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Watching the midnight sun

Panoramic view over a modern city building in Oslo after sunset.

Panoramic view over a modern city building in Oslo after sunset. | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Oslo. My wristwatch says 11.45 p.m., but the sun is blazing bright and orange in the sky. No, my watch is not out of kilter. I am in Norway, the Land of the Midnight Sun, and it was June, just the right time for one to enjoy the strange spectacle of the bright sun at midnight.

The conference organisers have arranged for a special Viking boat, complete with a curved bow rising majestically out of the water, for a picnic ride along the sea, and we pile in for our outing and dinner out at sea under the midnight sun.

We are a motley crowd, all delegates from around the world who have congregated to attend an international women’s conference. Except for the host Norwegians, no one has seen the midnight sun, and excitement runs high among us as we gather on the waterfront.

After a sumptuous buffet dinner on board, we move to the upper deck and settle down on deck chairs to watch the midnight sun. The air is clear, the sky is a brilliant blue — the sun is an incredible, fiery orange ball overhead, reflected in the dappled waters of the sea. All conversations stop as we the delegates from around the world watch the unusual spectacle of a sun high up in the sky at night.

I can think of nothing more colourful than this sight of the sun overhead at dinnertime, its glow reflected in the rippling waters of the North Sea, with the curling prow of the antique Viking boat rising against the bright sky. We lined up on deck, to click pictures of this unusual sight.

As we stayed up well beyond midnight and watched the sun dipping slowly into the waters, the glow of the sun behind a range of mountains along the horizon, made for an unforgettable scene.

All small talk came to a stop as cameras went to work, clicking away, to take home pictures as souvenirs.

We brought back, from Oslo, other souvenirs and mementoes gifted to the participants, including cute miniatures of the North Pole’s white bears, but it was the photos of the midnight sun that became conversation points back home.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 5:02:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/watching-the-midnight-sun/article65543709.ece