Travel Throwback Thursday

I’ve hijacked #tbt and turned it into #ttbt so I can tell stories about old photos of my past adventures. This time: the northern lights that were not the Northern Lights.

You can hardly blame us for thinking it! Photo © Duncan Blair

They really weren’t.

Last year in December, my friend Duncan and I went to Gothenburg to see a Movits! gig. It was a totally crazy plan that spawned an awesome short trip. One of the ways we managed to do this super cheaply was taking flights using some of my air miles, and that meant flying into Heathrow at night and out to Gothenburg early the next morning. So we spent a fairly restless night on the soft seats of Costa Coffee in T5 arrivals.

When we got to Gothenburg, we walked around on nearly zero sleep until it was show time. We’d arrived slightly before the hostel check-in time so we couldn’t just go take a nap. This was probably a good thing, as we saw most of the city, and it was fantastic.

Being so far north, it got dark at about 3, and the northern lights were on my mind as I’d kept hearing they’d been particularly active lately. Neither of us had ever seen them, and when we were walking back to the hostel to get ourselves organised before the show, I turned around to look back the way we’d come and the sky was glowing green. Really, really crazily, I started asking which way was north, because SURELY that’s the northern lights. WHAT ELSE could it be? (Oh, I don’t know, Kate, light pollution? An excess of festive, decorative lights being reflected in the very low cloud-cover? SLEEP DEPRIVATION?)

We’re reasonably certain it was NOT the northern lights. We never really figured out what it was, aside from wishful thinking on our part. It was cloudy and we were in a very light-y city. But in our sleep-craving, pre-Movits!-gig state of wonder and excitement, it was a nice thought. And Dunc got a pretty bangin’ picture of it.

Then we got to see THIS, so the non-validity of the aurora borealis really did not have an negative effect on the night.

PS: It makes me so happy that the one thing on YouTube from this show is one of my favourite songs. I was a few rows behind whoever was filming this, dancing like a fool. I love these guys so hard.

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