Friday, March 11, 2011

Itchy Feet

I’m beginning to feel excited.

If our usual ‘modis operandi’ is anything to go by, we usually book flights a good 6-8 months before our holiday.  It’s nearly time to buy tickets!  

We are going for something completely different this time - we have always gone away in summer for starters, this time...brrrrr.... we are swinging to the VERY opposite extreme!

  • My Man wants to ski and loves to cruise
  • I want to see the Northern Lights and dog sled 
  • My Girl is desperate to snowboard
  • We are all really keen on the Ice Hotel!
So we are going to Norway.  All of our holidays have been stunning - yet as I think of them, the highlights of most of them have been because of the history involved, the architecture and the culture.  In this holiday, because I am "chasing the lights", a part of me feels as though I am chasing the Author. I want to experience something (and someone) beyond history, something (and someone) majestic and uncontrolled by man.  I want to see His breath dancing across the sky...

I am continually filled with wonder just because of where I live - I don't take for granted the beauty that is around me, nor seeing Him in it, but I am excited about experiencing something new and different. Very different!

We are used to scorching sun and that is the best! The idea of being wrapped in layers of clothing like a mummy is very odd, never mind only 4 hours of sun a day! 

An Eskimo Legend
"Auroras - or Northern Lights - are believed to be the torches held in the hands of Spirits seeking the souls of those who have just died, to lead them over the abyss terminating the edge of the world. A narrow pathway leads across it to the land of brightness and plenty, where disease and pain are no more, and where food of all kinds is already in abundance. To this place none but the dead and the Raven can go. When the Spirits wish to communicate with the people of the Earth, they make a whistling noise, and the Earth people answer only in a whispering tone. The Eskimo say that they are able to call the Aurora and converse with it. They send messages to the dead through these Spirits."

It's a lovely story.... but if I see them when I am there, I choose to believe that the Creator of the universe is waving hello and blowing me kisses!
 
Please feel free to offer any thoughts, suggestions or ideas if you have been that far North and can give us any tips!
Peace!

15 comments:

  1. Oh Lis!
    You have poetry in you, girl.
    Lovely plans, beautifully description of your take on the Northern Lights.
    I pray that the Breather of the Lights comes, and waves, and blows kisses for you.

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  2. Ug. Sorry: carelessness in comment grammar.
    Allie, CHECK YOUR WORK!

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  3. I've never seen the Northern Lights but apparently you can see them in Ireland too - this is my local paper last week: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/aurora-borealis-greatest-lights-show-on-earth-snapped-in-northern-ireland-15103353.html

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  4. Wow! They look stunning! I've heard that they vary in colour depening on the country - I shall just have to make a plan to go to Ireland too! Thanks for the link - Beautiful! :)

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  5. It's been a long time since I've been to the North of Norway which is the best place to see the lights as it is closer to the arctic circle. There are lovely villages up there and the mountains/fjords are stunning.

    Finland is also a very good option for what you want to do/see. Some of my SA friends have done the Lapland option and they were thrilled with their experience. Personally I think it's better value than Norway. http://www.destination360.com/europe/finland/northern-lights

    But if you have your heart set on Norway you might want to have a look at http://mylittlenorway.com/2008/12/dog-sledding/
    There's a list of tourist/travel info at the bottom of the blog. I'm sure you'll find lots of good tips there.

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  6. Hi! Thanks so much for that info! 've always loved the idea of Norway and never really considered Finland and Lapland, but I think I will explore some options there before making any firm decision.

    Thanks for the links too - will have fun exploring those. :-)

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  7. Cool. Have sent a message to my friend in SA who did the Lapland trip last Christmas. Will forward her information when she gets back to me. Also have a South African Finish friend visiting me today - she lives in Finland. Will ask her for ideas as well.
    Caroline

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  8. Great! Thanks - that's awesome! :-)

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  9. Caroline,
    Just been looking at the Finland Destination 360 site and it looks like we could definately do that! Maybe we can go in thru Norway and out through Finland! Gotta love planning - everything up in the air! :)

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  10. Had a chinwag with friend living in Finland - she said Santa village is a MUST for the kids (and adults) http://www.santaclausvillage.info/
    This website has got nice ideas of what to do http://www.santaclausvillage.info/ and for fun skiing/lights http://www.levi-lapland.com/ski-and-snowboard.php

    I'm considering the Santa village myself for Christmas! The ice palace is also close by. If you had to start your journey in Norway - Oslo is always charming as a one day trip.Tromsø in the north http://www.destinasjontromso.no/ Bergen is beautiful - my favourite city but it's on the west coast. Scenic but not as fun as Santa village me thinks :)

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  11. Sorry - for the ideas link it was http://www.laplandfinland.com/In_English/Experiences_in_Lapland/Sights.iw3

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  12. Fantastic! I googled Santa's village and the only snag is that its only open till 8 Jan and we can only go mid Feb. :( The pics are stunning tho. If I had small children I would probably move heaven and earth to adjust times.

    I will still go and browse around Finland anyway because it does look good. Our tentative plan is in to Oslo. Overnight a day or two, train to Bergen (is it better than Alesund and Trondheim?) Then take a cruise up to Tromso, stay there for a few days, then to Kirkenes to the Ice Hotel, then fly back to Oslo and give skiing a bash. Do that last in case we damage ourselves in the process! :)

    But we are always flexible right to the last month almost. Only difficulty seems to be transport around there in winter because those areas are quite remote.

    Thanks again for the links! Giving me lots to play with.
    :)

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  13. The ice hotel is supposed to be really interesting - but that is in Sweden though. Kirkenes has a snow hotel (although that is pretty similar, but far smaller).
    You may be trying to bite off too much in one go here though... The distances in the north of Scandinavia are VAST, Oslo is only a few hours from Gothenburg, Sweden, my home town. And if you and I would be in Gothenburg and you would drive up north and I would drive down south I would get way down into Italy before you got to the very top of Sweden... So you will basically spend most of the time transporting yourself if you stick to the schedule you have now.
    (Norway is very expensive by the way, but beautiful. Sweden and Finland is less expensive, but equally beautiful, just different. Finland is the "land of the 1000 lakes". All three countries are cold that far north that time of year, March is better if you have the option to go then).

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  14. OH! "Treriksröset" - the spot where Sweden, Norway and Finland meet up north. You can ski up there too, I hear. Wouldn't that be something? Starting in one country, and ending in another. And you can run around the thing that marks where the countries meet and end up having been to all three countries MANY times :-)

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  15. Hi Ann-Katrin,

    Thanks for visiting and for your ideas!

    You have confirmed what some others have said too. We usually travel in summer and go independantly, no tours or anything. Just do our own thing. But because we have NO PREVIOUS experiece with snow or ice we have decided to play it safer and to look into a tour instead that would cover most of the things we are keen to do, but not see us running around in small circles.

    I do LOVE your idea of running around Trerikroset - It would be cool to come home and brag about how well travelled we are! I suppose a bit like having one foot on either side of the equator! :)

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So, what do you think?