#TakeOff: Northern Lights, 5 countries where you can witness them
Northern lights are also known as the Aurora Borealis in the north and the Aurora Australis in the south.
Northern lights have been a cause of fantasy and mystery, for hundreds of years carrying legends with them wherever they are witnessed. An old legend goes as far as saying that these lights signified the dawn, Aurora is the Greek goddess of dawn. They were also considered the harbingers of war and famine during the medieval times.
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The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed that these lights indicated the locations of giants who were the spirits of legendary hunters and fishermen. Their spirits were captured in the form of the animals they hunted.
As amazing as the legends sound, the northern lights are actually a scientific phenomenon. They are collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that manage to enter the earth’s atmosphere. These particles are gaseous in nature. The variations in the colors are due to the different kinds of gases that collide. The science of it all may or may not appeal to everyone, but the spectacle sure does.
Read on to find out how and where you could see the northern lights in the winter 2016.
Country #1: Norway
The carnival of lights is something Norway is famous for. You could camp underneath watching the lights dance above your head.
Go to Svalbard, you cannot go further up than that. This island in Norway is well into the Arctic circle and generally the higher the latitude the better. The season is November to February, but you could also see the Polar Night otherwise.
Svalbard does not have daylight and is soaked in an eerie blue twilight which is breath-taking to say the least. You could also spot various snow animals while you are at it.
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Country #2: Finland
Have you ever lived in an igloo? Well, here at Kakslauttanen you could not only live in one but also gaze at the northern lights from inside it.
You could also prefer to stay in your own wooden cabin, typical camping style and top it up with snow activities such as reindeer safari or walking skis to explore the nearby Urho National Park.
If you want an early Christmas, you could go see Santa at his place in Korvatunturi just two hours away. Take a sled dog, just for the theatricality of it all.
Country #3: Iceland
This land of geysers, volcanoes and blue ice has a lot more to fascinate about. We say, make an elaborate plan to travel all of it.
Your first stop however should be to visit Reykjavik, for the lights of course. You could also check out the Game of Thrones location while you are in the country.
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Country #4: Canada
Northern Canada, is covered by the Aurora Oval, making it the perfect place to see the northern lights.
It covers the provinces of Yukon, Northern Saskatchewan, Northwestern territories, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. The Canadian geography has a lot to offer you.
The time when you are not seeing the northern lights, spend it skiing in amazing resorts by the side of British Columbia.
You could also see waterfalls and whales around Vancouver. Also, to get here-well, it’s Canada, should not be much of a problem.
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Country #5: Scotland
Scotland, in some parts of the year is also an amazing place to see the Northern Lights. This place has a couple of brilliant locations at the northerly latitudes.
Hire a bicycle and ride around the Royal village of Ballater or go munroe-bagging, soak in the beauty and the royalty that is Scotland. You may have gone to witness the lights, you shall come back with a lot more.
If you still don’t want to check out the northern lights this summer, watch this video and tell us if you still think so.
Also, watch this space for more amazing places you could #TakeOff to with your American Express!