Norway – Final impression

Northern lights, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Northern lights, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

And today, I finish my winter Norwegian experience. For the last picture I chose another kind of northern lights. This time, you see “dancing” northern lights. They’re not so strong here, but I guess, you can feel the movement. 馃檪

And my traditional question, how did you like February on my blog? I know, I focused basically on two places, Oslo and Kirkenes in winter. I had a great experience there, so I wanted to share it with you and show the beauty of snowy winter, hopefully I managed. 馃檪

p.s. Stay tuned! Tomorrow, we’re starting a new series, I can promise there is going to be lots of Sun. 馃檪

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I dzisiaj, ju偶 ostatnie zdj臋cie, ko艅cz膮ce zimow膮 seri臋 o Norwegii. Na t臋 okazj臋 wybra艂am jeszcze jeden obraz zorzy polarnej, tym razem “ta艅cz膮c膮”. Zorza tutaj nie jest zbyt intensywna, ale my艣l臋, 偶e mo偶na “poczu膰” jej ruch. 馃槈

I jak zwykle zapytam, jak Wam si臋 podoba艂 luty na moim blogu? Wiem, 偶e skupi艂am si臋 praktycznie na dw贸ch miejscach, zimowych Oslo i Kirkenes. Jednak chcia艂am podzieli膰 si臋 moimi cudownymi chwilami i pokaza膰 Wam pi臋kn膮 zim臋. Mam nadziej臋, 偶e mi si臋 uda艂o. 馃檪

p.s. Jutro zaczynamy now膮 seri臋, i mog臋 ju偶 obieca膰, 偶e b臋dzie du偶o S艂o艅ca. 馃檪

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Norway – Eating crabs

Eating crabs, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Eating crabs, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

Eating king crabs is also part of the “fishing king crabs” experience in the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes.
After fishing, it’s time to observe how king crabs are prepared (i.e., cutting off the legs from the body) and cooked. The recipe is quite simple, some 20 minutes in salty water and the crabs are ready to be eaten, preferably with the right ambience like in a cosy farmhouse by a lake. 馃檪

In the picture, you see a crab’s leg. At first, eating them sounds a bit complicated, but you can master it very fast. 馃檪 Its meat has a kind of sweet taste and it’s very soft and delicious! I wouldn’t mind to have a meal like that everyday! 馃榾
If you ever have the chance, try it! Of course, I can recommend fresh crabs from Norwegian fjords. 馃槈

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Jedzenie krab贸w kr贸lewskich to nieroz艂膮czna cz臋艣膰 “艂owienia krab贸w” – wycieczki w Snow Hotel, Kirkenes. Gdy kraby s膮 ju偶 wy艂owione, mo偶na podpatrze膰 jak si臋 je przyrz膮dza. Przepis jest bardzo prosty, wystarczy je pogotowa膰 w osolonej wodzie oko艂o 20 minut. A nast臋pnie w uroczym, cieplutkim domku nad jeziorem, mo偶na je skonsumowa膰. 馃檪

Na zdj臋ciu wida膰 jedn膮 z n贸g kraba. Pocz膮tkowo jedzenie krab贸w kr贸lewskich wydaje si臋 by膰 pewnym wyzwaniem, jednak szybko t臋 sztuk臋 mo偶na opanowa膰. I w ko艅cu odpowied藕 jak smakuje mi臋so kraba kr贸lewskiego – jest rewelacyjne! Jest to pyszne, delikatne mi臋so o s艂odkim posmaku, i szczerze m贸wi膮c, nie mia艂abym nic przeciwko aby je艣膰 taki posi艂ek codziennie! 馃榾
Je偶eli b臋dziecie mieli okazj臋, to bardzo polecam spr贸bowa膰! Oczywi艣cie, najlepsze kraby to te 艣wie偶o z艂owione z norweskich fiord贸w. 馃槈

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Norway – King crabs

King crab, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
King crab, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

Fishing Arctic King Crabs on the frozen fjords of Kirkenes is another unique experience from the Snow Hotel. I have to say, at the beginning, I didn’t expect too much out of this. However, it happened we had a really great time! So if you are planning to go there but still unsure about doing “king crabs fishing”, trust me, it’s really worthy!

