Brendan van Son goes on the adventure of a lifetime to check out the midnight sun in Norway. Come read his story.
The sun being up all day does funny things to people. It's been four days since the last time we saw dusk, and about a week since the sky got truly dark. We're all going a little bit strange. Well, stranger than we were before…
The only way I can really describe the feeling is that it's sort of like jet lag. I feel perpetually jet lagged. My body can't decide what time of day it is. And, by looking outside, my eyes couldn't really tell you either.
It’s been rather cloudy here in northern Norway. And, our Topdeck squad has been on a mission to witness the midnight sun. It's one of the Ultimate 49 bucket list items we're trying to check off during this Scenic Scandi adventure through northern Scandinavia. So, what better place to see it than the northernmost point in Europe: Nordkapp.
After a late afternoon nap, we pile into our coach in the village of Olderfjord and head north. As cheesy as it sounds, there are times I do wonder if I'm asleep, as the roadside views are like something out of a dream. Green hills roll into rocky cliffs. The road hugs the stone-covered shores. Houses painted brightly in red, yellow, and blue sit on mounds of bright, Crayola-green grass with million dollar views. And, around nearly every corner, reindeer sit lazily along the side of the road. With views like this, you can hardly blame them for not moving.
With an hour until midnight, we pull into the parking lot at Nordkapp. The sun hovers ahead, and groups of people sit with picnics to enjoy the never-ending sunset. Our adventurous spirits lead us to the most dramatic spots along an already dramatic cliff side. We dangle our feet over the hundred-metre-high drop and just kind of pause and enjoy the view, and the moment. For a brief time, there are no selfies, no ooohs or aaahs, just silence and respect for the world all around us.
The clouds start to roll back in, and we begin to worry that we're not going to have the the midnight sun we've come all of this way for. This group of Topdeckers is made up of people from as far south as New Zealand, as far west as Canada, and as far east as Singapore. This moment has been the prize at the end of an epic journey for so many of us.
Then, just as the clock starts to bend towards 12, a gap in the sky clears and the midnight sun reveals itself. “Five...four...three,” we all start to count down as if we’re turning over the clock on a new year, “Two...one! Happy midnight sun!”
We all laugh, clink cans of beer and cider and revel in the moment and each other’s company. Because, you see, at the end of the day, travel isn't just about knocking things off bucket lists. It's about the people. This evening would have been just as special in a white-out snowstorm with this squad of travellers. But, it wouldn't have had the same impact spent alone with perfect blue skies.
These bucket list moments bring us together, as travellers, as adventurers, and as people. These moments bond us for life. And 20 years from now I might not remember if we saw the midnight sun or not, but I'll definitely remember the people I shared the time spent chasing it with.
Brendan van Son is a nomadic travel photographer and filmmaker originally from Canada. He has spent the past 8 years exploring 6 different continents and over 100 countries. His work and travel exploits have appeared in major media such as The BBC, National Geographic Traveler, and The Toronto Star. Brendan vlogs his daily life as a travel photographer over on his YouTube channel and shares his imagery from around the world on his instagram channel (@brendanvanson).