Well, we went, we saw, we loved and now we are home.
We did everything we wanted to do, and I am pleased to report that we did see the Northern Lights so my relationship with the Author is still very much in tact. I think he took me seriously about us having issues if He didn't come out and play. (Shhhh....don't tell Him, but I would still love Him anyway! :-) )
I learnt some stuff these 2 weeks - more than what is noted here but hey... this is a start:
- You can survive the cold if you know how to dress! Thank you to "My Norwegian Connection" for telling me about the coldcream for your face!
- I could never believe that K-Way fleece could really be THAT warm. I am now a believer.
- Snow is powdery. Yes, books say it. Movies show it. I have felt it. It's awesome.
- Snow can crunch underfoot. Yes, books describe it and in movies you hear it. I crunched snow underfoot.
- Norway is OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD expensive. I can't tell you. They had South African Wine on the menu and for a 1/4 glass of wine we could have bought about 2 full bottles at home. NO kidding. About R80+ for less than half a glass of white wine. I didn't drink much! Everything is expensive.
- I don't like central heating. Although we naturally would have frozen without it.
- I missed colour a bit. No, let me rephrase that. I missed colour alot. The snow and landscape is gorgeous, but coming from a country called the Rainbow Nation - which is appropriate for more reasons than only the people - I missed the colour that I take so for granted each day.
We saw this statue outside the Palace in Oslo and I loved the inscription beneath it. It read: "The People's Love, My Reward." Not often one hears that these days.
So now the #1 thing on my Bucket List can be ticked (Northern Lights) and My Man and My Girl got to Ski and Snowboard resepctively, so their #1 boxes were ticked too.
I wish I could describe the lights. I can't really. We were in danger of not seeing them at all. The weather had been overcast with snow and fog the whole way. I didn't mind it at all other than it made the lights impossible to see. Finally, the night before (I think) we were due to disembark, the announcement came through that the lights were beginning to play. We almost ran up to the deck, we were leaving a harbour and there was some light. The lights looked more white/grey, almost like the milky way looks in pictures. We could just make out the lines. My Girl took some pics which showed the lights to be neon green like you see in the movies. My thoughts were "Oh, so they are not really green to the eye, but more in the photo", I stayed out until they disappeared and then went down to the lounge again.
About an hour later, the announcement came through that the lights were out again. I decided I was going to take every opportunity to see them and went out again. This time it was really dark. As we watched the sky just lit up, a collective gasp from all on deck was clearly audible, I am not sure anyone breathed, it was spectacular - beyond green, dancing and twirling over the mountains and across the sky. I don't think I moved. I know I froze but it was worth it. They only lasted maybe 8-10 minutes, if that before they disappeared for the night but it was the most beautiful dance to witness and I felt so privileged and emotional to have seen them.
The next favourite event was the dog sledding! Incredible - at dusk through thick snow across the landscape. Unforgettable. Everything. Completely Unforgettable.
I have been home a week today. Still trying to get used to it.