After a busy day of skiing in Tromsø we left our hotel at midnight. It was only a short walk to get to the Hurtigruten terminal and we were happy to see our ship, the Midnatsol, waiting for us. It certainly looked more cruise ship than a ferry with its modern design and a foyer which even had glass elevators. We left our bags in our cabin and went to explore the ship before our 1.30am departure. There were numerous nice lounge areas and up on deck there were even two jacuzzis. It was while we were up on deck that Nigel noticed an unusual band of green light in the sky rising up from Tromsø. It could only be one thing, the Northern Lights! We watched as it became a little brighter and then began to move about in the sky and by now some other passengers were watching on excitedly and trying to take photographs of it.View Post
In part one of our Norwegian Arctic road trip series we took you on the road with us. All the way to the Arctic from literally our doorstep. In this second part, we now finally wake up in beautiful Tromsø. Our first day in the Arctic takes us to the harbour, across the bridge to the Arctic Cathedral. It sees us contemplating property purchases, overeating on unexpected delicacies and booking an activity for day 3 that will change Nigel’s athletic game forever …
After a long day of travelling and a rather rocky arrival in the Arctic, which we told you about in part 1, we finally arrived at our hotel in Tromsø in the dark. Waking up the next morning like excited little children, we were eager to get out and explore the city in daylight. Following breakfast, we headed out into a slightly overcast but dry morning and the first thing which we noticed were the snow covered mountains, which seemed to surround the city. The tourist office was our first stop to pick up some maps and information and to enquire about cross country skiing. For some reason Nigel, who had never skied before and who isn’t a big fan of ice, thought it really can’t be that difficult and how can you fall over with two huge skies on your feet! We were given directions to the nearby outdoor adventure store, Tromsø Outdoor, and signed up for a three-hour cross country skiing trip. We got measured up for boots and would set off the following afternoon. View Post
You may already know that March 2016 saw us set off on our very first Arctic adventure when we explored Northern Norway’s Tromsø and then jumped on a Hurtigruten ship to Lofoten Island.
We are beginning to publish a series of articles about this memorable week and in the first post of the series, we promised you a video to go with the article. We are not known for breaking our promises.
Bumpy Ride into Tromsø
So in this first part of our video series we are travelling from Northern Ireland to Northern Norway. The views from the plane will give you goosebumps – and it certainly was a bumpy ride for us.
Tromsø is a place that had been intriguing Nigel for a number of years. It seemed bizarre that 350km above the Arctic Circle there could be this “Paris of the North” that ‘enjoyed’ two months per polar night (zero daylight) and two months of the midnight sun (zero darkness) per year. In all likelihood however, it was somewhere he was never going to visit. That was until he first saw photographs of the Lofoten Islands on Instagram which looked like another world. This was quickly followed by seeing a programme called ‘In The Land Of The Midnight Sun’ on TV. During his expedition across the Arctic he visited the Lofoten Islands and once again it looked amazing. This as followed by Martha exclaiming ‘I wanna go there!”. So there was nothing else for it … Nigel had to check out if we could get there! As it turned out, not only was it relatively easy to get to Northern Norway, but it was also inexpensive! Our flights by our beloved SAS were from Dublin (we are slowly coming to terms with the fact that SAS do not fly out of Belfast) to Tromsø via Oslo. On the return journey they were to be from Tromsø to Dublin via Oslo and Stockholm! Five flights for a total cost of £150/€185/$210 each, which also included 23kg of luggage, free choice of seats 24 hours before departure and free tea and coffee – can’t be bad!View Post