Within five minutes the greenish spot becomes a strong stripe and the show begins. I put the camera out, turn on engine and heating and enjoy. After a while I change the place… several times until I finally find a spot on a hill full of trees, a place where they put the snow from the street, enough place to park and a perfect place to put the camera on one of the snow hills. There is a little fog rising between the trees and when I am just about to prepare the camera the Aurora becomes extremely strong! All the sky is shining green, much stronger than the moon, with patterns that move very quickly. As I am on a hill the Aurora seems to be even below me shining into the fog between the trees where the dancing of the sky is reflected. “They are finally here to pick me up!” I think for a second.
This is astonishing and scary at the same time – psychedelic and unbelievable. Green, dancing fog all around me and green dancing light all above me – it feels like a hallucination as the things I know and have seen in this reality before become very little at this moment. I am paralyzed and do not manage to take only one picture of this. The fog disappears then but the Aurora continues and goes crazy all night. Its incredibly cold – outside of the car. But to be honest I the quality is much better outside so I spend a lot time outside, probably 5 minutes every half an hour!
Tonight I fall asleep a little before 4 am and wake up freezing when the display is still going on. Checking the camera I realize it to be totally covered in ice crystals. Battery out and get it warm – ten minutes later its out working again with a fresh battery. I enjoy one last time and properly say good bye to the Aurora. Tonight I will be so far south that the chances to see her again there are really slim.
When dawn is really breaking through around 6 o clock its 7 already – Finland is one hour later so the (only) petrol station (near or far) which is 17km back will already be open…. I guess….
Bad luck – opening hours 10am-10pm – damn!
So no coffee and lets head south! Its 270km to Rovaniemi only and I have all day. Sky is blue! When the sun rises at 7:49 (local time) I am in Muonio already. I go down to a little lake to shock some people who live there when making pictures of the lake from their property. The gate has been open and I did not feel bad to park there at all and as the guy turns out to be a photographer I am very welcome. We have a little chat and he tells me where I can find the next car part shop to refill my power stirring. Its incredibly cold when I find that swiss café in the village where I get an amazing cappuccino and real Vienna Sacher Torte! Yeah! And the owners are really from Switzerland!
The low sun makes an amazing light and I am really slowly – sometimes I drive less than 500m between the stops to just enjoy and to take pictures. When the sun sets at 16:40 I feel the tiredness and I am way too late in the evening to meet Miro in time. I was supposed to be there around 6pm and now its already passed 7 and I still have 40km to go on the snowy road. Suddenly I see a strange looking cloud in the front to my left. No way, I think – I am looking towards south and into the moon, and I am almost at the Arctic Circle now.