Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Norway & the Northern Lights
Old 08-08-2019, 02:40 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 64
Norway & the Northern Lights

To celebrate my DW's 60th birthday, we are planning a trip to Norway next March. We want to knock two items off our bucket lists - see the Northern Lights and take a dog sled ride.

We are planning to fly to Oslo (2 days), then take a 15hr train ride to Boda (2 days), then a bus ride to Narvik (2 days), then fly to Bergen (2 days), and train to Oslo and fly home.

For those who have been to Norway, do you think we need to go all the way up to Tromso to see the Northern Lights or is Narvik high enough? Are there any must see sights that we should take in while we are there? The train ride from Bergen to Oslo is supposed to be amazing, and we will see lots of country side on the ride to Boda.
__________________

Dalmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-08-2019, 02:47 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,386
We did something similar just this last March. Flew to Oslo, then took the train to Bergen (very nice train ride). Then we took a Hurtigruten coastal ship all the way up north to Kirkenes, with lots of stops along the way.

Conditions are very variable, of course, and depend on the weather. But my best aurora photos were between Tromsø and Honningsvåg. So north of Narvik. But you may be luckier. We flew from Kirkenes back to Oslo.

My only suggestion would be to try to time your trip during the new moon. Much better for the aurora.

We absolutely loved everything about Norway.
__________________

__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 03:26 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 3,689
I've too been to Norway, and found Bergen to have the most beautiful, tall and sweetest young folks in the world.

And I'd like to see the Northern Lights. But you won't catch me going that far north in March.

They have a very short tourist season from June until the first of September. Spring and Fall often brings rains all across the Far North.
Bamaman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 03:37 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 6,197
When in Bergen hike up to the overlook...super views.
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 04:26 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 1,614
You’re at the mercy of the Sun and we’re near solar minimum, unfortunately. I say go for it, though, and you’re probably going to one of the best places on Earth that stands a reasonable chance of auroral activity at any time in the 11-year solar cycle. I second the recommendation for new moon, or third quarter. Moonlight will seriously interfere, as will artificial lights from any nearby cities, of course.

Google “aurora forecast” or similar. There are several sites available.

Good luck!
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2019, 05:03 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 3,463
I would check out Hurtigruten for transport and the Lofoten Islands for destination. Take plenty of money.
OldShooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 05:05 AM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
Christine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
And I'd like to see the Northern Lights. But you won't catch me going that far north in March.

They have a very short tourist season from June until the first of September. Spring and Fall often brings rains all across the Far North.

Tourist season in winter is definately on in Northern Norway. People buy Northern Light packages. Or rent motorhomes. Or smaller cars.


You can catch the Northern Light south of Narvik too - but the further south you get the smaller are your chances.


If you are very lucky you can catch it as far south as Bergen - but then perhaps only one or two nights a year - if any.


As a typicl Norwegian I've never been on a trip to see the Northern Lights. But have cought occasional glimpses.
Christine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 11:03 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
folivier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 779
Not Norway but we hope to see the lights while we're in Alaska. We did get a glimpse in Ninilchik one night. Going just north of the Arctic Circle for a couple nights next week and may have a better chance, but with a full moon not sure. This website gives a 3 day forecast: Aurora Forecast - See Northern Lights Today
__________________
You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
folivier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 02:54 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,152
Northern lights are on my bucket list, too. Might wait 5 years or whatever until the next solar max thought.

Keep the suggestions coming - I'll be watching this thread!
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 02:55 PM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,386
I thought of another bit of advice. Bring a good camera. Believe it or not, you'll get much better views of the Northern Lights by taking photos than you can with the naked eye.

You want the widest aperture you can get, and the best photos will be manually timed (like several seconds) so a tripod is important.

