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Arctic night

Sunday, December 1st 2013

After two weeks, just as I was really getting over my epic jetlag, it was time to head back to the other side of the planet. Once more over Siberia, but this time at night, so I wasn't expecting to see too much. And the flight started badly when KLM didn't have a vegetarian meal for me. They'd done exactly the same on the way out, so I was pretty disgusted at their incompetence when they screwed up a second time. I won't be flying with KLM again.

So I slept angrily for a few hours, then woke up somewhere south of Novaya Zemlya. I looked out the window, and I thought I could see the very first light of dawn - the whole sky to the north looked bright. But sunrise was still hours away. As I looked, I realised that it was the northern lights.

The display filled the northern horizon and got brighter. I could see green curtains and red clouds drifting around the skies. It was a long way to the north and not as bright as the epic aurorae that I'd seen from the ground in Iceland in 2010, but it was still incredible. I felt like waking up the people near me - if I'd have been sleeping while this was going on outside I'd have wanted someone to tell me. But then again they might just think I was crazy. And if they were asleep they only had themselves to blame. So I watched the show by myself.

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