Four weeks of hiking, expensive prices and chasing northern lights – I will keep it short, these are the highlights. I arrived on a night with torrential rain and expected that I would see it frequently during my entire time here but until the last couple of days, the weather has been – for Norway, at least – pretty special. Adjusting to the prices however has been somewhat more difficult, the price of chicken to say the least and of course beer too, at £8 a pint, is a difficult transition for a Scotsman!

None of that matters though, nature takes over here and despite Scotland having its own rich countryside full of scenic hills and winding rivers; Norway is a more extreme version with steep cliffs rising from the fjords and tall mountain peaks littering the distant horizon. It has made me quite self-conscious that I haven’t seen enough of Scotland yet. Of course, the real highlight has taken place above my head on the rare occasion where the stars align and clear weather synchronises with dramatic solar winds to produce the northern lights, or aurora borealis, – whichever you prefer.

I am quite fortunate that my time here is during the beginning of the season and in November I will spend a few days in Iceland, so I figured my chances of seeing them by the year’s end would be relatively high. Although I have heard stories of Norwegians who haven’t seen them – which I find bewildering. Armed with various weather forecasts and aurora apps, every day peaking my curiosity.

Two weeks in and I had my first sighting of the northern lights, seeing the warning and running to the nearest dark place close to my accommodation – it was interesting to see although it was a weak display but that first experience would always be impressive no matter what. This week though, my aurora apps lay no warnings and after a long day I had just reached my street when I noticed at first what I thought was a cloud. I had my camera on me so I could take a quick photo to test its authenticity, i.e. is it green?

It was. So I went straight for the hill and there was a very visible glow on the horizon. It started moving all of a sudden. People from all over the housing started appearing. Then it went crazy, changing colours in what I almost want to describe as a some sort of visualisation effect from the days of Windows Media Player.. It was much stronger and brighter than I ever had expected to see and it moved at some pace.

The next day, me and my friend would experience another aurora – this time, with forewarning I made my way to the river which flows through Trondheim passing the Nidaros Cathedral and checked the app repeatedly as I set up my camera. Messages flying around on social media and then suddenly the sky lights up in green once more. In a way the collective excitement of so many groups of people really drives the experience – a rush of blood combined with one of nature’s more curious displays.

I should end by saying – it is a beautiful country, with many unusual and interesting habits and I had not realised how vast it is. I will only be able to do so much but I will need to return.

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