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Sundogs created a fairytale Christmas atmosphere in Sandvika, Barum - Bærum, Akershus county, Norway!

It was a beautiful day on Sunday 17 December 2007 when the sun broke through the dark skyes, and lightened up the ice on the fjord in Sandvika at Kadettangen, Kalvøya. In the middle of this day I observed two or more sundogs on opposite sides of the sun simultaneously. There was no snow in Sandvika near Oslo, but anyway the sun rays made the Christmas atmosphere here quite unique.

Photo. In the front of Kalvøya Bridge towards the fjord. The photo was taken in the middle of the day 16 December 2007. © Travel Explorations.

Her comes the sun, song the Beatles, but actual where is the sun on the photos in this article? This day the lights from the sun broke through the sky from many positions and in various shapes. According to Wikipedia, a sun dog or sundog, is an atmospheric optical phenomenon primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. When sunlight passes through the sides of a flat crystal, both the angle of the sun rays and the orientation of the crystals affects the shape and colour of the sundogs.

The nearby island Kalvøya is a good place for recreation, both in the summer and winter. Today people walked around in the coldness. There were some families, people with dogs, and couples who just walked around for a romantic trip. I guess it was good to take it easy and enjoy the silence in the stressing Christmas period.

In summer the island is popular for numerous barbecue parties. In the winter ice fishing is popular. Both cod and sea trout can be caught in the frozen waters around Sandvika.

The temperature was about 5 - 6 minus Celsius.

Photos. In Norwegian the phenomenon sun dog is called biosol. © Travel Explorations.

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Not even a well docareted Christmas three with lights could compare with the sun today.

Photos. In Norwegian the phenomenon sun dog is called biosol. © Travel Explorations.

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Bærum muncipality has approximately 104.700 inhabitants and covers a area of 192,0 km2. It is often said that Bærum is Norway in miniature. Farming and forestry have always been important for settling and employment in Bærum.

Large shoppingcentres and specialist shops draw people from a large area to Bærum. The main attractions are the Henie Onstad Art Centre, Bærums Verk Centre, Haslum Church, Tanum Church, lime kilns at Slependen and Ringi, the Lommedalsbanen (railway line) and the Samvirke Museum.

The sun was low this day. The sundogs appeared like eyes in the sky. I could see light shining through ice crystals in the clouds which made various shapes of sundogs. This sky phenomenon is very similar as light shining through raindrops makes a rainbow. It looked mysterious, and it was exciting observing of the sundogs continuously changing shapes. The sun rays illuminated the ice on the water in the fjord, which made the view especially spectacular.

Photo. Kalvøya, Sandvika, in the middle of Sunday 16 December 2007.

Sandvika is situated approximately 15 kilometers west of Oslo. The municipality enjoys a sheltered position, protected from the north and open towards the sun an the sea to the south. 

The landscape is various:  the fjord with its spell-binding islands and small island communities, wide, open verdant valleys, cultivated land, rolling landscapes, challenging rock faces and dense woodland.


Sandvika was once called "the little white town nestling in the bay". As the local community in Bærum and western region of Akershus county has expanded. Sandvika Storsenter is a shopping centre in Sandvika, Bærum, just outside of Oslo. This is the largest shopping center in Scandinavia, with 190 stores on 8 different floors covering 1 km from one end to the other. You won't find a similar mix of shops, boutiques and concept stores anywhere else.

The word Bærum means "mountainous area" - the old name for the community (Bergheim) means a community with many mountains and ridges. The area was first settled during the late ice age, and when the ice melted the soil was rich and yielded good harvests. Under the Kolsåstoppen mountain "rock carvings" (helleristninger) have been found. The rock carvings figures of ships etc. dating from 1,500 BC - the Bronze age. On the Kalvøya, an island just outside Sandvika, archealogists have found traces of settlements from the Bronze and Iron age. The Henie-Onstad Art Center has the largest collection in Norway of international modern art, and is one of the most popular museums in Norway.

Stein Morten Lund, 16 December 2007

Additional information
Read more about Norway on our website www.TravelExplorations.com

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