During 12 days through the “Norwegian forest” with lush needle trees growing high up in the sky like enormous arrows of titans, we immerse in the summer space and experience romantic white nights on a Scandinavia peninsula.
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Text and photos: Thinh Tran
From the capital Oslo, the modern train carries us to the North of the country to experience a white night – an exciting natural phenomenon happening at the country of ponds, lakes and light yellow grasslands by charming hills. Along the road, we pass by many big road signs written with the single “Â”, which according to our Norwegian friend, Hansen, means “water” in Norwegian. This is also considered as one of the most spectacular words in the world.
We arrive in Lofoten – an archipelago in the North of Norway and also a fascinating destination that urges people from all over the world flocking here in summer. A highlight of this archipelago is images of little villages nestled by a street that is fulfilled with wild rose flowers and advertising plates of guesthouses accompanied with salmon and snowfish fishing services. Here, guests can rent a boat to Svalbard, a small island well-preserved for developing and maintaining polar bears listed in the world’s Red Book.
However, the most awaiting feature of the island is a very famous phenomenon of “Northern aurora borealis” and the best place to enjoy this space is Lofoten. Hansen told us that according to the legend of ancient people in Scandinavia, they believed that when the sparkling light spread over the sky, it was when the Goddess of War, Valkyries wore her amour to dazzle evils raised from the hell. To distinguish the good and the bad, the sun also stood steadily to assist the Goddess Valkyries to draw a difference between human and evils. With boundless belief, residents in Scandinavia reckoned that when the aurora borealis appeared to give the signal of the white night, the death would be annulled. Today, although scientists explained this phenomenon, I am also excited to listen to many more tales and legends of Gods and Goddesses in this landscape of Northern Europe.
Lofoten is rich with a variety of fish. After a few hours fishing in the sea, Hansen and the house owner are surprised when we take home three big fish that about 6-7kg each. In the evening, we enjoy the soup with wonderful grilled fish. Although we have dinner at 7:30p.m, it is still bright as that of 3p.m. The sun still spreads its light to warm its guests as a compensation for 9 cold winter months.
Hansen reveals us that in winter, the weather in Norway is so cold that its government support local people to travel around the world. If you are a governmental officer, you will be off the whole month for your winter and leave. In summer, local people often enjoy domestic vacations with many adventures such as rock climbing, discovering islands, gardening or renting a car for going camping from Norway to neighboring countries.
Enchanted by the talk with Hansen, it is 12:00p.m, but the sky is still bright as in day! The glass of wine makes me indulge in an intimate dinner with white-skinned and blonde-haired friends, who are very friendly. On the neighboring door, other guests are dancing to the melodious music that makes us feel that time has stopped. Holding a glass of wine in hand, we join with them to make friends and learn how to dance while enjoying the whole white night.
At 4.am, I start to take a good sleep. The house owner carefully pulls thick curtains covering the whole window for me to have a good sleep. Maybe, the wine makes me fall into a sleep even though the sun is still shining.
After a few days in Lofoten, we continue our journey to Troms and Nordland, two attractions near Lofoten. Here, we go hunting for wild ducks on the ponds and pick mushrooms in the forest. Once coming to the forest, you will be amazed at beautiful birds singing on the trees or nice deers. If you would love to witness the jungle and mountain during white summer nights, you can stay in some pieces of the forest for visitors. That is when you can truly live with the nature. In addition, you can also join in training classes about skills to go to the forest or how to survive in a risky environment under the instruction of experienced Norwegian tour guides.
During my short stop at Nordland, the peaceful ambiance here makes me forget about Internet and daily disorders, which are often broadcast on means of media. Images of close pigeons in Nordland allure me every morning. It is lovely to listen to their sound by the window and look at them standing on my hands to feed some pieces of bread that are always available in front of the veranda floor for them.
The journey to experience magnificent aurora borealis rays and white nights helps me to return to the peace that I thought I did not have a chance to enjoy. The tranquility of imposing mountains that are the shelters of great Gods: Thor, Odin, Loki or Frey leaves in my mind an unforgettable memory about the stunning Scandinavia peninsula.
+ “White night” is an exciting natural phenomenon happening during the summer in some European countries, including Russia. It allows guests to enjoy the sunset lasting through the night. In Norway, the “white night” takes place at the end of June to the middle of July. The best place for enjoying the white night in Norway is Lofoten archipelago.
+ Transportation: You can book a flight of Vietnam Airlines, Airfrance or Turkish Airline to this country with stopovers at Germany, Turkey or France. Then, land at Âlesund or Oslo airports. Today, some Vietnamese tour operators offer tours to viewing white nights at Northern Europe such as TST or Saigontourist. You can visit their websites for further information.
+ Currency of Norway is Krone (or also known as NOK). However, this country signed an agreement for using Euro and USD in their country. Therefore, you do not need to exchange for Norwegian Krone for your expenses here.
+ There is a variety of activities for visitors, who come here to enjoy white nights, including fishing, hunting for wild duck, rock climbing, camping, touring around ponds, enjoying water sports and discovering reserves of polar bears, seals and whales. However, Asian guests may not get used to swimming in the cold seawater here in summer.