Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 68

Where we’ve been... Norway Seeing the Northern Lights has been on my list of “things to do” for many years, probably since seeing the Joanna Lumley documentary which brought the whole phenomenon to my attention. “ So with the excuse of a special birthday to celebrate this year and the fact that the Northern Light activity was due to be at a peak in 2013, the decision was made and me and my husband Dave booked a six-night voyage on the Norwegian Hurtigruten Coastal Steamer followed by a three-night stay in Tromso (to extend the time in the Arctic Circle and maximising our chances of seeing the Lights) and we rounded off our trip with three nights in Oslo visiting friends. Of course, you are in no way guaranteed on seeing the Lights, you can pick the right year, the right month, but if the weather takes a turn for the worse then its hard luck! I was trying to think about it in a practical way and kept telling myself ‘we are going to see some amazing scenery and its going to be a wonderful holiday and if we do manage to see the Lights, it will be an added bonus’ but I know in the back of my mind that the whole holiday was based on seeing them and I would be hugely disappointed if we didn’t. So February arrived and with the cases packed full with every type of thermal you can imagine, we boarded the flight to Bergen, Norway, and our adventure began. We had planned it so we would have a few hours to explore Bergen before boarding our ship, it was a beautiful sunny day and I was glad I packed the sunglasses as well as all the layers of warmth for later in the trip. Bergen is beautiful coastal port, the main feature being the Bryggen Harbour area which is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Neither of us had done a cruise before but we knew that this was not going to be your typical large cruise liner “ 66