We just got back from Tromso after 8 wonderful days of chasing the lights. This was our 2nd trip in a year having done Tromso,Abisko&Kiruna last year. We did see the lights last year with Guide Gunnar.This year we decided to stay in Tromso and maximise our chances by taking tours.
I was in touch with some of the operators(small groups) but they were mostly booked out.
So far it had not been a great season on account of the weather. We tried to get as much info on the various links of the solar activity but finally concluded that it was very difficult to predict whether we will get to see the lights. We decided to take our chances and leave it to luck
Reached Tromso on 28th after a 13 hr flight.Picked up the rental car from hertz and checked into Ami Hotel for 5 nights.Nice homely place with free parking.
Went to the Visit Tromso office to check on availability for chases,weather forecast and some tips for the next 8 days.Wonderful staff and extremely cooperative.
We did a self drive every evening for the 1st 3 days but found the weather not cooperating and road conditions very icy.The activity was low and Gunnar did advise me on some of the places to visit in the evenings.
31st December- The forecast was clear skies.Did the whale watching with Arctic whale Tours.Fantastic experience and highly recommended.
In the evening went out with Arctic Guide Service to Hansnes.The activity was low and this is how we realized that forecasts from GI Alaska, Space weather, etc can all go wrong. What an evening. The lights were out in full glory and we manged to end 2013 is style.Even while driving back with the fireworks in all directions we could see lights from the bus.
1st Jan-We were monitoring the activity from the morning and knew it was going to be a big day.There is a nice spot on the lake where a lot of people were going to watch the lights as they were out from the evening.We decided to go out with Arctic Guide Service again.Most of the people I met described it as one of the best they have seen in a long time.It was exactly like NL videos -colors.curtains, corona and the various formations the only difference being we were actually experiencing it.
2nd&3rd-We went out with Roy Saetre and saw an amazing display on 2nd at Balsfjord.
The last 3 nights we stayed at Thon Hotel which was a really good discovery from the rooms to the breakfast spread.
On the 4th visited the cable car and the arctic cathedral and spent some time watching the marathon runners.
This was an a amazing trip and will come back in the near future to see the lights.
Thanks to all the wonderful people at Tromso for making it happen.