Fishing them is relatively easy, just be careful while holding king crabs, they are huge!

These crabs go by many names. There is “king crab” because of its blue blood. Some may have heard them by the name “Stalin crab”.
The later one, I guess, it’s a local name given by the Norwegians… simply because these crabs were introduced by the Russians and made with time their ways deep into the Norwegian coastal waters
King crabs are very big, live long and they are aggressive. They eat basically everything on their way. In times and places of food shortage they even eat each others! It has been documented that king crabs destroy ecosystems. In the waters nearby Kirkenes, king crabs have exterminated other species of crabs. However Norwegians try to confine king crabs to particular areas, but with limited success. And, unfortunately, money is always an issue… King crab’s meat is very precious, and there is never an easy solution when economy is in conflict with ecology…

As I mentioned above, king crab’s meat is expensive and you can find it in top restaurants; tomorrow I’ll tell you is whether it’s overrated or not. 馃檪

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艁owienie krab贸w kr贸lewskich na zamarzni臋tym fiordzie to kolejna, wyj膮tkowa atrakcja w Snow Hotel. Cho膰 musz臋 przyzna膰, 偶e pocz膮tkowo nie wydawa艂o mi si臋 to zbyt interesuj膮ce, bardzo mi艂o si臋 zaskoczy艂am. I teraz wiem, 偶e gdyby艣my to odpu艣cili to wiele by艣my stracili!

Samo 艂owienie krab贸w nie jest zbyt trudne. Bardziej wymagaj膮ce jest utrzymanie takie wielkiego stwora. 馃槈

Te kraby maj膮 dwie nazwy, przynajmniej w Norwegii… Pierwsza, oficjalna, to krab kr贸lewski i zwi膮zana jest z niebiesk膮 krwi膮 tego gatunku.
Lokalna nazwa, to “krab Stalina”, a wzi臋艂a si臋 st膮d, 偶e te kraby przyp艂yn臋艂y do Norwegii z Rosji. Jest to do艣膰 agresywny gatunek, kt贸ry 偶ywi si臋 wszystkim (zjadaj膮 nawet siebie nawzajem), st膮d niszczy ekosystem. Dodatkowo s膮 to bardzo du偶e kraby, kt贸re d艂ugo 偶yj膮. W okolicach Kirkenes, kraby kr贸lewskie zniszczy艂y lokalny gatunek kraba. Norwegowie staraj膮 si臋 utrzyma膰 ich terytorium pod kontrol膮, jednak nie zawsze jest to proste, szczeg贸lnie gdy w gr臋 wchodz膮 pieni膮dze… Mi臋so krab贸w kr贸lewskich nale偶y do rarytas贸w, st膮d jest bardzo drogie, wi臋c niestety mo偶na na nim sporo zarobi膰… W takich sytuacjach ekologia rzadko wygrywa z ekonomi膮…

Mi臋so krab贸w kr贸lewskich mo偶na znale藕膰 w najlepszych restauracjach; jutro opisz臋 czy jest przereklamowane. 馃槈

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Norway – Reindeer

Reindeer, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Reindeer, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

Reindeer is another animal that lives at the Snow Hotel. I’m not sure, what was more difficult, to take pictures of huskies or reindeer, they’re moving all the time… The easiest is to “catch” them while eating or “visiting the toilet”. 馃槈

At the Snow Hotel you’ll find 5 reindeer, mostly they’re brown (like the one in the photo), but one is completely white.

There are more than 100,000 reindeer in northern Norway and only Sami people (S谩mi, Saami, Lapps) can own reindeer. They put some marks on the reindeer’s ears and by those the Sami farmers can recognize them.

And one more thing, in the Snow Hotel, you can also try reindeer meat. I guess, it’s part of the experience, however, I don’t eat meat…

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Renifery to kolejne zwierzaki, kt贸re spotkacie w Snow Hotel. Renifery, podobnie jak husky, zmieniaj膮 pozycj臋 zbyt cz臋sto, st膮d trudno je sfotografowa膰… Najlepiej wykorzysta膰 okazj臋 gdy s膮 zaj臋te jedzeniem albo “korzystaj膮 z toalety”. 馃槈

W Snow Hotel mieszka 5 renifer贸w, wi臋kszo艣膰 jest br膮zowa jak ten ze zdj臋cia, ale jeden jest zupe艂nie bia艂y.

