Longyearbyen – the capital of Svalbard, has over 1.8 thousand. Inhabitants. Hard coal mining centre, airport, tourism centre.
Living in Gjestehuset 102, you wouldn’t have to go far outside the “city” to look for the northern lights, although it is not an ideal place to admire this spectacle. The glow of the city stays behind and the nearby mountains obscure part of the view. The aurora must be quite strong, and additionally it appears from noon at least on the date I was there. All applications reported that she was “dancing” over Tromso, which is about 900 km to the south. A strange feeling, especially when you go “north” to admire it. Although I know that during the polar night, when there is no day, only darkness reigns 24 hours a day, you can see the aurora while going to the store for morning rolls.
In the evenings, thanks to the rented weapons, we could go outside the city in search of the Northern Lights, we did not go far, for safety reasons and the frost, which was about -20 ° C.
By the way, when other residents of our hostel found out that we had weapons, a group of daredevils was waiting for us outside the hostel every day at 9:00 pm, who set out with us to look for the aurora. The most memorable was my friend who flew out of Egypt from home in the morning and spent time with us in the evening waiting for the Northern Lights.
Before each trip, I prepared myself thoroughly. Camera settings – I only set the focus outdoors. Which was not easy anyway due to the prevailing conditions. Fingers ossify in the blink of an eye. Attachment to a tripod – in such cold, any movement with a tripod can end up breaking it. Thermal heaters in your pocket, because the batteries “drain” quickly.
The aurora borealis danced for us only one evening, but it was the first time I saw its colors other than green. It shimmered with green and red, as if it wanted to warm us up on this frosty evening, which was still warm at that moment. I felt a little unsatisfied, although maybe I was too focused on seeing her.