The Aurora Borealis in Kirkenes, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle – the northernmost stretch of Norway.

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The Aurora Borealis in Kirkenes, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle – the northernmost stretch of Norway.

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The Aurora Borealis in Kirkenes, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle – the northernmost stretch of Norway.

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The Aurora Borealis in Kirkenes, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle – the northernmost stretch of Norway.

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The sun never rises on Kvaløya Island in December. The sky lightens in the late morning, but only for about an hour, and it’s just this eerie, beautiful twilight. I stayed in this cabin my first few nights in Norway. On my first night f two giant (humpback?) whales appeared and were swimming literally right in front of the cabin. It was one of the most magical moments of my life. Norway.

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Honningsvåg, Norway’s northernmost city. Norwegian law states a city must have at least 5000 inhabitants, but Honningsvag was grandfathered in with 2257. It’s pitch black 24 hours a day in December. Norway.

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The lobby of the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes, where I stayed for a night. Made of snow and ice, the hotel, which is only open from December 20 – April 20, is kept at minus 4 degrees Celsius…toasty. Like a moron, I brought my cell phone charger with me. Needless to say, there was no place to charge it. Norway.

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On the quay looking out towards the Barents Sea, in Kirkenes, the northernmost stretch of Norway, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Norway.

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Ice everything inside the lobby of the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes, where I stayed for a night. Made of snow and ice, the hotel, which is only open from December 20 – April 20, is kept at minus 4 degrees Celsius…toasty. Norway.

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