Due to Norway’s high latitude (Oslo 60º – Tromsø 69.5°), there are large seasonal variations in daylight. From late May to late July, the sun never completely descends beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle (66.5°). Norway is called the “Land of the Midnight Sun” as you may remember. The rest of the country experiences up to 20 hours of daylight per day (19 hours in Oslo). Conversely, from late November to late January, the sun never rises above the horizon in the north, and daylight hours are very short in the rest of the country (5 hours in Oslo).
So how do these seasonal variations effect us here in the North? Well, Norwegians know how to make the most of these long summer days, meeting friends and sitting outdoors in the garden until late in the evening. There will always be time for sleeping in the winter time you know :-) . Recently we had one of those precious evenings visiting a very good friend of mine, Gunnar Braathen and his charming wife. This photo is taken at 9:40PM and as you can see, it’s still daylight (click all pics to bigify & enjoy!):
Gunnar is a colleague from the Norwegian Computer Society, a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) guru and in recent years, a body builder. His goal is to be a World Champion at 65 so please click to visit his blog to see his muscles play! It would be nice of you to leave a comment and say that Renny sent you.
You may wonder how else the seasonal change effects us. The average temp in Oslo in July is 20C (68F) and in January -5C (21F). In the summer the schools are closed for a full 8 weeks and out of the standard Norwegian 5 weeks vacation, we use 3-4 weeks in the summer. Other than that, I thought very little about the difference before my wife DianeCA came to live with me – moving from upstate NY. She came in August and every night when we went to bed – to sleep ;-) – she mentioned it was still daylight. It never occurred to me that this was a problem as I never had trouble sleeping in the summer time.
I am much more aware of this phenomenon now that I am a blogger, thanks to all my friends around in Blogsphere. All your wonderful comments showing interest, asking questions and comparing our parts of the world has really opened my eyes to see there are different ways of living. The climate and seasons have an impact in our way of living. It has encouraged me to take photos to show the difference. Here are some more from this evening taken with my Nokia mobile phone around 22:15PM:
The sun set around 22:45PM but it’s still dusk one hour more.
Of course long summer days make us crazy for the beach too. Tanning, swimming, cliff diving and even skinny dipping are all part of the beach life, as you can read in my post: From frozen Paradise to hot summer beaches in Oslo Norway.
So don’t waste the long summer evenings, jump right in – and leave me a comment!