The First Sunset

The return of the sun after the long mørketid is always something special. The top of the sun comes above the horizon on the 15th of January, but at first the mountains are still blocking the sun. In the following days, you can see the sun on the highest mountain tops, moving lower down day by day. “Soldagen” is celebrated on the 21st of January, but this day is defined as the first day the sun reaches the steps of the cathedral in Tromsø centre – usually you can see the sun a few days earlier if you find the right place. Troms Turlag organized a welcome-to-the-sun ski trip on Saturday, to Austeråsfjellet. The weather looked bad for Saturday, so we decided to copy their idea, but go on Sunday instead.

We woke up early, to a cloudless sky 🙂 We went on snowshoes, as Paul wanted to try his new pair (bought on a hot day in the desert on our USA trip :D). The first part went through the forest, but we soon decided to walk straight up (a huge advantage of snowshoes) onto the treeless plateau on top. We didn’t want to miss the sun by being stuck in a forest! And wow, the views from the plateau were just amazing…

The sun ALMOST came out here, but it just didn't make it - which meant we had to wait until a while for the next opportunity to the west (right) of the mountain (Fløya) On the plateau - with these views behind you, you wish you could walk backwards on snow shoes ;)

We dropped the idea of going all the way to Austeråsfjellet – not that it was very far or difficult, but with those views behind us we kept turning around for another look 😉 So instead we made our way to the highest point near us, and there she was – the SUN! 🙂

Nearly there - the pink part in the background is in the sun And YES, there she is :) - a fantastic feeling to see the sun again

Panorama with the sun :)

I waved hello to my shadow – long time no see 😀 and Paul opened the small champagne bottle that we brought to celebrate the return of the sun 🙂

A welcome wave to my shadow :) Time for champagne!

Liquid sunshine :) A toast to the sun!

We enjoyed the sun for about half an hour – you could actually feel the warmth on your face, wonderful! It’s funny how the seeing the sun again after such a long time can fill you with ridiculous happiness and energy and pure joy 😀

After half an hour with sunshine, we had to say goodbye again. But with the shallow trajectory of the sun, it actually peeped out for another 5 minutes on the other side of the mountain - nice surprise! A lonely champagne cork in the snow

But the best was yet to come… behind us the mountains turned pink in the last sunshine, while the clouds that were moving south were turning spectacular colours…

The last sun painted the mountains behind us pink Just after sunset, the clouds were turning fantastic colours

Then the sky behind us turned a deep pink and purple…

And behind us the sky was turning pink and purple... hard to choose in which direction to look!

While in front of us, the sky seemed to be on fire! It was simply incredible…

Walking into the sunset Paul silhouetted against a sky on fire

I took so many photos, as it just kept getting better and better…

The colours of the sky were just getting better and better - I could hardly believe my eyes! Admiring the view

But eventually we had to leave the plateau and make our way down through the forest.

One last photo before we had to descend from the plateau into the forest Coming down through the forest after a perfect day :)

What a perfect day!! We couldn’t have asked for a prettier “first sunset” 🙂 Let’s hope there’s many more to come!

5 Responses to “The First Sunset”

  1. Ben says:

    Oh man this was a blog worth reading. Although I can theoretically see the sun all year, I imagine it’s never as special as seeing it for the first time after a polar night (of ‘mørketid’). When I was in Tromsø this time three years ago, I remember making the most of the short time in the middle of the day when the sun rose. Those pictures are amazing as always.

    Here in England we’ve had a little snow this last week. It’s quite nice to see, though it’s inevitably meant schools closing and people not wanting to go out. English people just don’t know what to do when it snows. We could use a little Norwegian blood in us, lol.

    On another note, I’ve only just realised that you wrote a short letter with the calender you sent me. I must try to reply soon. The calender is now hanging in my hallway, a little piece of Norway for everyone to see.

    Enjoy the sun and keep up the amazing pictures!

    Ben

    • Hanneke says:

      Thanks! I could never have imagined what it feels like to see the sun again after so long – and that’s even when we did have a break for Christmas, although we didn’t see much sun in England either 😉 It’s so nice to see the daylight increasing day by day too 🙂

      The same happened in the Netherlands, full chaos with a bit of snow. But you have to remember that we have about 6 months of winter here, so you HAVE to be prepared. There’s not much point in buying spike tires for your car or bike in England or the Netherlands for that one week a year – even though it’s easy to get in trouble without. A friend (also Dutch living in Tromsø) just wrote this interesting blog post about this issue: http://nooitmeerslapen.blogspot.no/2013/01/winterperikelen-niet-alleen-in-de-lage.html – perhaps you can get the gist of it with Google Translate?

      Enjoy the calendar, and have a good weekend!
      Hanneke

  2. maaike says:

    Wow.. Prachtige foto’s!!
    En bedankt voor de details over soldagen ;-). Fijn, zo’n blog waar je wat kunt opsteken, haha…

    • Hanneke says:

      He Maaike, dank voor de 2x wow, haha 😀
      Wij moeten het op het werk de hele tijd uitleggen aan alle kranten e.d. dus ik ben inmiddels expert op mørketid gebied hahaha…

  3. Yeah, yeah. These pictures are exactly my cup of tea (or glass of champagne 🙂 )

    Mange takk!