To the North, to Nordkapp

Text and video by Ana Simonovska, a musician, videographer, photographer and journalist.

Music by: Mari Boine, Norwegian Sami musician 


Back in September, 2016, driven by the idea to see the great light spectacle – the Aurora Borealis – my husband and I undertook an exciting, two weeks long journey to the North, reaching Nordkapp in Norway, the northernmost point of Europe. We then returned back to Moscow, driving through the Baltic countries. On our 6,000 km route we had 5 main ‘targets’ – Murmansk, Nordkapp, Helsinki, Tallinn and Riga. The following are impressions from our second stopover and the main goal of the trip.

We left the city of heroes, Murmansk, behind us, continuing our journey north. Slowly getting closer to Nordkapp, we were soaking in the beauty of the autumn Norwegian landscapes.

Bad forecast

The plan was to reach the ‘target’ by the evening of that day. Unfortunately, the forecast was not too promising and the chances to see the Northern lights were close to zero, which was indeed disappointing, as that was the main reason behind the whole trip. Despite that, we tried to keep our spirits high and enjoy the highly rewarding experience of simply driving through Norway.

Against all odds

So, there we were, deep in the north in the middle of the night… The weather was changing and clouds were scattered across the sky. We were almost certain we won’t see the great light spectacle. But, all of a sudden…There it was, shy at first, slowly filling portions of the sky above us, changing its intensity and colours, dancing its magical dance. Aurora Borealis! I was not sure what to do, quickly get the camera and set it up right or just stay still and admire the light show, I was so amazed by what was happening in the moment… I took my time and did a bit of both. As if the northern lights were not enough, the moon showed its shiny face and made the atmosphere complete.

The morning after

The next morning was a story in itself. Breathtaking landscapes revealed themselves in the soft light of the early hours. All around us — seemingly rough, rocky, lifeless terrains, stunning and hauntingly beautiful landscapes. Just standing on the edge of the cliff rising high above the Arctic Ocean, and observing the lights in the distance was an unforgettable experience.

The journey continues

Nordkapp was a real emotional ‘rollercoaster’. Despite the slim chance, we got what we came for and much, much more. With filled hearts it was time to say goodbye and continue the journey. Next stop – Helsinki.