February 28, 2017 (Day 13)


  • Drive from Lyngseidet to Tromsø
  • The Northern Lights north of Tromsø

Although the sunrise was quite good, we were pretty lazy to get up and shoot to capture the golden light. The views of the Lyngen Alps from our rooms as well as from the dining area were spectacular. After breakfast, we captured some nice images right from our rooms.

View of Lyngen Alps from Magic Mountain Lodge (Nikon D7100; 50mm; 1/200 sec; ISO 200)

Today, there was hardly any cloud over Lyngseidet. We loaded our stuff into the car at around 830 and started driving back to Tromsø on 91. Dash pulled into the gas station near the marina to fill up. Although the sun was shining, it was cold and the wind was blowing pretty hard. I took a shot of the Lyngen Alps from the road with the Norwegian flag flying high on a nearby flagpole.

View of Lyngen Alps from the Lyngseidet Gas Station (Nikon D7100; 50mm; 1/160 sec; ISO 200)

After fill up, we drove along Ullsfjord stopping every 2-3 miles to shoot pictures. Due to the arctic winter sun moving across the sky in the south, you can shoot all day with nice contrast and shadows. I believe this was the first day we experienced a cloudless morning on our trip.

Red Barn along Ullsfjorden (Nikon D7100; 24mm; 1/200 sec; ISO 200)
Farmhouse along Ullsfjorden (Nikon D7100; 24mm; 1/250 sec; ISO 200)
A Fishing Boat on Ullsfjorden on the way to Svensby (Nikon D7100; 75mm; 1/500 sec; ISO 200)
Fishing Boats on Ullsfjorden on the way to Svensby (Nikon D7100; 31mm; f9.0 1/320 sec; ISO 200)

The next ferry to Breivikeidet was at at around 2pm and we had some time to kill. We continued to drive along Ullsfjord. It was time for a group shot. We looked for a suitable spot with a nice background to park the car. We found a spot about a mile north of the Svensby ferry terminal and took one of the rare group pictures.

In front of Ullsfjord near Svensby Ferry Terminal (Nikon D800E; 31mm; f8 1/200 sec; ISO 100)

We boarded the ferry on time. We went to the dining/sitting area on the top deck and ordered coffee and tea. As the ferry was leaving Svensby, I took a quick shot of a red barn in front of a mountain.

A Red Barn shot from the ferry (Nikon D7100; 38mm; f9; 1/200 sec; ISO 200)

The crossing that lasted about 20 minutes was smooth and relaxing. The light started to fade and most of the sites along 91 were already in the shadows of the mountain range. We stopped for some casual spots and reached the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø at around 330pm. Dash found a spot to park nearby. Unfortunately, due to a private concert, the cathedral was closed to the public and we ended up walking around it to take pictures. Although there was a lot of traffic on the bridge near the cathedral, I got lucky to take an image with no vehicles. Cant’ complain!!!

Arctic Cathedral @ Tromsø (Nikon D7100; 38mm; f10; 1/320 sec; ISO 200)

We reached the apartment at around 430pm. The trio cooked a quick dinner and we left the apartment at about 530pm for another Northern Lights chase run by Aurora Tours. Just like on the Iceland trip in 2016, the penultimate day gifted us with a spectacular display for about 2 hours. We first stopped at Kaldfjord to take a few “insurance shots”. Due to excessive light pollution and telephone and power lines everywhere, it was bit of a challenge to take good images and I started whining to the driver/guide to take us to a better spot.

Northern Lights shot at Kaldfjord (Nikon D800E; 20mm; f3.2; 25 sec; ISO 1250)

We then continued to drive north along Fv863 towards Hessfjord. We located a spot with no light pollution. We experienced a terrific show for 90 minutes. Unlike in Iceland where the Northern Lights were only visible in the north, here, it was everywhere. Higher the Kp index, broader the area in the sky the lights are visible. I believe that day the Kp index was close to 5 (on a scale of 1 to 10). Anything over 5 is pretty rare considering we are now in the waning period of the 12 year cycle that peaked in 2015. Here are 2 images from the 2nd spot.

Northern Lights shot near Hessfjord (Nikon D800E; 20mm; f2.8; 15 sec; ISO 1600)
Northern Lights shot near Hessfjord (Nikon D800E; 20mm; f2.8; 15 sec; ISO 1600)

The show took a break at around 11pm. We had seen enough. As we had to catch an early morning flight to Alta, we requested the driver/guide to take us back to the apartment. We reached the apartment just before midnight. We packed our stuff and hit the sack soon after.

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