W p贸艂nocnej Norwegii 偶yje ponad 100,000 renifer贸w. Cz臋艣膰 z nich nale偶y to Lapo艅czyk贸w. O Lapo艅czykach, czyli potomkach pierwotnych mieszka艅c贸w Skandynawii, m贸wi si臋 czasem jako Saamowie, 艁oparowie, Loparowie, Saami lub Sami, i tylko oni mog膮 posiada膰 renifery.

I jeszcze jedna informacja, w Snow Hotel mo偶na spr贸bowa膰 mi臋sa renifer贸w. Jednak, nie podziel臋 si臋 moimi wra偶eniami na ten temat, gdy偶 nie jadam mi臋sa…

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Norway – Sled dog

Sled dog, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Sled dog, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

Dog sledding is one of the attractions of the Snow Hotel in Kirkenes, Norway.
It’s a great experience, and I’m sure dogs have lots of fun, since they love running and chasing each others.

I know that huskies look so adorable, however not all of them should be petted. So better don’t try to approach dogs, first ask its owner or someone who takes care of them. And also, enjoy taking pictures of them! 馃檪

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Przeja偶d偶ka psim zaprz臋giem to jedna z atrakcji Snow Hotel w Kirkenes, w Norwegii.
To niesamowite do艣wiadczenie, a jednocze艣nie du偶a frajda dla samych ps贸w, gdy偶 one uwielbiaj膮 biega膰 i goni膰 si臋 nawzajem.

Wiem, 偶e husky cz臋sto wygl膮daj膮 jakby m贸wi艂y “przytul mnie”, jednak nie wszystkie powinny by膰 g艂askane. Najlepiej zawsze zapyta膰 w艂a艣ciciela ps贸w lub osob臋, kt贸ra si臋 nimi opiekuj臋, czy mo偶na danego psa pog艂aska膰.
Samo fotografowanie ps贸w te偶 sprawia du偶o rado艣ci. 馃檪

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Norway – Husky

Husky, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Husky, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

Do you like dogs? I think, even when people don’t like dogs so much, they still can agree that huskies are very beautiful. Especially, huskies with blue eyes. 馃檪

There are around 150 huskies in the Snow Hotel. They spend winter on the premises, but almost not surprisingly, summer is too warm for them. So, the summer season they spend in colder areas close by (i.e., away from the coast and in the forests inland), where they can happily run. 馃檪

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Lubicie psy? My艣l臋, 偶e je偶eli kto艣 nawet nie przepada za psami, to i tak zgodzi si臋 ze mn膮, 偶e husky s膮 pi臋kne, prawda? Szczeg贸lnie, te z niebieskimi oczami. 馃檪

W Snow Hotel (jako ca艂o艣膰) mieszka oko艂o 150 husky. Jednak tylko zim臋 sp臋dzaj膮 w Kirkenes. Latem mieszkaj膮 w ch艂odniejszym rejonie Norwegii, gdy偶 w Kirkenes jest dla nich za ciep艂o.

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Norway – Magical winter

Magical winter, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway
Magical winter, Snow Hotel, Kirkenes, Norway

It’s one of these pictures, that (for me) winter looks like from fairy tale or like it supposed to look like. Snow covers everything and make it looks wonderful. I know, it’s dark and cold, but it has its charm, do you agree?

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To jedno z tych zdj臋膰, na kt贸rych (wed艂ug mnie) zima wygl膮da jak z bajki, albo dok艂adnie tak jak powinna wygl膮da膰. Wszystko, w uroczy spos贸b pokryte jest 艣niegiem. Wiem, wielu z Was nie lubi zimy, ale chyba zgodzicie si臋, 偶e taka zima wygl膮da pi臋knie?

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Norway – Winter

Winter, Kirkenes, Norway
Winter, Kirkenes, Norway

Today, a simply nice winter picture from Kirkenes.
On the left side you see a “white tree”, that I enjoyed to observe from our cabin. 馃檪 It was nicely covered by snow, and there were lights around it, that even in a dark night I had the impression the tree was white.
At the background, you see igloos well covered by snow.

