat. We left from the south tip of the island, but Paul decided to pick me up from the beach at Telegrafbukta so I would be able to get in without getting wet – how nice 😀 The sun was setting while I was waiting for him, and it turned into a really spectacular sunset, deep orange with rays of sun coming from behind the mountains – so beautiful! There were 2 slightly drunk guys sitting at a campfire while I waited for Paul, and they watched in amazement when a boat appeared to pick me up straight from the beach… They asked if we were on a blind date 😀 and then one of them told me I looked so Dutch… random!! I hadn’t said much to him so I don’t know how he was able to tell 😀

Sunset at Telegrafbukta Spectacular sunset!

We went for a short trip around Håkøya, where we did some fishing. Paul had a suspicion the fishing might be good there… and wow, it was! You could hardly reach the bottom with the fishing line and you already got one… In 5 minutes time we caught 4 cod, three small ones and one larger one. That was more than enough for us, so after 5 minutes of fishing we were done and we headed home 😀

Cod nr 3 :) We caught 4 in about 5 minutes! Cod nr 4... these were both quite small but we also caught a larger one

What a nice afternoon! I would say it was a nice start to our Easter break, but unfortunately I am working until Sunday. I won’t complain though, it earned me enough extra time off for a holiday in early May. More on that later though. Happy Easter everyone! 🙂

April Auroras

I was packing for my trip to Oslo when I got a text from Eelke to say the northern lights were out… I was so determined to go to bed early as I have to get up at 5:00 tomorrow morning to catch the first flight… but I couldn’t help myself, and went out to take some photos anyway. It will soon be too light to see the auroras, so I thought this might be my last chance this season! When we got to the jetty at Telegrafbukta, the lights were not so bright anymore but it was still beautiful. The sky was still light in the west, and the crescent moon was just setting. Wonderful 🙂

Beautiful auroras against the twilight sky. Note the crescent moon just about visible above the mountains. My lens has caused a weird diffraction in the middle

There were quite a lot of people out to watch the northern lights, it was nice to talk to them 🙂 And now it’s almost 1 in the morning, my bag is still not entirely packed and I have 4 hours left before I have to get up. Sigh… I do this every time!! Tonight was worth it though 🙂