Senja Island: Reflections & the Thrill of the Northern Lights

Today is Saturday and after a rainy night we woke to no rain and lifting clouds. This is our last day to drive around Senja Island so we headed to the part we hadn’t explored yet — Fjordgar. The area we drove through has a lot more farmland and the colors are sadly past peak color now and changing from yellow to brown. However, the fjord at the end of the road was just as dramatic as the others we have seen here.

Still winds created beautiful reflections on the water. While we reflected on the beauty around us, we listened to a philosophical discussion on the EconTalk Podcast between the host, Russ Roberts, and MIT Philosophy Professor Kieran Setiya on his latest book “Midlife.” If you like philosophical discussions, you’ll love it. It’s lovely to have the time to listen to a discussion like this while experiencing the beauty of a place we’ve never visited before.

Here’s the link:

Our plan for the afternoon is to rest so we can stay up through the night and photograph the Northern Lights. But first, we enjoyed another lovely dinner at the ABO and got to chat more with Sebastian who works there and is from Argentina. He is a traveler of the world and is now working in Norway. In future years he hopes to visit and work in Australia. We wish the US would do a better job of welcoming hard working, friendly people like Sebastian who would like to work legally in the USA for a few years.

The best time to see the Aurora in the Fall is between 10pm and 3am. As we hoped, the clouds cleared and the stars appeared around 9pm. The Big Dipper was very high in the sky and the North Star was almost directly overhead — very different from how they appear near Seattle. So we gathered the camera equipment and headed outside. Our Aurora show began with a little area of light that steadily spread out into a big circle that filled most of the sky immediately overhead. That lasted for about 10 minutes, then faded away, and then the process repeated over the next 3 hours in the form of various streaks and swirls of light, and one that looked like a giant torch. It was by far the best Aurora display we had ever seen, but the people who worked at the Aurora Borealis Observatory said it was nothing unusual. But we were enchanted, and look forward to future trips to the Arctic Circle to see it again.

The Big Dipper, Aurora & Clouds.

Today (Sunday) we drove back to Tromso and on the way did a quick excursion down another fjord to get a better look at a couple of glaciers that we saw from the main road. While we were there we encountered a family herding their sheep down the road to a new pasture. The sheep didn’t like being herded down the road but they were very happy with all the tall grass when they got to the new pasture.

Tomorrow morning (Monday) we leave the Arctic Circle behind and head south to Brindisi in SE Italy. It’s a long travel day with tight connections in both Oslo and Zurich. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly, but whatever happens we plan to enjoy the adventure. We are excited for the next part of our journey but a little sad to leave this remarkable area. We will definitely stay longer the next time we visit the beautiful fjords around the City of Tromso in Northern Norway.

4 thoughts on “Senja Island: Reflections & the Thrill of the Northern Lights

  1. Again, thank you for sharing. All photos are great, but really excited to see you got yo enjoy the Aurora Borealis!!!!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Enjoy Italy. We arrive in Florence Wednesday. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s