Friday, 18 January 2013
A grand adventure
Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to see the northern lights. I can vividly recall watching a documentary about this eerie, ethereal phenomenon, and immediately thinking, “I HAVE to see this in my lifetime”. Sure enough, it’s firmly embedded in my 29 before 30 list, although with my 30th birthday approaching like a steam train, the likelihood that I’ll get there before the summer is decidedly slim.
I can’t remember my last big holiday. In fact, I’ve never really had one. My mum lives in France, so I trek there every year for a few days, but the prospect of two weeks spent somewhere more exotic is just beyond my reach.
So when I heard about Money Supermarket’s competition, A Grand Adventure, I knew I had to give it a whirl. Who knows? I could be one step further towards my dream of seeing the northern lights.
So what would I do with £1000 to spend on my dream holiday? Well, my trip would take me to Norway, and Tromsø in particular, an island covered in white-tipped mountains and undulating fjords. I’d certainly need £1000 to get me through (£12 for a pint of beer anyone?) and I’d need to spend it wisely. That said, a holiday like this is definitely a grand adventure.
The days would be spent exploring the city. I’d hop on a bus to Botaniske Hage – the most northern botanical garden in the world – and marvel at the unlikely, yet starkly beautiful arctic flora.
I’d visit the Arctic Cathedral, admiring its glacial-style architecture and magnificent stained glass window. And of course there’s the exciting prospect of sampling the local cuisine.
I’d also sign myself up for a husky safari, sweeping over soft blankets of snow while mushing my very own team of dogs.
The pièce de résistance (and the reason I came to Norway in the first place) would of course be the northern lights. Escaping the glow of the city, I’d head to Troms Wilderness Centre, where I’d toast my toes in the warmth of an open fire. I’d grill sausages and sip hot berry juice before heading into the darkness under the stars. I’d lie down on reindeer skins to keep the coldness at bay, and stare up at the stars. If I’m lucky, I’d see the magical green glow of the Aurora. My lifelong dream would be complete.