This picture was taken around 10 a.m., but that day was very cloudy, thus it looks much darker.

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Dzisiaj, kolejny zimowy krajobraz z Kirkenes.
Po lewej stronie widzicie “bia艂e drzewo”, na kt贸re z przyjemno艣ci膮 spogl膮da艂am z naszej kabiny. 馃檪
Drzewko by艂o uroczo pokryte 艣niegiem, a do tego o艣wietlone, wi臋c nawet w nocy wygl膮da艂o na bia艂e.
W tle, znajduj膮 si臋 igloo, okryte do艣膰 grub膮 warstw膮 艣niegu.

To zdj臋cie zosta艂o zrobione oko艂o 10 rano, jednak dzie艅 by艂 do艣膰 pochmurny, st膮d by艂o znacznie ciemniej.

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Norway – Photographing northern lights

Northern lights, Kirkenes, Norway
Northern lights, Kirkenes, Norway

Today, I want to show you another pictures of northern lights. This photo, was taken on other day than the picture from my post on the 16th of February and at much darker place. Here, you can see stars much better. Can you recognize Orion?
(p.s. if you want to see bigger picture, just use the right mouse button, choose: “view image” or “open image in a new tap” etc. – depending on a browser!)

What is the best recipe for catching northern lights and stars?

First, you have to be lucky, that nature shows its beauty. 馃槈

Then, definitely you should have a tripod, since you need to expose for about 10 to 30 seconds, which is impossible to hold steadily with your hands. Hot tea and a warm place nearby helps to keep you warm. If you want to catch most of the sky at once, take an ultra wide angle lens – for this pictures we used one with 15 mm focal length (@ 35 mm equivalent). For the right ISO and f-stop combination you should try with your camera in advance (and in a much warmer place), because the cold of Norway is not best time to play around. Best is to have the right settings prepared. This camera is a Micro Four Thirds and the shots were done with 3.2-3.5/f with ISO 640 to 1000. One last advice: better not touch the cold metal parts of your camera with your bare fingers at minus -30潞 Celsius 馃槈

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Dzisiaj, chcia艂am Wam pokaza膰 kolejne zdj臋cie zorzy polarnej. Zosta艂o ono wykonane innego dnia ni偶 to z 16 lutego, oraz w miejscu 鈥瀘ddalonym od cywilizacji鈥. 馃槈 Dzisiaj, te偶 gwiazdy dodaj膮 uroku. Kto znalaz艂 oriona?
(p.s. Je偶eli chcecie powi臋kszy膰 zdj臋cie to wystarczy u偶y膰 prawego przycisku myszy i wybra膰: “view image” lub “open image in a new tap”, czy polskie odpowiedniki: “zobacz obraz”, “otw贸rz zdjecie/obraz w nowej karcie” albo co艣 bardzo podobnego w zale偶no艣ci od przegl膮darki.)

Fotografowanie zorzy polarnej nie jest bardzo trudne, jednak warto si臋 przygotowa膰.
W pierwszej kolejno艣ci musimy mie膰 szcz臋艣cie, 偶e przyroda zechce nam pokaza膰 swoje pi臋kno. 馃槈

Z 艂atwiejszych rzeczy do wykonania, obowi膮zkowy jest statyw, poniewa偶 czas ekspozycji to przynajmniej 10-30 sekund. Obiektyw szerokok膮towy jest bardzo wskazany, gdy偶 pozwoli z艂apa膰 wi臋kszy kawa艂ek nieba. W przypadku ISO i ogniskowej warto pokombinowa膰, aby otrzyma膰 r贸偶ne efekty. I te偶 bardzo wa偶ne jest aby zna膰 sw贸j aparat, jaka czu艂o艣膰 jest akceptowalna itp. Warto wi臋c sp臋dzi膰 noc na fotografowaniu nieba zmieniaj膮c ustawienia aparatu. Do tego celu cieplejsze miejsce jest zdecydowanie lepsze, ni偶 takie o temperaturze -30潞C. 馃槈

Nasze zdj臋cia zorzy zosta艂y wykonane z 3.2-3.5/f oraz ISO od 640 do 1000.

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Norway – How to deal with cold?

