By Leonie Gorman
To see the Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights up close and personal we began our 15 day tour in Bergen Norway with a 7-day cruise to Kirkenes and onto Finland. As we headed out into the darkness we hoped for calm seas and clear skies.
Night 3: 1.00am – somewhere off Boda – the cabin aurora alarm activates. We sleepily struggle into clothes, grab cameras racing to catch our first glimpse of the lights.
As we step onto the deck the icy blast hits us. It is freezing and the noise from the wind is deafening. We struggle to the bow and stare into blackness and then we start to see wispy white tendrils forming faint wind like patterns.
Slowly wispy white turns to ribbons of vivid green. The rolling waves of green shimmer back and forth across the night sky. It is simply mesmerising to watch.
The lights figure prominently in mythology. My thoughts turn to what our ancestors must have thought-spirits of the dead; shields of the Valkyries; or the bridge to Valhalla?
My favourite is that the lights were caused by the Firefox running so quickly across the snow that his tail caused sparks to fly into the night sky creating the Aurora. Way more lyrical than the fact they are actually caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere.
We would see the lights again on this trip but nothing imprints to memory like first glimpses to natures awe inspiring light show.
I am 50-something and enjoy travelling and experiencing new places and people. I also like to photograph and write about my travel destinations and the people I meet along the way. I still have lots to tick off my bucket list – the journey continues…