Have you booked your winter holiday yet? Has the idea of seeing the Aurora Borealis been germinating in the back of your mind? You’re just in time – this season is destined to be a tide of increased solar activity.
“But it’s cold,” I hear you cry. “I want to go to the Maldives.” Preparation, preparation, preparation: take an extra cardigan and some mittens. You can see the Maldives any time. Well, I say that, but if icebergs keep thawing like the dickens, the islands may soon be underwater. What a conundrum, eh: the Northern Lights, or the Maldives? Or, before the ice disappears, Antarctica?
Let’s explore your options: Antarctica is expensive. So, if you’re in that bedevilled class having to cope financially without even a butler after a succession of dizzying marriages, the choice essentially boils down to a toss-up between hypothermia or sunburn. Northern Lights or equatorial heat?
If you opt for heading to the circle around the Magnetic North Pole, bear this in mind: there is NO GUARANTEE that you’ll see the Northern lights. Talk of them is bandied about like confetti, but they are wilfully obtuse, appearing just when you’ve dug out the Scrabble and settled in, or often not at all. Therefore, take a trip with activities you’re interested in and regard any spectacular curtains of coloured light as a bonus.
Northern Lights Activities
Snowmobiling in Sweden; reindeer sledding in Norway; seal clubbing in Finland – since when did seals start clubbing? Or how about Iceland? There are cheap three-night Northern Lights packages at the moment, one of which includes a trip to Reykjavik’s geothermally heated Blue Lagoon. But did you specifically want an Arctic Circle certificate? Only the small island of Grimsey, 25 miles north of Iceland’s mainland, straddles the circle itself.
There are many adventures to be had, and all with the chance that the sun’s charged particles will collide with the earth’s, the gases producing captivating different colours. To put the butter on the spinach, senior NASA scientists are predicting that a solar peak this December will produce the best possible conditions for seeing the Northern Lights in the next decade. Food for thought..