Winter in northern Norway is dark. The sun doesn't make it above the horizon for a number of weeks in the depths of winter. This doesn't mean there is total darkness, just a continuous twilight. With the twilight comes sunrise and sunset, lingering in the sky as a continuous state of colour. The light changes and evolves as the sun moves around, below the visible horizon, dancing in an alpenglow along the tops of the mountains. This is known as the polar night and lasts from late November until mid January each year. This state of darkness is compensated by the presence of the aurora borealis, dancing across the night sky when conditions allow.
Ersfjordbotn is a small village located on the shore of the north facing Ersfjord, tucked on the corner of the island of Kvaløya. This traditional village is just 30minutes from the city of Tromsø, but couldn't be further from the bustle of the city. Tromsø has the highest number of wooden buildings in northern Norway and some of these were seen in the wooden village just outside the city. On the shoreline the remains of wooden fishing huts sit frozen. Nets gently rippling in the frozen air. Red paint peeling exposing the silver weathered wood below.
Ersfjord at Twilight
From the small harbour in Ersfjordbotn, the fjord extends like a large and calm lake below the mountains. Sitting on the deck of the lovely Bryggejentene cafe, this is the perfect location to watch for whales and imagine what lies beyond the island at the entrance to the fjord. High above the furthest peaks, flocks of birds soar and the light moves with the movement of the sun. Time passes but the twilight hangs in the air. Never becoming daylight but teasing of the night which will come.
We came to this small village to plan the night shots for the aurora. This is a lovely location for aurora, but it wasn't to be on our trip. The reflection of the aurora in the water, framed by the mountains is absolutely stunning.