Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tromso - Northern Lights Capital

  As you know I have just been to Tromso in Norway with the aim of seeing the famous Northern Lights.
Lovely cloud formations on the way to Oslo.

The stunning harbour view at Tromso from my hotel 
window - well worth the upgrade!

Tromso is quite a small place compared to UK towns.  There had been some snow in the days before my trip and it made the place look a bit messy!  Most days the weather was grey grey grey with lots of rain as you can see in the pictures of the town.
The cathedral in Tromso - the size was that
of a normal church in the UK!

The explorer Roald Amundsen - in Tromso
main square

The Catholic Cathedral in Tromso.
The Library.

Another sculpture in the town of a boat man.

The long bridge over the water to the other 
side of Tromso.

You can walk over the bridge if you wish - I only 
went a little way because as you got out over 
the water the wind got up and it was very cold.
The Arctic Cathedral at night - stunning!

I am pleased to report I did see the lights!  Someone in my hotel told me not to expect them to be as bright as you see them in photos and they were right.  At the time I went Auroral activity was low so I saw a pale green display of lights - my camera was 100% useless although other people managed to get pictures but not one offered to email me one like I would have done - how sad.  Anyway it was better to SEE them with my own eyes than through a lens as it imprints on your brain /memory properly.  I saw one lot that looked like a long nose and smiling mouth with one eye and then a shower like formation - and another blob which become brighter then faded and moved around a little.  It was really something to be standing out in the zero temperatures in the middle of nowhere but seeing these displays - had I not been with a guide though I would have missed it.

In Tromso there were lots of small shops carrying different things but these DIY toys in a knitting shop caught my eye - you buy the bare doll (it has the hair) and then you knit the clothes like so:-

A knitted family!

A cute little girl - adorable!
Another shop makes the traditional Norwegian
costume - here are some pics form the workshop.

Here you can see the detailed 
embroidery and the traditional 
brooch and clasps.

A close up of the embroidery on the blouse....

....and the beautiful apron with lace.

Matching shoes.

The scarf/apron (not quite Hermes!)

A doll version.

Some of the Troll Father Christmases!

A fishing trawler in the harbour.

The Hotel With where I stayed  (the white building).

On Day 2 the Norwegian Navy arrived in Tromso.
I googled the navy and found out about the boats
moored on the quay outside my window.  Here 
2 Mine Hunters!
This was "Skudd" 1 of eventually 3 Missile 
Patrol Boats that lined up right outside my window! 
I felt very safe!

I fed the ducks in the mornings with left over
bread from breakfast they were lovely! 
Here Mr Mallard.

Mrs Mallard - she has lovely markings.  There were 
about 50 ducks in total and the even fish joined 
in eating the bread as well - it gave me quite a fright 
at first when the bread disappeared in a big splash 
but you could see the fish in the clear water!!!

A local boat - it just looked nice!

Yay some weak winter sun at last - albeit very 
watery.  The sun only rose after 9am and set about 2.45pm.

Leaving behind the Arctic Twilight 
en route back to Oslo then home.

The prices in Norway were staggering.  A bottle of coke was equivalent of £3.98 compared to Tesco here at £1.08!!!!  Nearly 4 times what you would pay here in the UK truly shocking.  I found the prices totally prohibitive and so I did not manage to do more things.  I know I buy Hermes scarves but I could not justify the prices for simple things in Norway.  It was very much a window shopping holiday and thankfully my lovely hotel provided an evening meal free of charge!

If I go again I will go in Autumn as the Northern Lights guide said it is a good time to go and not so cold and the days are longer too.  I would also save up some money to fund trips as Norway does need serious money!

I hope you enjoyed seeing Tromso!


  1. What a great post, with so many interesting things. I know nothing of Norway, so loved it all. The cathedrals are small, but very sweet, and the Arctic cathedral: Wow!! Knitted dolls and the embroidery are very eye-catching. Thank you for sharing it all.

    1. Hi Patricia - so pleased you like the post! The Arctic Cathedral made for a stunning view especially at night and my first night in my room I had to sleep with the curtains open so I could see it LOL! Take care, SAx

  2. WOW! What a lovely post - I'm like Patricia and know nothing about Norway - other than the Royal Family! It does look very beautiful but how expensive?!

    The ducks from GH say hello! How sweet that you had some on your holiday - just like ours...we're at 22 at the moment and the ducklings have gone exploring.

    Thanks for sharing it does look really beautiful.


    1. Hi PP - yup very dear in Norway! Ah the ducks were so sweet although they did quite well for food really as I saw other people feed them but the fish pinching the ducks' bread were a scream! I had 52 ducks for breakfast one day - the bread didn't go very far! SAx

  3. Very charming pictures! I can understand why you did not make it all the way to the end of that bridge.

    Elle x

  4. Hi Elle - yes it was lot longer in reality than it looked and COLD LOL! SAx

  5. Welcome home: I am so pleased you can say you saw what you had travelled for! I can't imagine enduring these extremes of cold and dark, despite the candlelights, it must have felt oddly satisfying to know that dull, grey UK is brighter and warmer than where you were departing from. I know the Arctic countries are very pricey, drink in particular (even non-alcoholic beverages, as you discovered) is exorbitant. The view from your window over the harbour was fabulous, glad you were on the right side of the pane, though.

    Neighbours of ours had a late summer holiday on a Norwegian post boat a few years back, which was completely not deluxe but incredibly special with a fortnight of fjord deliveries in the most amazing scenery. Maybe you could combine that with a fresh hunt for Aurora Borealis?

    1. Hi Pussywillow - yes I was pleased to see the lights! The temps were not too bad around 6C in the day so similar to home. I think the sea keeps Tromso "mild" thought it was very chilly at night! I've seen those Hurtigruten cruises and the boat came in to Tromso daily - so maybe!! SAx