Today officially marks the day the polar night ends in Tromso and the sun is back (in theory)! I have to say, it has been an incredibly tough time for me and the other internationals and I don't look forward to experiencing this yet another time. The period right after the sun was gone in late November/early December was definitely the hardest. This had probably also to do with the exam period that took place at the same time but I would have developed a serious case of SAD if I hadn't gone home for the holidays. Kudos to those people who stayed in Tromso!
And then the worst was definitely to leave Germany and sunny Hamburg where I enjoyed one last day of sunshine (for 10 hours), knowing that I wouldn't see the sun again for another 3 weeks once I boarded the plane. Moreover the sun may be back now but we are far from having 10 hours of daylight. Currently we have about 4 hours of daylight and 2 hours of twilight which is definitely an increase compared to the 2 hours of daylight we had back in December. You do notice that it's getting brighter outside every day but I'd still rather be in Germany ...
Nonetheless the polar night makes for some beautiful picture opportunities. There are beautiful "sunsets" and "sunrises" behind the mountain tops and a magical blue light during twilight. Not to forget the Northern Lights of course!
So to celebrate the homecoming of the sun, I wanted to share some photographs of the polar night in Tromso with you today so that you see what it's like, despite the darkness!
Polar Night in Tromso - Fun Facts:
1. Polar night in Tromso officially lasts from 27 November to 15 January but as the city is surrounded by mountains, the sun only makes it over the mountain tops one week later in January and already disappears one week earlier in November.
2. The blue light occurs when the twilight is reflected by the ocean and the snow (usually around 1 and 2 o'clock each day during polar night) and it is unique to the Arctic regions of the world.
3. When the sun comes back, people celebrate with the so called "solboller" - sun buns that I have yet to try!
4. You can make use of special light therapy lamps at the university (for free and you'll even get coffee and cookies) if you feel like the polar night affects you negatively though it didn't really work for me but then again, I had vitamin deficiency ...
5. Despite common belief, it is not possible to see the Northern Lights all day round just because it's dark. They continue to appear during night time only.
Could you imagine to live without the sun for one entire winter?