A natural phenomenon that has inspired, surprised and amazed; the Aurora Borealis has been written about and regaled in stories for millennia.
The first ever verified recording of the Aurora was in Babylon in 567BC. A clay tablet has been found and translated. The inscription talks of an ‘unusual red glow’ appearing in the night sky. Using varied dating methods this text has been verified by scientists to be the earliest datable recording of the Northern Lights.
What are the Northern Lights?
As time has progressed and the mechanisms behind its existence have been extrapolated the Aurora has become no less magical. It can mean the spirits of people’s ancestors, a window to another world or the expression of particles in the universe in a particular environment, depending on who you talk to. Each is valid to the individual who sees them. These beautiful lights have inspired cultural traditions, authors and songwriters and now as the darker North above the arctic circle becomes more accessible to travellers, ever more people. For those keen to photograph, video or just watch, Hattvika Lodge is the perfect place to find the Northern Lights in all their glory.
Magical capture of the sunset Haukland beach. Photo: Stian Klo
O’er all the widespread northern skies, How glows and waves that heavenly light, Where dome, and arch, and column rise Magnificently bright!
STEPHEN GREENLEAF BULFINCH, «The Aurora Borealis»
It is clear to me, now that I have experienced this phenomenon myself at Hattvika Lodge guiding several different groups of people that one thing is certain. Everyone who sees it is affected by it deeply in some way. Whether the lights are green, purple or white (this depends on how high in the atmosphere the particles are up) that evening, some will holler and scream with excitement at its magnificence while others will stare in silent awe. It is truly a spectacle of the most beautiful order.
The Aurora showing off all of its
range of colour…green, pink, white.
Photo: Christian Hoiberg/ www.capturelandscapes.com
Chasing the Northern Lights
There are many reason why visiting Lofoten to view the Northern Lights is a brilliant idea. Firstly, the infrastructure, if you can see the lights in the distance you can drive to be closer to them quickly and efficiently. Modern Apps allow you to pinpoint locations where the lights are most active and you can drive from one end of Lofoten to the other in a very short time so it is easy to chase the lights here. The next plus is the views you can experience here. In Lofoten where the mountains rise sharply to 1000m from the calm fjords you will find very little light pollution and endless options for a breath-taking view. Only 10 mins from our base at Hattvika Lodge you can be at a completely unlit beach where you can view the majestic lights from beside your fire listening to the waves roll onto the sandy beach whilst the sky dances.
Even before the snow has fallen here the dancing lights playing around the mountain peaks is something to behold and I am no less sensitive to its majesty now I have seen it many times. Like something out of a fairy tale this landscape belongs to the magical story world that many have written for it.
A true must see in your lifetime the Aurora is breath-taking. Whether you are a professional or amateur photographer the chances to view and capture Northern Lights is high in Lofoten. In Autumn the lights are beginning their season and only continue to grow in visibility with the polar night in effect from December 5th to January 5th. They continue to be visible up until April or May and this year in fact began in September which is supposedly outside of the season.
A great place to be inspired is at www.lofotentours.com Operated by Arild Heitmann and Stian Klo