25th November 2022.

Ever since Joanna Lumley discovered the Northern Lights in 2009, Mrs RM has wanted to see if the BBC’s editing made them look.

That evening we were heading to one of the darkest places on earth (ignoring Maidenhead) to find out, but it was vitally important that, having done the culture, we did the strong craft beer before taking the coach trip.

But first, as it’s topical, reindeer hot dogs.


We sat in those little seats chatting to Americans who had to leave quickly via Gatwick or overstay their visa, and thought £4.20 for a hot dog in one of the most expensive places on earth wasn’t too bad, actually.

Though the Smallest Bar in the Universe had cans of beer, we saved ourselves for an authentic craft bar.

Whenever I wonder who reads this blog (thanks, Mark) I remember that if I didn’t add my little thoughts to the internet I might deny future travellers vital information on the cheapest Doom Bar in Dereham.

So let’s credit everybodyhatesatourist, whose pre-pandemic report from Tromso is a little gem, spot-on in all respects.

Café Sann is a cool little café in central Tromsø. At first, it doesn’t seem much like a craft beer bar, but rather like you’ve stepped into the set of Friends.”

More cafe than bar, seemingly, but I wandered to the fonts and decided that one of those flights was a good idea. These are all beers you won’t find on the bar at your local Craft Union pub.

Look, it was 335 krone (you do the math, as the Americans say), but given the five thirds were in the range 6-10.5% I could almost justify to myself, particularly as we’d only had hot dogs and soup so far on the trip.

What kept you ?” says Mrs RM.

James liked them all, Mrs RM favoured the 10.5% Double Pastry Imperial Stout, I’d have been quite happy with a pint of the Apex,

but it would have been a shame to fall asleep and miss the coach to what Chasing Lights told us later was one of the best displays they’d ever seen.

It was stunning, and made up for the loss of 3 toes on my right foot as I stood on the beach observing what looked to be the sky ripped apart.

Chasing Lights were a super tour operator, served us hot chocolate and cookies, always interesting and clearly know their techy stuff. But all I can tell you is that it’s something to do with science and leave it there.

Whatever, I can now see what made Joanna Lumley go all wobbly all those years ago.

7 thoughts on “CHASING THE LIGHTS

  1. I do envy you this experience, but then I can say that after reading all your blog posts. Well, the vast majority of them, anyway. 😉

    I must say I have fond memories of the reindeer hot dog I had when I first visited Bergen, and only regret that I didn’t manage to have one when I returned this past September. Not sure it’s ever going to catch on outside Scandinavia, though– a state of affairs that can be squarely blamed on that old irritating song I hope never to hear again if I can manage it.

    Merry Christmas, Martin! 2022 was a monumental year for you, and I like to think your achievement was so great that those of us who simply read about it felt that they too had achieved something rather marvelous. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You’ve reminded me that the only time I’ve seen Joanna Lumley was in Sheffield, the Crucible Theatre. I remember Humphrey’s Brown Bear being conveniently nearby.
    My wife and daughter went to Norway a few years ago but this is the only Northern Lights I’ve known ;


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