For me, Churchill is one of those few places I could definitely see myself living in, even against the odds. This mainly being the deserted location. So far away from everything in the north of Manitoba, it took me 45 hours (!) to get there by train from the south. A long journey I can tell you, without a shower and bed. But Churchill has a certain charm to it that makes life there not only possible but enjoyable with many different attractions year round. In summer it’s beluga season, that’s when you can see hundreds of belugas swimming up the river! During October and November, polarbear season, tours are available to go see them in their natural habitat. It must be pretty amazing. And even though I missed those two events, I did get to see something truly breathtaking…the Aurora Borealis. Visible from late November through late March, I arrived just in time to see the last lights of the year. Of course they aren’t visible every night, it depends on the temperature, wind and cloud cover. I was lucky enough to enjoy a great show one night during my stay. It starts with just a few whisps, barely visible, then they change and grow to be bigger and more intensive. By the time they fully blossmed, I could see a rainbow of light streching above me across the night sky! Truly stunning. My first thought however was these can’t be the northern lights, they’re white, not green. But they sure turned out green on the pictures we took. When asking a local about this, he told me the human eye probably can’t pick up the green, but all the other colours it can. That’s why the lights sometimes appear reddish, blue or, in my case, white.
Churchill is also known for being the starting point of the famous Hudson Bay Quest! A very difficult medium length dog sledding race. Luckily I had the chance to meet the northern huskies, that had just finished this years race. I was surprised how friendly and playful the dogs really are. But they definitely know their place and task when it’s time to run, and there is only one alpha in the pack…the musher. The whole experience was unforgettable, especially when I got to do a dog sled tour myself. Just thinking about Churchill makes me want to come back. Hopefully I will.