4 December 2013
The weather we experienced the day before had been bad for the time of year even by Norway standards. Roads had been blocked by snow falls and the airport at Tromso had been closed. But now the snow and wind had abated and we were able to go ashore.
The Nordyls tied up in Alta harbour.
A tour bus took us on a sight seeing tour of Alta. It is a small town and there was not much to see as much of it had been burned by the Nazis in the Second World War. We journeyed on to Alta Museum where we saw a fascinating display of ancient rock carvings. The carvings date from 2500 and 6000 years ago and show clear representations of boats animals and people.
Rock Carving Exhibit in Alta Museum
We left the Museum at twelve noon just as the sun was beginning to set and returned to the harbour as dusk was settling in to find the Nordlys lit up against the dark afternoon sky.
Sunset at 12 noon in front of Alta Museum
The Nordlys lit up for the evening at Alta harbour
That evening I dined on fish soup and reindeer steak (again I hope that Santa did not get to hear of it) followed by an ice pavlova with cranberries. Just as the meal was starting the Captain announced that the Northern Lights could be seen from the starboard bow. We downed our knives and forks (some of us donned coats) and hurried outside. I saw a faint green bow in the sky just below a star. I returned to finish my dinner then returned to get my coat, binoculars and camera but by then the green glow in the sky had largely disappeared. I am now in my cabin with binoculars, coat and camera at the ready waiting for another announcement.