Night Out in the Sun - by Phil Saunders

"Are you free Thursday night?" I asked my girlfriend.  "Yes" she said.  "Great" I replied.  "I’ve found something cool we can do together."

When the night arrived, I picked her up at 7pm, and told her she needed a warm coat, her camera, and her passport.  And no, I said, she didn’t need anything else.

I then drove us to London’s Heathrow airport, where we boarded a plane which took off at 10 pm, about an hour after sunset.  We gazed out of the window at the stars, and after a couple of hours, something very strange happened – the sky started getting lighter again.   And then at 1 am London time the plane landed, in broad daylight.

We’d arrived at the airport of a small town named Tromso, in the far north of Norway.  And because we were north of the Arctic Circle, the sun was above the horizon, even in the middle of the night.  Only we couldn’t see the sun, because of the thick fog surrounding us. 

We were taken by coach to the base of a cable-car, which took us up to the top of a mountain.  At the summit the sun was shining brightly, because the fog at the bottom had actually been a layer of low cloud  - which we could now see covering all of the land below us.  We then had an hour free to wander around the mountain, savouring the stunning views in every direction, and the land of the midnight sun. 

 And then it was time to head home again!  The plane departed at 3.30 am London time, the sky then darkened as we flew south, but turned and got steadily brighter again, until we landed back in London at 6.30am that morning.

So that was our Thursday night out in the sun...and also the reason why I was barely functioning at work the next day, being not just tired, but inexplicably jet-lagged too ;-)