“I think we gotta go”, Tom said, taking my camera as I climbed back down an old stone wall, feeling blindly for any gaps with my feet. “Are they leaving?” I asked.
“Yeah I think they’re already in the car” he said. He placed my camera in its carrier bag and handed it back to me after I’de jumped down. Tom and I worked together in the longhouse. He’s really handy with leather; belts, bags, shoes and those sorts of things. And, when he’s not melting a hot pot of beeswax over the fire he occasionally guides Dutch groups through the longhouse. We’ve spent most of our workdays so far dressed in the garments of a less modern age; myself, in an outfit of brown and white linens and Tom, in a blue shirt and a pair of red and green-striped linen pants; the bright red sash around his waist giving him the slightest look of a pirate. Right now though, all of us walked out of the truck and blended in with the other tourists so perfectly that we felt like just another group of sun-hunters, standing and shivering a bit at the shore of Eggum.
“where the twilight lasts only a few seconds in most places, the sun here reaches its lowest point at around 1:00 am; suspended in an orange glow…”
Those who brought camper vans filled the car-park with collapsable tables and chairs while others in tents, wrapped themselves in blankets and drank beer and hot coffee while they waited.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing a sunset, or woken early enough to catch it as it rises, then you will understand the meaning of a ‘fleeting moment’. But where the twilight lasts only a few seconds in most places, the sun here reaches its lowest point at around 1:00 am; suspended in an orange glow for about an hour, only then to go right back up again.
We had planned on hiking to the top of a nearby mountain, simply for an epic vantage point. But with the weeklong forecast of clouds and the sun’s final days approaching, my housemates and I took our chances and finally drove to Eggum, an old fishing village just North of Borg.
I had only one other memory of the midnight-sun. It was from my last summer when Terje Boe, the skipper of the museum’s replica Viking ship had organised a crew of around thirteen sailors, including me, to take part in a regatta. The evening before the race, we anchored outside the harbour of Nordskott. We turned our sail into a tent, lay sleeping bags out on the deck and I fell asleep to the sounds of the water; ‘gluck’, ‘gluck’, ‘gluck’, slapping against the belly of the ship beneath our heads. Right before drifting off, I noticed the glow of a slow, dipping sun, bouncing a light show of bright and orange ripples from the water’s surface up onto the underneath of our sail.
“But the sun that night was nothing like this”.
I handed Tom my camera, and before making my way back down the inside of the stone tower, I took one last look up, wondering when I’de ever see it like this again; our grand disk of copper; wobbling over the ocean like a bright, round mango.
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