I’m not really sure why, but i’ve been fascinated with Norway and everything Norwegian for a lot of my life. I guess it’s partly due to the fact it just looks so beautiful in photographs and partly because its promise of seeing the Northern Lights.
When I was really young, one of my favourite films was ‘Balto’ which is based on the true story of a dog sled team that was used to transport medicine back in 1925. In the film there is a scene where Balto creates an illusion of the Northern Lights using broken glass. It seems kinda sad and a bit cheesy but this really stuck with me and I remember being totally enthralled by it.
Over time, especially once we had gotten a family computer and the internet (crazy to remember a time without it, eh?) I often spent time looking at pictures of the lights and learning all about what they are and how they happen. When researching the best places to see them, I decided that Norway was the best place and one day I would go there and see the them. I was probably about 13 at this point and since then I developed this huge interest in the place. I even called my dog Magnus because of its Norwegianess.
I suppose everyone finds that once place they really want to go to in life, that holds this huge sense of personal meaning and I think that Norway became this for me. The more you learn about somewhere, the more you identify with it and become interested in it and that’s exactly what happened. I love everything about Norway and the more I learn, the more I love.
You might have seen that Joanna Lumley (LOVE her btw) programme about it, which was basically like watching her live my dream. I also found out my neighbour was half Norwegian and really enjoyed chatting to her about it and seeing all her traditional clothing and jewellery from when she was a girl. I don’t know why, I just find it so appealing, I’d even love to learn to read and speak Norwegian and i’m thinking of starting a course using Babbel, especially because some of my favourite blogs are in Norwegian and Swedish and it would be nice to be able to read them properly instead of just looking at the pictures!
Anyway, this March, probably about ten years since I decided Norway was the bestest place ever, I finally lived my dream of travelling to Tromso to see the Northern Lights with Steve, and unfortunately, after all that dreaming, we weren’t lucky enough this time to catch an awe-inspiring sky show (maybe my dreams over the years of the lights depicted as Christmas lights and fireworks were a sign that it wasn’t going to be?) but we still had the most amazing time. I definitely don’t need an excuse to go back but the fact that we didn’t see the lights properly is the perfect excuse to go again. We did sort of catch a glimpse through the clouds and I took the photo below (which to the naked eye was much much less vivid, if we hadn’t been told what we were looking at, we wouldn’t have really noticed them). I suppose I can still say that i’ve seen them, they weren’t the brightest or the most dazzling lights the world has to offer, but they were mine.
Tromso was literally so magical, even with a week of heavy rain, snow, thick cloud and bitter disappointment of a dream out of reach, it was still the best place i’ve ever been and will probably go. I have never felt so at home so far away. All the people we met, the food we ate and the things we saw were amazing and I can’t wait to go back.
I’ll be writing a few posts about the trip over the next couple of weeks, a couple of reviews, some travel tips etc.. so I hope if anyone is reading this, that you enjoy those. But for now here are a few favourite pictures from my most favourite place in the world, Tromso!