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The Outdoor Night Experience

Four silhouettes standing on the ice when darkness falls
It wasn't quite dark as we arrived. A walk on the ice with both stars appearing and the twilight colours still holding on to the horizon was truly fantastic. Even for me, the host of the event.

Last night, for the first time, I took a group of foreigners for an extended outdoor experience. This is something I have planned for for some time and I can finally make it available. It's a night outdoors at a remote and extremely dark place where the starry sky is just fantastic and the view to the north is right out towards the open sea. It's one of the best places to watch the northern lights.

Which was what we were out to do last night. The group consisted of 4 exchange students from Germany and Italy. They had been able to see the northern lights earlier on this season but we hoped to see them again and in combination with some outdoor activity, like making a bonfire and walking on the ice, this would be an outdoor experience to remember.

Four young people sitting by a camp fire eating grilled sausages
Sitting by the fire and talking about the aurora and other outdoor related things was really nice. And the company was just great.

However the aurora was not on our side. The potential was huge but due to the magnetic field orientation pointing the wrong way it never exploded. There was some minor activity though.

Young aurora watchers on the ice
Enjoying the faint aurora show on the ice.

Around the camp fire in the forest
When you are surrounded by darkness the view straight up is breathtaking. The only sounds we could hear were our own voices and the sound of the ice as the water underneath it moved.

Nevertheless we really had a great time and everybody enjoyed the experience and thought it was well worth it even without a major northern lights show. We grilled sausages and potatoes, had hot chocolate and berry juice and I gave them a mini course about the northern lights.

Five aurora watchers
The little group in front of the faint aurora. We had a great time.

We took a couple of walks onto the still very thick ice and watched the stars, spotted satellites and shooting stars, etcetera. It was almost 2 am before we left the location for the 50 minute drive back.

I asked for their thoughts about the evening and they said it had been a great experience although they struggled with the cold temperature. The car thermometer went back and forth between –12 and –14 degrees Celsius as we drove back. It's not always easy to know how much clothes to wear and most people without experience of winter outdoor activities might underestimate the temperature's impact on you.

I'll leave you with this last photo, which is one of the first I took last night. You walk onto the ice and the sky has never been bigger …

People on the ice under a huge sky


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