The first day of summer 2013 in the United States, the longest day of the year, still has less sunlight than northern Norway right now. Territories in the arctic circle have, effectively, 60 first days of summer.
Courtesy of Saleha Mohsin
Today the sun will shine for 18 hours, 50 minutes and 1 second.
Now I realize that in December, when the days are short and the imposing darkness begins to wear on me, I’ll regret having said this: I’m tired of the sun. My body needs the kind of peace that only a dark, starry night can provide.
At first I was looking forward to being in Oslo on June 21, the longest day of the year. The best remedy for a grim Norwegian winter is the buildup to the summer solstice. But I went on a whirlwind trip with the Foreign Press Association into the Arctic Circle where, for five days, I didn’t see a cloud in the sky. Just the intense, bright yellow sun. In northern Norway towns like Kirkenes, Honningsvåg, and Vardø, the sun doesn’t set for 60 days. Even when the peak of the midnight sun has passed, twilight increases by just 40 minutes each day. There isn’t a proper dark night from April through August.