Our first attempt to see northern lights
This is a natural electrical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish light in the sky, especially near the northern or southern magnetic pole. The effect is caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with atoms in the upper atmosphere. In northern and southern regions it is respectively called aurora borealis or Northern Lights and aurora australis or Southern Lights.
We were taken to arctic snow hotel which is 25kms away from Rovaniemi. The reason was the spectacle of Aurora Borealis requires dark and partly clear skies away from city lights. We were given introduction to the snow hotel and we were told that if northern lights appear, we will be somehow informed even if we are in toilet. Yeah, the sky is clear, nice atmosphere away from city, and fingers crossed enjoying the dinner in the warm Kota restaurant of arctic snow hotel.
It seems snow hotel is built every year newly starting from November depending on number of people who have already booked.
We now had to spend time from 8pm till 11:30 pm waiting for our luck to see Auroras and outside temperature was -15deg. so we sat in the restaurant, while they also served dinner very slowly starting from soups to deserts. There was also free wifi and hence I browsed and learnt a lot about northern lights, different forecast websites etc during this time.
Hmm its already 11pm and Auroras did not appear :( But the sky was beautiful and we enjoyed walking in cold temperature hand to hand while waiting for our bus till 11:30pm.
Auroras did not appear that night. I would say I am not disappointed but my hunt has just begin. I have now understood how to chase northern lights. For people serious about it, I would recommend tours with professional hunters who chase the lights even 100kms away from Rovaniemi if the sky is clear and probability is high. This is what I am planning to in my next trip which I learnt in this trip. In the normal northern lights tour you have to be really lucky to witness this wonder, right from the place where the tour takes you.
It was already around 12 15pm when we reached our hotel. I could not sleep properly that night because I was very excited learning about northern lights phenomenon and looking at the photos in internet drove me crazy. But as I said, my chase has now begun :)