The Best Places in the World to See the Northern Lights

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                <p>The northern lights, or aurora borealis. have
fascinated humanity for centuries. Long before we understood what causes
these spectacular displays, they were thought by some cultures to be
spirits dancing across the skies. This phenomenon is most clearly visible
in the northernmost parts of the world, close to the Arctic Circle. Here
are some of the best place to sneak a peak.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p><strong>The Faroes: </strong> Long ago, the seafaring Vikings ranged
far and wide across Europe and even the Americas. Located between Great
Britain and Iceland, the Faroe Islands were one of their more remote
permanent outposts. Currently, the Faroes are owned by Denmark. When the
night sky is clear, you'll get a great view of the Northern lights.
During the day, absorb the unique local culture of the islands, go
hiking, or go bird-watching. All this, and puffins, too!</p>
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<p>Â </p>
<p><strong>Canada</strong>: For a great view of the Northern Lights in an
awe-inspiring natural setting, take your cue from Calvin of "Calvin and
Hobbes" and run away to Canada's Yukon territory.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p><strong>Sweden: </strong>When it comes to getting a good look at the
aurora borealis, Sweden has an ace up its sleeve: the "Blue Hole of
Abisko," an area where the skies are almost always clear, even if it's
raining everywhere else.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p><strong>Iceland: </strong>In addition to opportunities to see the
northern lights, Iceland has a lot to offer visitors: hot springs,
glaciers, volcanoes and interesting nightlife are just some of the
attractions.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p><strong>Finland: </strong>In Lapland, the traditional home of the Sami
people, visitors can see a particularly spectacular version of the
northern lights. Plus, in European tradition, Lapland is the home of
Father Christmas, and there are reindeer in abundance.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>The best time of year to see the northern lights is in either March or
December. To visit any of these locations, you'll need a passport, so
make sure to plan ahead for that. You'll need at least 6 weeks from the
time you apply to get your passport, unless you pay extra for expedited
processing. Even then, you should allow at least 3 weeks for your
passport to arrive. For faster processing, make an appointment at a
passport agency office or use a private passport expediter like <a
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posted:10/21/2011
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