Saturday, February 20, 2016

Murmansk: Hunting for Northern Lights

Northern Lights in Murmansk January 20 as photographed by Mikhail Rzhavin. 
Little did we all know, Murmansk is one of the most affordable place on earth to hunt for the Northern Lights!

"Seeing Aurora Borealis with my own eyes" is one experience I am dying to tick off from my bucket list. However I still couldn't afford a trip up to Scandinavia to do just that! On January 3, when I was in Elbrus, I came across an article on "Yahoo!Travel" that says 2016 will be the last chance to see the Northern Lights before they dim for a decade. From that moment onward, my decision was sealed: I am going to Murmansk.

another photograph by Mikhail Rzhavin, found on the facebook
Northern Lights Murmansk Aurora Borealis
Endless surprises seemed to pop out in every corner since the very first day. Flying into Murmansk at night was one of the most magical experience I've ever had. I remembered the night when the plane flew above those dense clouds, I turned over to face the window as I prepared to sleep... and there I see it-- The dancing Northern Lights, right in front of me!

During our hunting tour, Mr. Oleg brought us across the river to take in the nice night of Murmansk city. Then, he drove us to his secret aurora spot where we prayed fervently for a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Mr. Oleg even prepared hot tea while we waited, and a bottle of (rum?) to celebrate the sighting. Weather was not the best when we were on our hunt. Fortunately we managed to locate a window of clear sky and later, witnessed a spectacular dance of the spirits from a distance.
Photo Credits: Ng Yung Jeat
It was quite a weak one but we were grateful. When we were on our way to the airport on the final night, we managed to watch it 3 more times. One of them was a really strong one dashing across the clear sky full of twinkling stars. It lasted for a short 10 second. To me it seemed like a green dragon flying across the sky in those Chinese Fantasy Dramas.

Aurora Borealis in Murmansk.
Photo by: Visit Murmansk

Thanks to Mr. Олег Теребенин from Visit Murmansk and for organizing our trip. 
Contact: Mr. Oleg Pavlovich Terebenin
Phone: +79212731919

To receive more information about Aurora Borealis in Murmansk, Like the facebook page:  

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based solely on my opinion and personal experience. 
Feel free to share your Aurora experiences with me by commenting below!


Anonymous said...

Wow I want to go to Russia!

SHIRAZ said...

Hi, inspired by your blog and planning to visit Russia and engage Mr Oleg for the package. However, I'm confused over the invitation and visa application. Can help to explain how it works? Thank s

Anonymous said...

Google it..

Miss HappyFeet said...

Hi Shiraz, I recommend looking for an agent as the process of visa application is quite troublesome. In short, what you have to do is = email your hotel, get an invitation letter, print out your flight ticket, online form, print out, send to the embassy, go pay at a specific bank, show the receipt at the embassy, hand in your application, wait for 5-15 days, go back to the embassy. Might have more procedure, as I am speaking from my experience 2 years ago. Happy planning!

Nekellie said...

Hi would like to ask if you do need to register your visa in each city and hotels that you will be visiting in russia (Multiple city), or you just need to register your visa once you've arrived the first city in Russia (1 time only).

Did you visit Kola Peninsula in Murmansk as well? I've trying to engage with a local tour there, however it seems limited choice.

looking forward for your reply


Miss HappyFeet said...

Hi Nekellie,

I normally did my registration in every city, no matter how long I stay. If you are staying for just one day, by right you don't have to do it, but I do it anyway because I just do not wanna have any trouble with the Russian Law.

We did go to Teriberka and the shore of the Barents Sea. But if you wanna stay in Kola Peninsular, I couldn't advice you because I haven't done it before. However, if you speak Russian you can probably find a local tour agent in the city (just walk in). If you don't, simply ask your hotel for options.

Hope I answer your questions.


Anonymous said...

Hello! I live in Murmansk and accidentally saw your blog. Very nice review of our region! But I was very surprised when I read that according to "Yaho.Travel" of 2016 is the last year of the northern lights. It's very strange that such things are written in official publications. Northern Lights is every year from September to March. And it can not disappear =)