Our eyes, especially as we get older, don't register the colors of the aurora (mainly green, most of the time) as well as the camera will. So what looks like a pale gray streak to the naked eye can turn out in vivid color when you look at the photo.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 04:45 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 64
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I am taking notes.
Dalmore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 08:04 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Senator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Williston, FL
Posts: 3,816
You can also go to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada if you wanted to be more local.
__________________
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
Senator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 04:57 AM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,386
One of the nice features of the Hurtigruten coastal ships is that you can relax in the evening and the crew in the bridge will make an announcement when the Northern Lights make an appearance. Then you just go out on deck to enjoy it. You can also turn off those announcements if you just want to sleep. Food on Hurtigruten was outstanding as well, especially for shipboard meals. We have nothing but good to say about our whole two weeks in Norway, and want to go back.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 05:18 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,927
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
One of the nice features of the Hurtigruten coastal ships is that you can relax in the evening and the crew in the bridge will make an announcement when the Northern Lights make an appearance. Then you just go out on deck to enjoy it. You can also turn off those announcements if you just want to sleep. Food on Hurtigruten was outstanding as well, especially for shipboard meals. We have nothing but good to say about our whole two weeks in Norway, and want to go back.
After I RE'd I actually consulted for Hurtigruten and lived in Tromso for a while. Good company and really nice people. Not your typical cruise ship mentality; a lot more laid back and relaxed.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 11:07 AM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
folivier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 779
And get a good, fast, wide angle lens, as wide as you can afford or rent.
__________________
You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
folivier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 11:12 AM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 13,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by folivier View Post
And get a good, fast, wide angle lens, as wide as you can afford or rent.
Yes, that should go without saying. I used a 20mm f/1.8, which was the best I was willing to pay for.
It seemed perfect.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 11:23 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OldShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: City
Posts: 3,463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
You can also go to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada if you wanted to be more local.
I worked in Churchill during summers undergraduate and graduate school. The nature of the work sometimes kept us up through the night. Typically, we watched the aurora borealis by looking to the south and west.

My son is a photographer in northern Minnesota. He has many spectacular aurora shots and fairly frequent opportunities to get them.

The point being that you don't have to go to the North Pole to see the aurora.

Re cameras, if you really want good photos a tripod is a must as is practice shooting the night sky prior to the trip. There is a sweet spot of exposure, aperture, and ISO where you get good aurora but don't keep the shutter open long enough to get streaky stars. Good tripods, like Gitzo, cost a lot of money but as a % of the trip cost the money is trivial.
OldShooter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2019, 11:23 AM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
folivier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 779
I'm using a 24/f2.8 and wish I had wider and faster. And NO clouds! Spent an hour outside last night and hope I got some lights through the clouds.
__________________
You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
folivier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2019, 10:58 PM   #19
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Anytown
Posts: 14
I've been to Narvik - in the summer so no aurora. It's a lovely town. I used to live in southern Sweden almost forty years ago and saw the NL routinely.

I'm going to suggest you try to contact a lady named Patricia Cowern. She used to run a gallery in the old train station in the tiny town of Porjus Sweden, several hours drive from Narvik. It's a beautiful drive through tundra and taiga. She moved there specifically to photograph the aurorae. The gallery was called Arctic Color Gallery (was arctic-color.com but now dead).

I have met her and have a book she published. She could probably give you many pointers both on good viewing spots and photography. Unfortunately I no longer have good contact information. She is British so a native English speaker. I last met her in 2005 and she was probably early 50s so is likely retired now. Her husband's name is Lars Israelsson so she may go by that as well. Found out she was born in 1955 so likely still around even though her gallery may be closed.

I also suggest you read the book "The Northern Lights" by Lucy Jago which is about one of the first scientists to study them (Norwegian of course).
SecondAttempt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2019, 12:11 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,393
DW wants to see the Aurora. Ft. McMurray, AB is my choice. Lots of sunny days (& clear nights). I know the town and it is very accessible from where we live. It is only as far north as Copenhagen (not even Bergen), but a lot less expensive all around.
__________________

__________________
I have outlived most of the people I don't like and I am working on the rest.
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Norway and Northern Lights - Feb '19 The Rodent Travel Information 40 11-25-2018 09:06 AM
Scottish Tattoo & Norway itsmyparty Travel Information 14 09-13-2015 12:24 PM
Noticed more people holding signs "need work or food" rayinpenn Other topics 3 05-03-2015 02:51 PM
Tromso, Norway, and Split, Croatia deserat Travel Information 10 08-27-2011 07:55 AM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:10 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×