It was a beautiful Friday afternoon in late May. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the birds were singing, the flies were buzzing and best of all – I could look forward to several days off from work!
I consider myself very lucky living above the Arctic Circle - more precisely in a small place in the Finnmark County called Hasvik. I love the rough nature, the steep mountains, the smell of salt sea, the winter storms, the summer nights, the midnight sun, the polar nights, the northern lights – in short; I just love living in Northern Norway!
We have a Norwegian song that goes: “you shall not sleep away the summer night”. For some time I had been planning a hike in the midnight sun, and suddenly I decided that this Friday night would be an excellent time “not sleeping away the summer night”.
The midnight sun can be observed anywhere above the Arctic Circle in summer. How long the season lasts, depends on how far north you are. In Hasvik, we have the midnight sun for two whole months - from mid-May to the end of July. In this period, the sun shines around the clock when the weather is fair, and it is almost as she wants to compensate for her total absence in the wintertime.
I packed my sack and made myself ready for some midnight hiking at Kvithellan – a fascinating and beautiful spot some kilometers outside Hasvik. In this area, several locals have their cabins and on warm summer days, it is possible to go for a swim in the small Kvithellan Lake. Can you imagine - swimming in the midnight sun – that is really something …!
I was not intending to go swimming this night - it was much too cold for that! A few days ago, it was actually snowing, and I figured that the water had to be freezing. To be honest, I am not that keen on splashing around in the water! I prefer to keep myself warm and dry, hiking around with my camera.
It was almost midnight and the sun gave the landscape a magical, soft glow. As I walked beside some steep cliffs by the sea, the midnight sun blinded me so that I had to put my sunglasses on. “What a privilege”, I suddenly thought to myself, “having to use sunglasses in the middle of the night!”
I sat down on a stone, turned my face towards the sun and felt the sunbeams striking my cheeks. It was a calm and magical moment. The golden landscape and the small cabins mirrored themselves in the lake. The midnight sun gave the cabins a golden glow and the moon was shining above them.
A grouse clucked nearby, the mosquitoes buzzed and some gulls were flying over the cliffs while they were yelling happy at each other.
It was as though they praised the coming of summer – just like me!