for four days, we traded ubiquitous sunshine in southern california for darkness in northern norway and if I’m being honest, it scared me. I’ve read about it before so I thought that I would be prepared but I wasn’t. driving from oslo, we were surrounded by beauty: mountains on our right and the north atlantic ocean on our left. however, when 3pm hit, so did the darkness. we lived out of our rental car for the few days we were there and would always park by the ocean to fall asleep. when we woke up, it was as if time hadn’t passed. the sky looked exactly the same as when I had closed me eyes with zero sign of sunrise and the further we continued north, the earlier the sunset came. daylight wasn’t even real daylight (maybe because I’ve been spoiled in california) because the sun never appeared.
when the sun started to “set” at 2pm, anxiety would overcome me. it would be another 18 hours before I would be able to see my surroundings. there was a point where I almost asked andrew to turn around to keep south but we were so close to the arctic circle that it would have eventually been a regret. instead we went to local grocery stores and stood in front of the floral section inhaling the same air as all the other plants and flowers.
though daylight wasn’t the same as home, it was still enough light to see a new world. literal darkness may have encompassed us for most of the trip but what we were able to see was breathtaking. we had maybe four hours of daylight and still I was able to not only appreciate its beauty but know it to be one of the most beautiful countries that I’ve seen. the way the snow blanketed every mountain and tree… the way the ocean sang its soothing songs… the way the clouds danced over us… norway is a treasure trove.
a longtime dream of ours was/is to see the nothern lights. we kept our fingers crossed but unfortunately, mother earth said no. though the clouds were fun to explore under during the day, they covered any chance of magic at night. we even drove to abisko national park in sweden to find them (supposedly abisko is one of the best places on earth to see them). sweden was never part of the plan but it was close enough with the potential of seeing lights that we thought that we needed to. we hadn’t brought our tent but we did have sleeping bags which we had lain on top of the snow and waited. while lying there for hours in the arctic circle, we talked and dozed, snuggled and snacked but again mother earth said no. if our travels together have taught us anything in life (specifically cuba), it is to roll with it. our dreams aren’t going anywhere so until next winter… we’ll be waiting.
it was so windy that all of our prayer flags from our wedding got crazy tangled