Searching for the Northern Lights in Norway

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.

Hello from Oslo, Norway, our last day here. We came to chase the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Were we successful? Well, yes, kinda, sort of.

The Finnmarken

We arrived in Norway in the city of Bergen, where we started our journey on a cruise ship line called Hurtigruten. Our specific ship was called Finnmarken. The Hurtigruten ships cruise the coast of Norway starting in Bergen north to Kirkenes, then turn around and head south. Besides cruise ship passengers, they’re working ships that stop in many ports along the journey. You can get on and off at any port.

We didn’t have any chance to see the Northern Lights until we passed north of the Artic Circle, after a few days traveling. It turns out we were north of the Artic Circle for only three nights, even though our entire trip was ten nights. Bad planning. If we were to do a similar trip again, we would just fly to a city north of the Arctic Circle, for instance Tromso, Norway, and stay there for several nights.

The Northern Lights from our ship

All the stars have to align to see the Northern Lights. 1. You need to be north of the Arctic Circle (most of the time). 2. It’s best to go in winter when the skies are dark. 3. It’s best to go when the moon is new, so it’s dark. 4. Going to a dark area outside of a city is best. 4. The weather has to cooperate, so cloud cover is a no-go. 5. Auroral activity should be at least moderate. The Kp-index is a measure of the activity, on a scale from 0 to 9. The higher the number, the better the chances and the brighter the display. That’s a lot of stars to align to get a good viewing.

The Northern Lights over a hilltop

So most of the factors aligned for two of the three nights, but the biggest factor working against us was the low auroral activity. The Kp index was between 1 and 2, so the little bit of Northern Lights we did see were faint and totally unspectacular. Boo hoo. We tried and we’ll probably try again, but now we’re a little smarter.

Paul Simon with the crew of the MS Trollfjord

To top things off, we found out that Paul Simon was on the next northbound Hurtigruten ship, the MS Trollfjord. Apparently he had his guitar with him and sang for the guests. Wow!

We’ll start preparing for our next show in two weeks, the Charleston Antique Show in Charleston, SC, March 17-19, 2017. I have no idea what to expect since I’ve never exhibited there, but I figure it’s worth a shot. I have low expectations and am hoping for a nice surprise.

I’ve been listing on my website many of the new items I’ve recently purchased and I’ll be listing more in the near future. Please check my site as often as you can.

Click here to check my website for the latest items and to look around. I will update it as often as time permits. We’re still very much in business between shows, so please don’t hesitate to email or call. I always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on my website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps. And remember to keep reading my blog.