The Aurora Borealis. It’s a phenomenon that has always intrigued me, ever since I first heard about it. I’ve never seen it in real life. But its lights have been reflecting upon my everyday-thoughts ever since the idea of seeing it with my own eyes has come to mind. I shall, and I will!
In September 2011, me and my boyfriend travelled to the coastal area of Norway, to the Hanseatic city of Bergen. A stunning city, with colourful wooden houses, a big harbour, surrounded by fjords. From there, we took the ‘Norway in a nutshell’ tour, an experience I will never forget. What a perfect day.
We started our journey with a train ride from Bergen to Voss, taking us along a scenery of lakes, wooden houses and mountains. Norway looked so peaceful, embracing itself with nature. At Voss, we transferred to busses, to take us to the Stalheimskleiva Road, with 13 hairpin bends. And I can tell you, they were steep! Surrounded by Japanese tourists and their huge cameras and crave for the perfect picture, I quenched my thirst for nature with breath-taking sights of the Sivlefossen and the Stalheimsfossen waterfalls, as we arrived at the starting point of the Aurlandsfjord, Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord. At Gudvangen, we were completely surrounded with mountains, with nothing but the majestic view of the fjord in front of us. The tour included a 2 hour fjord cruise and as we passed by some of the world’s end villages, waterfalls and the brightest green-topped mountains I’ve ever seen, we were treated to the sight of three happy seals, just relaxing on the side. What an ideal place to get on a canoe, and just lose ourselves in this world for a few hours. But we couldn’t, the rest of this incredible tour was awaiting us.
To coastal area of Norway is known for its many rainy days. That didn’t stop us from enjoying it though, especially with a massive rainbow popping up during the cruise. After our stop at the activity centre of Flåm, we got on one of Europe’s most famous train rides: the Flåm Railway to Myrdal. This 20 kilometre long train ride gave us some of the best panorama’s I’ve ever seen. Waterfalls, snowy peaks, steep mountains, rocks and some of the world’s most lonely places to live, we reckoned. Norway is incredibly beautiful, but I don’t think I’d be able to survive in a lonely, up-hill cabin like that. Especially not in cold winter, isolated from the rest of the world. Then again, sipping hot chocolate in front of your fireplace does have its charm.
Another 2 to 3 hours passed by, as another train brought us back to the beginning of our tour: Bergen station. Tired of all impressions and unforgettable sceneries, we got to bed early that night. In our rental apartment, I fell in a deep, warm sleep, knowing I had fallen in love with this country.
Reflecting upon this journey today, has taught me one thing: there’s so much to this country and the whole of Scandinavia, that I’ve yet to explore. There’s something about Scandinavia that I’ve come to love, that makes it feel like home. I’ve also found it in the Swedish town of Stockholm. Maybe it’s their love for nature, or the fact that the warm, tranquilizing summers make up for the long, dark and cold winter months. Or it could very well be the light that has caught my eye. In summer, it seems sharp and bright. In winter, it gets blurry, mesmerizing, like the Northern Lights.
I know that someday, I’ll be seeing the Aurora Borealis with my own eyes. And not just that. I’ll be seeing Norway and all its hidden colours.
For some inspiration, check out the work of Norwegian photographer Terje Sørgjerd.
He makes some incredible movies and pictures, at some of the world’s most inspiring places. https://www.facebook.com/TSOPhotography