Abisko and my hunt for the Northern Lights (part 2)

After a day tour to Narvik, our team continued the second tour at night for the after-dark show – the Northern Lights, the Polar Lights or just simply the Aurora! Is it easy to see it? I don’t have a right answer for this question! But if you are lucky enough, you could see what I saw last November in Abisko. Better than that? I’m not sure! Being in Abisko, the best place for the Aurora, does not give any guarantee that we will see the lights, but to maximize our chances we need to know when, where and how.

The reception where we gathered for the night tour

Back to our team for the night tour, a team of 8 people coming from different places around the world, waiting for the big moment. We need to borrow the winter clothes from the Guest House, to wear them over our own winter jacket, it help us not to be deadly freezing while standing in the cold for hours. The guest house also provides the camera, the tripod and the head lamp.

The winter clothes and shoes
Our tour guide gave some instructions how to set up the camera to shoot the Aurora

We depart sharply at 8:00 pm, it was snowing, we may not have a chance to see the Aurora if snowing. I desperately asked our tour guide “Will we see it tonight?” He said “Yes”. Very optimistic guy! To see the Aurora depends very much on the weather, unclouded sky and the ideal light conditions – absolute no-light pollution and the optimal location – no high buildings, no high mountains around to block the view!

no sign of the Northern Lights, only Moon and the lights from the caravan!

Anyway the car took us deep inside the National Park, somewhere near to the road and we need to walk in snow through some forest, up to the hill, until we got to the flat area – we stand there and wait. Some of our team members were struggling a little bit due to the walk in deep snow, it was very cold, minus 10ºC or lower, but by somehow I didn’t feel the cold!

This place is the 3rd spot on the night we went for the Northern Lights

After nearly half an hour, no any sign of magical green lights that we wish to see, our tour guide said “Let’s go to another place!” And it happened twice until we got to the last one – the caravan parking lot, inside the National Park. Few caravans, some wooden cabins. We talk to caravan owners, and most of them said “we saw it few days ago, but not last night. It was almost 10:00 pm.

We set up the camera and wait…with patience

A new observation place is quite open area with only few caravans standing in the corner. We quickly set up the camera on our tripod, look at different directions with the last hope as the tour supposed to end before midnight, regardless we see it or not! Suddenly our tour guide, said “Guys, Northern Lights are visible now, at that direction, be ready!”.

Finally it appears – The Aurora!

Our extreme focus quickly changed to the direction that our guide pointed. Someone suddenly screamed out loudly “I saw it”. It took me a second to recognize the green lights dancing gracefully, changing its shape very quickly, up and down, up and down…I just hold my breath and continuously press the button on my camera with big joy and that moment lasts only for a very few minutes!

The green lights are dancing gracefully right in front of us!

I did jump for joy at what I just saw that night. What we saw that night was very far from the best but at least for the first time in my life I see it and feel it. Later I met some guests who travel from far, couldn’t see anything at all, or a young Chinese guy is so surprised  when seeing my photos, he expects something much more impressive, much more tremendously glorious! I wish him a big luck!

The moment of joy and we admire it happily

For those who see it for the very first time, the Northern Lights is definitely a memorable experience. It does not resemble any other phenomena on Earth and regardless how we are looking at it from a scientific or spiritual or even mythical point of view, the Aurora amazes us anyhow. As the occurrence is different every time, the experience is never the same either. But one thing is for sure, it will not leave you untouched!

It lasts for only a very few minutes, we were waiting for more but it didn’t come back!

Following the joy is the moment of silence, as we all expect to see something more, our tour guide quickly served us with some hot tea and sweets, we tried to look around in the sky but that magical green light seems gone! Time to go back to the guest house as it’s nearly midnight. Back in to the car we exchanged our feelings, we keep talking about what we saw tonight. It was unforgettable experience!

As I mentioned what we saw that night far from the best, but we are happy because we witnessed unusual phenomenon, not gloriously as we expect but that was good enough for everyone of us to remember for long!

Note: How amazing are the Northern Lights in this video, how beautiful is our world and how mysterious is our Galaxy. The feature photo taken by some professional photographer from this website and you also can get more informations about this phenomenon, where to hunt it, not only in Abisko but somewhere else in the world. Enjoy!

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