Sea of Tranquility

Photo Gallery: The Land of the Midnight Sun

After I had been dreaming of the land of the midnight sun for years, I eventu­ally made it real in the summer of 2003. It was not easy to see the midnight sun (because of clouds and mountains to the north), but there were a lot more natural things to see.
In 2019, I visited the Abisko national park again and finally got a fine impression of the midnight sun.
Sun late at night and tree silhouette, Älvsbyn, Sweden, 2003The town of Älvsbyn is located around 100 km south of the arctic circle; and therefore, there is no real mid­night sun. Never­the­less, I found the sun at 10:30 pm impressive, when I viewed it from a hill. Polarbröd bakery, Älvsbyn, Sweden, 2003 Although Älvsbyn is located south of the arctic circle, it is ob­viously close enough to qualify for some aspects of the arctic region: it has an bakery that produces arctic bread. Sun at 12:00 pm, Tromsø, Norway, 2003 Tromsø is located on a latitude of about 69°30', and I saw the mid­night sun — at normal mid­night (12:00 pm). As the mountains' height de­creases noticeably to the north, the sun would still visible at true mid­night (at around 12:40 pm).
Sun late at night and tree silhouette, Älvsbyn, Sweden, 2003.

Polarbröd bakery, Älvsbyn, Sweden, 2003.

Sun at 12:00 pm, Tromsø, Norway, 2003.

The mountain formation Lapporten (Lapponian Gate), Sweden, 2019 The charac­teristic mountain formation Lapporten (Lapponian Gate) is a well-known landmark near the Abisko national park. Lake Torneträsk and the Lapporten, Sweden, 2003 The Lake Torne­träsk and the Lapporten (Lapponian Gate) belong to the natural beauties of Lapp­land in north Sweden. The Abisko river a few kms before its delta, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003 The Abisko river runs through seeming­ly un­touched wilder­ness. A few kilo­meters before its delta, it takes this bend. The location is at the north end of the well-known hiking trail "Kungs­leden".
The mountain formation Lapporten (Lapponian Gate), Sweden, 2019

Lake Torneträsk and the Lapporten, Sweden, 2003.

The Abisko river a few kms before its delta, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003.

Lichen on rock in Abisko river, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003 Where the gorge gradually ends, there are rocks in the river­bed. If the water is low enough, you can walk around on them. This way, I dis­covered the orange lichen at a rock's edge. (Compare to picture below from 2019.) Water flow into rock channel, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003 When I looked at the rocks and the water flow more closely, I dis­covered that there was a pool in the river­bed that over­flowed into a rock channel forming little ripples. (Compare to picture below from 2019.) Midnight sun behind clouds, north of Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003 A chair­lift goes up the mountain Njulla south of the lake. I used it to get up on the mountain, but the sun had hid behind the cloud cover. (Compare to picture below from 2019.)
Lichen on rock in Abisko river, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003.

Water flow into rock channel, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003.

Midnight sun behind clouds, north of Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2003.

Lichen on rock in Abisko river, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019 When I visited the place again after 16 years, I found the rocks again. Even the lichen seemed to have retained their color but their form had changed as probably had their location. (Compare to picture above from 2003.) Water ripples, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019 I also found the place again where the water overflows the rocks. From a different perspective, the reflection of the sky emphasizes the ripples over the bedrock. (Compare to picture above from 2003.) Midnight sun, north of Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019 This time, on the trip up the mountain, the midnight sun was clearly visible. According to the guide, it was the first time in weeks that there were no clouds. (Compare to picture above from 2003.)
Lichen on rock in Abisko river, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019.

Water ripples, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019.

Midnight sun, north of Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019.

Lake Vuolip, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019 A hike to a small lake named Vuolip offered me a sight of dark blue and green. For me, these colors are a hall­mark of Sweden's natural beauty. Lapporten panorama, Sweden, 2019 On a mountain hike at night­time, I could see the vast panorama of lapland in the mild light of the near-midnight sun. Lake Vuolip is to the lower right. Lake Torneträsk in midnight dawn, Sweden, 2019 To the East, Lake Torne­träsk extended to the horizon in the midnight dawn. The low sunlight grazed parts of the lake shore. The chairlift can be seen at the lower left and the Abisko Turiststation to the lower right.
Lake Vuolip, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019.

Lapporten panorama, Sweden, 2019.

Lake Torneträsk in midnight dawn, Sweden, 2019.

Cairn on Njulla mountain in midnight sun, Sweden, 2019 The cairn was not far from Njulla's summit that marks the western border of the Abisko national park. The midnight sun was like a soft, low evening sun — and at the same time a morning sun. Abisko Canyon, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019 Southwards, the river runs through a narrow gorge whose walls are more than 10 meters high. Tiny flowers, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019 On a hike along a trail to the west, I noticed these tiny flowers in the grass when I stopped for a break. Each blossom hat a slight­ly different hue al­though all of them belonged to the same plant.
Cairn on Njulla mountain in midnight sun, Sweden, 2019.

Abisko Canyon, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019.

Tiny flowers, Abisko National Park, Sweden, 2019.