Thermometer, Kirkenes
Thermometer, Kirkenes

One day during our stay in Kirkenes, we took in the morning a picture of the thermometer that was showing -26潞C, at night it was even a few degrees colder… I’m sure for many it sounds crazy and much too cold. For me, it’s also too cold, but I know with proper clothing I can survive. 馃槈

General advice is to wear many layers, and I totally agree! However, the most critical parts are head, feet and hands. Warm hat is a must. And also fatty cream should be applied on the face. With warm gloves it’s a bit more complicated, because it’s difficult to take pictures while wearing the warmest ones. So it’s a good idea to have at least two pairs of gloves, thick and thinner for holding your cameras. For me it’s also difficult to keep warm feet, that’s why I decided to buy a very warm shoes. They are larger then my normal size, so I can wear 2 pairs of socks and still have space inside my shoes (which makes the trick because air is a good insulator). But it’s also much better when I can move my feet/toes inside my shoes to increase blood circulation and make myself warmer.

You can also buy hand warmers, disposable or reusable, and place them in your pocket, shoes or gloves. I tried them, but they didn’t work well for me. Well, maybe they’re old… I don’t know, but I’m not convinced…

What works the best for me is movement. 馃槈 Seriously, when I start feeling colder, I just move, jump etc. Always helps. 馃檪

And, if you still feel cold, you can always ask for warm clothes and shoes from the Snow Hotel!

Do you have any tricks to stay warm?

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Kt贸rego艣 dnia w Kirkenes, zrobili艣my zdj臋cie termometrowi, kt贸ry wskazywa艂 -26潞C. To pewnie by艂a 艣rednia temperatura podczas naszej wizyty, cho膰 w nocy by艂o jeszcze o kilka stopni zimniej. My艣l臋, 偶e dla wielu jest to zdecydowanie za zimno. Sama te偶 nie przepadam za a偶 takim mrozem, ale wiem, 偶e odpowiednio ubrana dam rad臋. 馃槈

“Na cebulk臋” to typowa i oczywista rada jak si臋 ubra膰, gdy za oknem jest taki straszny mr贸z. Wiele, r贸偶nych warstw zdecydowanie pomaga. Jednak, ja zawsze musz臋 najbardziej zadba膰 o g艂ow臋, stopy i r臋ce. Ciep艂a czapka to podstawa, ale te偶 warto zadba膰 o sk贸r臋 twarzy i nasmarowa膰 t艂ustym kremem. Te najcieplejsze r臋kawiczki maj膮 z regu艂y wad臋, gdy fotografujemy; rzadko kiedy mo偶na w nich sprawnie trzyma膰/u偶ywa膰 aparat. St膮d najlepiej sprawdza si臋 po艂膮czenie cienkich r臋kawiczek (do robienia zdj臋膰), z zewn臋trzn膮 warstw膮 bardzo grubych. I czas na stopy, to chyba moja najwra偶liwsza na zimno cz臋艣膰 cia艂a. Moja sprawdzona metoda, to ciep艂e buty, kt贸re s膮 kilka rozmiar贸w wi臋ksze ni偶 m贸j standardowy rozmiar. Dzi臋ki temu mog臋 porusza膰 stop膮/palcami, nawet maj膮c 2 pary grubych skarpet.

Mo偶na te偶 kupi膰 ocieplacze do r膮k, jednorazowe lub do wielorazowego u偶ytku. To takie ma艂e paczuszki (o r贸偶nej zawarto艣ci w zale偶no艣ci od metody dzia艂ania), kt贸re mo偶na w艂o偶y膰 do but贸w, r臋kawiczek, czy kieszeni. B臋d膮c na Grenlandii mia艂am kilka, ale nie zadzia艂a艂y dobrze, wi臋c nie jestem przekonana. Mo偶e trafi艂 mi si臋 jaki艣 stary zestaw…

I jeszcze jedno, gdy czuj臋 偶e robi mi si臋 zimno po postu zaczynam si臋 wi臋cej rusza膰, np. skakanie w miejscu dzia艂a rewelacyjnie. 馃榾

A gdyby艣cie ci膮gle marzli, zawsze mo偶na dosta膰 ciep艂膮 odzie偶 i buty od Snow Hotel!

A Wy macie jakie艣 metody na mr贸z?

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