The search for the Northern Lights – Part III

After being overcast for the entire day, at around 6pm I saw a star.

Then another appeared….and another…and slowly the whole sky cleared.

Suddenly a faint light appeared in the sky to the north behind the disappearing cloud. Then it disappeared again.

After a while it was back.

I said to Felipe that it could well be the Northern Lights.

Always one to tell things as they are, Felipe said, “I hope not, that’s rubbish.”

We watched, waiting for the sky clear for about an hour and a half, all the time walking up and down a road, trying desperately to keep warm.

At 7:30pm, we gave up and headed into the warmth for some food.

Disaster!

Apparently dinner was 6 till 7pm sharp.

Everything had been cleared away and the restaurant locked.

This was the only restaurant in Abisko Turiststation. The only other places to eat were in Abisko town, a two hour walk away. Don’t be silly, it was out of season, there wasn’t a taxi to be seen in the place!

We warmed up for a short time, then headed out again towards the town.

Whilst we’d been defrosting, the lights had expanded and grown.

Now there was a huge swirl in the north and a trailing line of light extended all the way across the sky over our heads.

This was it! This was what we’d come to see! Even Felipe was impressed!

We did feel slightly cheated as the lights are much fainter that you see on the photos. Turns out that’s because they have an exposure time of over a minute.

This is what my photos looked like:

tempWe spent so long staring at the lights that we never did get dinner that night. We also are unlikely to ever feel our toes again…but at least we can say this trip was a success, unlike the tornado hunting expedition.

Still, who needs a tornado when you could have the Northern Lights?

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About Steff Gaulter

Al Jazeera English's Senior Weather Presenter
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