For as long as I can remember, it has been a dream of mine to see the Northern Lights; this year that dream came true. In March, ET and I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime: we took a three week trip around Sweden and Norway (via London) with our main goal being to see the Northern Lights. Along the way we did other amazing stuff like staying in the ICEHOTEL, dog sledding, reindeer sledding and building a snow dinosaur! (Excuse iPhone picture quality)
The map below gives an overview of our trip itinerary. We started in Joburg and flew to London where we stocked up on our winter gear. In Joburg our winters seldom go below 10°C, nevermind below 0°C! From London we flew to Stockholm, where we first started falling in love with Sweden and the Swedes. Our next destination was Kiruna and a short bus journey to the ICEHOTEL. From Kiruna we took a train ride to Abisko, which is punted as one of the best places in the world to see the lights. We then moved on to Tromso in the FAR north of Norway, with a brief overnight stop in Narvik for logistical reasons. Our next destination was the capital city of Norway: Oslo, from where we took a fjord tour ending in Bergen. We had planned to spend a few days in Bergen, but at the last minute we decided to move our flights forward to cram in some shopping in London! Finally back home (on a nice empty flight) to Joburg.
There’s far too much to cover in just one post, so I’m going to chronicle our travels over a few posts (not necessarily in this order):
- Pieds Nus
- London Bakeries
- Abisko and the Aurora Sky Station
- Oslo, Bergen and the Fjords.
The key things I learnt on this trip are:
- Sweden and Norway are really expensive. No really, they’re REALLY expensive countries.
- The Swedes are the friendliest people I have come across thus far.
- The cold really isn’t that bad. At all!
- Sweden and Norway are EXPENSIVE. Yes, it’s here twice. Read into that.
- If this trip is not on your bucket list. Put it there now. Right now! At the top!