Tromsø is one of the most magical places I’ve been to. A bustling city tucked amongst the fjords, 190 miles North of the Arctic circle. Parts of Tromsø feel so otherworldly, but at the same time so entirely familiar. There’s a busy road network, international airport and the World’s most Northerly university. If you wander the streets after dark (which during Winter is … Almost all of the day) you’re equally as likely to stumble across the Northern lights as a pub playing Norwegian death metal.
I love the Arctic. And whilst all Arctic countries have amazing features in both seasons, I particularly love the Arctic in Winter. There’s no way of guaranteeing weather, Northern lights or wildlife. But even so there’s something magical about it. A different feeling in the air. Which is totally different to how I imagined it would be. The polar night occurs in the most Northernmost (and Southernmost although I’m yet to go to Antartica!) parts of the World. And is the period in Winter when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. The further North you go, the longer the Polar night lasts. In December in Svalbard the sun doesn’t rise for a month. Whilst during the same period in Tromsø, there would be two hours daylight each day and in Iceland four.
Some of my fondest memories of the past few years are from the time I’ve spent traveling with my husband. Although looking back on our first holiday together, I’m amazed we survived. Never mind went on any more.
I’ve enjoyed sharing some photos from my trip to Norway in 2014, but decided to combine the last few days in one post. Norway was so beautiful, I took literally hundreds of photos and picking ones to share for these posts has been hard as there are so many moments I loved.
Having seen the Northern Lights appear over Tromsø town, I was more eager to see them properly than ever. We drove towards the Swedish border, into woodland and away from light pollution. On the way to our intended destination we saw a green tinge appear in the sky, a band which seemed to stretch from horizon to horizon, so we pulled over.
Whilst the scenery of Tromsø was jaw dropping, I had assumed -wrongly- that we could spend all our time there walking and exploring. For a start, the mountains were not easily hiked on and whilst there were hiking paths, the cold and limited day light meant it would be pretty dangerous to take off on a long walk as we weren’t prepared for it. When it got dark, it was pitch black so wondering around outside wasn’t advisable and our hotel had literally no facilities, not even a restaurant.
This left us with more darkness per day than light and a lot of time on our hands. Northern Lights optimal viewing time was in the night, so we spent the afternoon and evening exploring Tromsø town. We only had one meal out, an average curry which cost £90 due to it being so expensive in Norway. We had to find other things to fill our time, one of my favourites being Polaria, the world’s most Northerly aquarium.
After exploring Ersfjord we continued our drive around the coast, stopping on the side of the road to watch a pod of wild Orca whale swim through the fjord. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at first, but we watched them happily swim for as far as we could see, before driving to the next spot we could pull over at to see them again, until they disappeared from view.
After arriving in Tromsø and getting our bearings, we decided to set off and explore. I found Ersfjord whilst looking longingly at Northern Lights photos on Pinterest and decided to go and check it out. It’s essentially a tiny village -literally just a few houses- on the edge of a fjord, with stunning views.
After writing about Paris recently I wanted to continue with some posts about the other places I’ve been to in the past two years.
Northern Norway was the first Nordic country I visited -also the first trip Aaron and I took together- and where I fell completely in love with the Arctic. Nothing makes me dream more of travel than looking through the photos I took whilst there, it was truly an adventure from start to finish which rarely went to plan, but that I’ll never forget.