Birtavarre, Norway

After chatting with Christian, our campground host, about how best to see aurora, we put in a concerted effort last night. It was cloudy, but there were patches of sky visible most of the time, and we hoped that the cloud might just clear away. It didn’t, but we drove 8kms out of the village to the end of the (cleared) road to see if it was any better there. It wasn’t, but along the way we noticed that most of the houses had lights on inside – when we drove along here in summer, we had assumed that most of the houses were just holiday places, but apparently not. The Scandinavians have a lovely tradition of putting a small light or a standard lamp in every window. Around Christmas and New Year, there were a lot of decorative lights,  nearly all of those have gone now, but there are still lights in a lot of windows. And indoor plants too.

We set the alarm to wake up every 2 hours overnight to check the sky and make sure we weren’t missing anything. At 5am, we both saw Lights behind the clouds, but the cloud was too thick to give us a decent show. We gave up after that and slept in until dawn … at 9am.

Greg walked around the campground this morning, taking some of the photos that are in the previous post. There are moose/s around here. I saw one last night and Christian showed us bare patches on trees around the cabin where they had stripped the bark off to eat. There are footprints around the cabin, and I’m being careful when I go outside in the dark – I don’t really want to meet a moose up close. We donned several layers of thermals and other clothes and walked into the village, which has 2 ‘supermarkets’, a car mechanic, a pretty church and probably a few other shops that open when there are more tourists around. The mobile library bus was at one of the supermarkets when we were there.

January is the worst month, according to Christian.Long, dark, too cold to snow and not enough snow to make things interesting. December is good because of Christmas, and February is good because the days are longer and the snow sports people start arriving to do their snow thing.

Tonight, the sky is completely clear and we’re hopeful. It’s our last night here, tomorrow (Tuesday) we have to do the 1600km drive back to Stockholm, which will mean a very long day’s driving, a stop somewhere along the way for some sleep and an early start on Wednesday to get the rest of the way before midday. And then we fly to Dubai for a couple of days to thaw out before heading home on Friday night.

Trees with the bark stripped and eaten by moose
Greg sitting out in the snow watching for aurora

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6 thoughts on “Birtavarre, Norway

  1. You can’t help smiling as you read your adventures Judy. I’m sitting here in 42 degrees, searching for shade and looking at Greg sitting in the dark and snow with all his thermals on! Makes me feel cooler already.
    Hope you were successful!

    1. Hi there Liz (and Sean, Brighid and Paddy)! It was darn cold out there last night. Greg had a heater that runs on gas canisters, but they kept on freezing, so he used hand-warmers on them to keep them warm enough to keep on working.
      Not so cold tonight as we head further south … although it did get down to -35C today! We were too scared to turn the ignition off, in case it never started again.

  2. Hi Jude and Greg hope you see the lights before you leave.Boy it sounds really cold, we are having a heat wave over 40 the next few days. I’m going to climbing the pool, have a beer and just float with my friend the noodle ha!! Have a good flight home,Dubai will complete opposite lol Jude x

    1. Hi Ron, it WAS really cold! Greg was brave enough to hop out of the car yesterday when the temp hit a low of -35. I stayed in the car with my seat heater on! We’re in Dubai now – temp when we arrived was 20C, the first time we’ve been away from sub-zero temps in 2 weeks!

  3. Hello Snow people your days are numbered hope get to see what you went for I am not sure if you have been to Dubai if you have not be in for a life change and a very much temp change the place the is an architect dream but no trees or very few had Sam for his birthday 42 c today look forward to warm weather see you both soon

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