Got several inquiries from travelers wishing to come here to see the aurora borealis, aka northern lights. Here is my attempt to provide a comprehensive answer to the seekers of this phenomenon.
The most common question is “When do I need to travel to the Kola Pensula to see aurora borealis for sure”. First, forget the “for sure” part. The aurora is a probabilistic thing. Thus there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Generally speaking, aurora borealis can be observed at high latitudes any time there are dark nights. On the Kola Peninsula it is approximately from September to April.
A common misconception is that aurora borealis requires real cold winter weather. This photo was made in the Hibiny mountains on the 28th of September, and I’ve myself seen the aurora in the vicinity of Kandalaksha starting the end of August.
Rain, melting snow, and wind – we were treated to the classic late fall weather last night. The ugliest it has been in a long time. Most definitely this is not the time of year to travel to Kandalaksha.
But I make a living off you travellers, thus the late fall special on all of my services in an effort to entice you here: 50% off, or $12.50/hour and I’m yours to act as a guide, driver or translator.
Or, if you have business here but can’t attend the place in person, I can be your errand boy. Information gathering of any sort, people and grave searches, press reviews, whatever. It’s like having your feet and eyes and hands, and even a part of your brain here.
Today, May 5, for the first time this spring, I took off my winter coat, and remained comfortable without it for a few hours while walking around the neighbouring Rovaniemi, Finland. Guess the polar summer is here.
Oh, white nights are have started too.
And first flies and mosquitoes, although still half-asleep and not at all aggressive, have been sighted as well.
Yet Kirovsk reports that the snowmobile season is still on however. Now may be about the best time to visit the region if you are looking for summer sun and winter fun.
Yesterday I was dragged out to Luvenga by my mate Alexandra, who totally disregarded my profound desire to spend Jan. 1 in coach-glued lethargy, and was forced to observe the first true sunrise of the year.
It has just been printed and is available for 650 roubles ($10) plus the cost of shipping. Images were provided by several local photographers while my mate Alexandra wrote the text. My own humble role was that of a translator.
Spring is here. The Spring equinox was yesterday, with days being longer than nights from today till end of September. A perfect time to visit the Kola Peninsula. Lots of light, the roads are mostly clear, bitter colds are gone yet lots of snow for skiing and snowmobiling, and there is still a good chance of seeing Aurora Borealis. Last night it could be observed right in Kandalaksha, despite lot of local light pollution.