A Norwegian Sunrise – Weekly Travel Photo

Oslo Harbor - Norway

We found our way to Oslo as part of a mini-cruise special.  The cruise ship – and it was a cruise ship, not the ferry I expected – left Copenhagen at 4PM in the afternoon, steamed over night to Oslo and then disgorged us near Oslo’s famous opera house on a cold January morning.  The deal was a fun one – $4.50 for the entire cruise.  The catch?  We had 7 hours in Oslo before we needed to be back aboard and steaming back to Copenhagen.

As we made our way up the final leg of the Oslo fjord we were treated to an incredible sight. Blanketed by clouds, the early morning light that surrounded us was a foggy gray. On the horizon, where the water met land and the clouds broke, golden morning rays were visible.  It was one of the strangest, and slowest, sunrises I’ve seen.  As the weak winter light fought against the thick, low hanging, coastal clouds the light slowly worked its way closer and closer to Oslo. A progression that mirrored our own voyage.  Then, as we disembarked and wandered the city – eventually finding our way down to the harbor which is where this photo of the Helena was taken – the light finally started to fall across the city, brightening it.

Though it was now late-morning the nature of the Nordic light made it difficult to tell if it was mid-day, just after sunrise, or just before sunset.  None of which really mattered to us, as the view and the sun’s hues were stunning.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a  Canon T3i (600D) Camera.

Polar Bears and Lunar Sunsets – Friday Travel Photo

Polar Bears in Churchill

There are moments while traveling that stay with you. When the magic of the experience infuses itself into the very essence of you who are. As I sat bundled beneath five layers of clothing, staring out the window of a Tundra Buggy on the rural Canadian tundra in northern Manitoba just outside Churchill I was able to experience one such moment.  The evening had been mostly cloud-free, the brilliant light of a full moon reflecting off of the frozen lakes and snow covered tundra that surrounded our mobile lodge.  As the sun began to work its way over the far horizon, the moon slowly began to slip away over the ocean.

It was a magical moment that lasted mere minutes.  Even if it had only been a matter of watching the two orbs reflecting each other’s light it would have been a special sight to see.  But, in a stroke of brilliant luck, we found a large, beautiful polar bear relaxing near the lodge.   With numb noses, and half-frozen fingers we found ourselves watching the moon set behind her bathed in the soft hues and gorgeous tones of a brilliant dawn.

I’ll never forget the sight of the polar bear as she relaxed, looking at us as she debated rising to start her day. The trip was organized by Frontiers North and through the Canadian Tourism Commission as part of the spectacular trip I won at the Travel Bloggers Unite Conference. If you have the opportunity to do a Polar Bear safari I highly suggest it.  They are amazing creatures and the opportunity to see them in their native/wild habitat is an incredibly special experience.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a Canon T3i (600D) Camera using a Canon IS 55-250mm lens.