Senja Island Is Magical!

We left Oslo to fly to Tromso, which is well north of the Arctic Circle, where we rented a car and drove to Senja Island. The flight was easy, although checking bags is all manual with very little explanation. It’s a good thing we are experiential, go-with-the-flow learners.

Who Knew?

We planned our trip to Senja Island and the Aurora Borealis Observatory to hopefully see the Northern Lights. We had know idea our adventure was going to lead us to the most phenomenal Mountain views and spectacular autumn colors. We met some other tourists who had seen the Aurora on Monday night, but that was when we were still in Oslo. We hope to see them soon, but it’s been very cloudy here so far.

The Aurora Borealis Observatory is a remarkable property. We learned about it from Facebook. They livestream the Aurora and we first watched the stream while we were visiting there last year. They are just experimenting with opening the property in “Summer” meaning mid-September. This place has a lot of potential and our little apartment is lovely. But so far the Aurora is taking back seat to the incredible scenery. The cool autumn weather is perfect for hiking, there are no mosquitos at this time of year, and we’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the area in our rental car.

Yesterday we drove to Bergstbotn and Tungenset. The road there is narrow, with no center line but frequent turnouts, and takes you through tunnels to the beautiful fjords and occasional beaches.

The narrow roads and tunnels were a bit nerve racking for Jim. But he managed his stress beautifully with smiles and laughter.

What a stunning and surprising day! Rolling hills, rugged mountain peaks, and forests of aspen and birch exploding in color everywhere. Over a relatively short distance I had to ask Jim many times to park in one of the many turnout so that I could take another photo.

We were on the NW edge of Europe at latitude almost as far north a Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska. And yet, as many people have told us, the Gulf Stream current from the Caribbean keeps the area much warmer than North Alaska —- warm enough for deciduous trees and farming! There are so many small farms here, it was totally unexpected! We strolled the beach and tested the water — it wasn’t that much colder than Puget Sound — amazing!

Cool slow-motion video

And the moss and ground was amazing — it was so soft and spongy. I’ve never felt anything like it.

Today we drove to the nearby Anderdalen National Park for another day of color and beauty (and my crazy hiking hair!)

To be continued . . .

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