Monday, November 2, 2009

BBC - In the Land of the Northern Lights

An amazing journey in Norway's Far North as Joanna Lumley pursues a life-long dream to track down the elusive, stunningly beautiful Northern Lights.

Joanna grew up in tropical Malaysia, and as a little girl had never seen snow or felt cold. But inspired by the fairy tales and picture books of the North, she always longed to make this journey.

Now at last she travels north across the Arctic Circle, up through Norway and finally to Svalbard, the most northerly permanently inhabited place on earth, where she has to cope with temperatures approaching minus 30 degrees celsius.

Joanna's journey takes her from train to boat and husky-sled to snowmobile as she is pulled ever-northwards by what she calls 'the strongest point of the compass'. She explores the romantic fjords of Lofoten and learns to ride a snowmobile, speeding across endless expanses of Lapland tundra with a Sami herdsman in search of his reindeer.

As she reaches the Arctic Ocean she prepares for bed in an hotel made entirely of ice. As she seeks her personal Holy Grail, viewers get to see new sides of the charming, indefatigable and idiosyncratic Joanna Lumley, responding with humour and deep emotion to one of the world's most magnificent but extreme environments.

But will she finally achieve her dream?

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