Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Great Travel Experiences: The Midnight Sun

We were in Scandinavia. Of course when I say "we", what I mean is an assorted group of people who didn't, at least to begin with, know each other, on a package trip that took in parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland. 
A group of us rapidly became friends, mainly by virtue of being prepared to share whatever alcohol we had brought with us because the Scandinavian prices were rather higher than we wanted to pay. Scandinavia had its problematic aspects for the traveller. Sky high prices for booze is one of them. The mosquito problem is another. Any bit of exposed flesh rapidly becomes a pulsating mass of itching red lumps that merge into throbbing relief maps of agony.

So far, I imagine that you are wondering exactly why this is a "Great" travel experience as opposed to, say, a really rubbish one. The simple answer is the stark, bleak  beauty of the landscape and the sheer pleasure in sitting watching what appears to be a sunset suddenly turn miraculously into a sunrise as the lowest edge of the midnight sun skims the distant horizon and then begins to climb again as if it has dipped a toe into the freezing arctic water and changed its mind about going swimming.

We did have a trip up to Nordkapp to see it but the truth is that Norkapp isn't a terribly interesting place. It has a viewpoint and it has a gift shop and it has a crowd of tourists almost as big as Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon during the sales but it's not the best place to see it. Choose instead somewhere else, pretty much anywhere out of town and near a lake or the sea will do. Then put up a few folding chairs, dig out a bottle of whisky that you had the foresight to take with you and sit and enjoy the novelty of watching the sun change direction before your very eyes.

It more than makes up for all the other problems - beer prices and mosquitoes included.

No comments: