Last night we arrived in Tromsø just after 19:00, picked up our friends at their hotel and then drove to our cabin in Skulsfjord, situated about 25 kilometres north of the airport. The temperature at the time was about -3’C and we were disappointed to see that there was no snow on the ground. The further we drove out of town and into the wilderness, the darker and colder it got, pretty much the perfect setting for any horror movie (I imagine a movie title like “A secluded cabin in the Arctic” or “Lost in the darkness” with a cheesy slogan like “Can you aFjord to be alone out there?”). It was too dark to see anything around the cabin, so instead of exploring our surroundings, we just had a quick dinner and went to bed.

At 9am this morning, I woke up, jumped out of bed and opened the curtains. It was exactly what I expected – still dark. Completely, 100% dark. The world seemed exactly like we left it last night. You see the great thing about this trip is that we are visiting Norway in their Polar Night. And yes, we planned it like this.

If you are not familiar with the Polar Night, let me quickly explain this phenomenon. We’re all familiar with the concept of night and day. In the southern hemisphere, the days and nights are very similar in length year round, whereas if you live in the northern hemisphere (particularly if you live in the UK, Europe, northern parts of the US and Canada) you’ll be used to very long days in the summer and much shorter days in the winter. Either way, the sun comes up and the sun goes down. But here in
Tromsø we are so far up into the Arctic Circle (pretty much as far north as you can go before the landmass of the European continent ends) that from the end of November till the middle of January, the sun never comes up and the night technically lasts for more than 24 hours. This is called the Polar Night. The exact opposite happens in the summer, when the sun stays above the horison for more than 24 hours (a few months actually) and never sets during the day. This is called the Polar day or Midnight Sun.

Luckily, during the Polar Night, it’s not completely dark the entire time, there are just over 3 hours of twilight every day, which gave us the perfect opportunity to explore the world around our cabin. At 11am this morning, we were all geared up and out there door. Our cabin even has an outdoor fireplace where we enjoyed a wood fire, a stunning view of the Fjord and, thanks to Elaine, a cup of hot chocolate.

Tonight we will be taking a 7-hour tour with an operator to chase the Northern Lights, but I hate to admit it, it doesn’t look good – it’s all cloudy over here and we are expecting heavy snow over the next few days with the run-up to Christmas. Either way, we’re on holiday with good friends, so seeing the Aurora is only a bonus!

Here are some of our photos taken during the 3 hours of twilight. Thank you Nico for the photos: