Since longer than I can remember, I have always been fascinated with the northern lights. I have always longed to see them dance across the sky.
This trip was a culmination of more than a year of research/planning and helped accomplish quite a few bucket list goals for me, like- Seeing the northern lights, crossing the arctic circle (going as far north as 70-72 degrees north), visiting Lapland, chasing the lights across Norway in the most northern pine forests of the world, crossing the treeline and being in the middle of the Tundra region which most people only read about in Geography books.
The Journey- After 32 hours of setting off from Bangalore, three flight changes and 9000 kms later, I landed in Ivalo- the gateway to Finnish Lapland in the heart of the Arctic Circle. A small village with a population of 3000 and a small airport that serves two flights a day and is open only during flight hours.
Day 0, Sunday- After making 3 circles around the Ivalo airport due to bad weather, we finally landed on the tarmac 30 mins late. The arctic circle conspired to give us a taste of the weather immediately and we walked out of the plane to snowfall and zero degree temperature on Oct 30th (winter had not even started here).
We took a shared van from outside the airport and reached our hotel near the village center. Since it was the off season, there was no food at the hotel and the restaurant was closed. We checked in, dumped our bags and headed out to the village center, found a pub and had a few drinks and dinner. (The pub had a jukebox too- throwback to the golden olden days).
Day 1, Monday- I woke up at 4 am, still Jet Lagged. We decided to explore the tiny village of Ivalo, visit the shops etc and wait for our Aurora Service contact to pick us up.