Staples from the supermarket to tide us through our road trip
The frozen lake right behind us
27th & 28th February 2015
27th – We took the first half of the day pretty slowly because we didn’t have anything on our programme, plus we were waiting for the time that we could pick up our car from the car rental. Woke up in the morning and did some research on catching the Northern Lights on our own because we thought that it was too expensive for us to pay for a second round of light chasing with the tour groups, and my husband suggested that we make a trip to the northern border of Finland in an attempt to catch the lights! During our chase with the guided tour the day before, they mentioned that there are times where they will drive across the border to Kilpisjärvi, Northern Finland, which was just a 3 hours drive from where we were. I liked the idea of this spontaneity, and we made our way there the moment we got our car!
The experience was quite exciting yet scary at the same time; it was Jon’s first time taking a manual left hand drive, and also our virgin experience driving on the icy/snowy roads. The moment we crossed the border, my phone went out of reception and it felt quite scary to be driving without knowing where we are actually heading to. And the snow storm wasn’t exactly helping in both the driving and the sighting of the lights, so I suggested that we head back to Tromsø. I guess we can say that it’s a wasted trip, but thinking back we had our fair share of fun.
The moment we headed back to Tromsø, everything kinda fell into place. We searched on the weather forecast to see which part of Tromsø had the clearest skies (really essential for catching the lights), and with the help of Norway Lights to help us see if we had a good chance of sighting this natural phenomenon. And we were in luck! We first sighted these lights by the coast of Tromsø, and it was dancing across the sky! It was really beautiful, but the light pollution from the city really killed the pictures. Jon then brought the both of us on a 45 minutes ride away from the city, and we caught one of the most amazing shows we ever saw.
It was our first time seeing the Northern Lights, and the situation was much better than we had expected. There were no crowd (like what we’d experience if we were on a guided tour) – just the darkness, mountains, fjords, the lights and us. It was too beautiful. Too surreal.
28th – It was our first official full day out for a long drive to both the islands on the east and west of Tromsøya, and it was really ambitious of us attempting to cover them all in just a day. We set off really early in the morning, and we set off to Lyngseidet! It was about a two hour drive away from Tromsø, but the icy road conditions required us to be more cautious and that definitely took us a little longer than we should. The drive along the lakes & mountains was absolutely breath taking, and it definitely reminded us of our road trip in New Zealand, ‘cept that there were more colourful houses along the lakes and the view were ice white. Really, really beautiful. At Lyngseidet, we took a ferry which carries vehicles across the lakes which helped reduce about an hour of driving, and off we went to Sommarøy! It was about a three hour drive from Lyngseidet, and the road conditions were more icy than the former!
Just when I thought that I could give it a try at taking control a manual left-hand drive mobile, the road conditions just had to make me freak out and let Jon continue instead. I really take my hat off my husband who drove for hours without complaining and not feeling tired, constantly staying alert on the road to ensure both of our safety. I really can never think of a better road trip companion other than him. Thank you for bringing me around the world while basking in your warmth & love. x